The Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable pool experience for all.  All children, members and guests, age 16 and under must participate in a swimming skills assessment (swim test) and will be assigned a red, orange or green swim band.  These bands assist our certified lifeguards in keeping our inexperienced swimmers safe. Swim testing is done on demand except during Adult Swim.   Participants of any age may be swim tested at the discretion of the lifeguards.

Swim Assessment

All children, members or guests, age 16 and under are required to be swim tested.  Any child under the age of 7, regardless of swimming ability, must be accompanied in the water by an adult member.  Participants of any age may be swim tested at the discretion of the lifeguards.

Shallow Water Test – Orange Wrist Band:

Passing the shallow water test allows swimmers ages 5-16 to enter into zero-depth entries of the pool, without a PFD.  Swimmers ages 5-6 with an orange wrist band must be supervised in the water by an adult member in appropriate swim attire within arm’s reach.  Swimmers ages 7-16 with an orange wrist band will also receive a pink wrist band allowing them to swim independent of a parent or guardian.  Parents must remain in the same swimming area with these children and be visible to them at all times.  If swimmers go anywhere other than the zer0-depth entries, they must wear a PFD and be supervised in the water by an adult wearing appropriate swim attire within arm’s reach.

Successful completion of the shallow water test to receive your orange wrist band includes:

  1. Floating on stomach with face in the water for 3-5 seconds and recovering to a standing position
  2. Floating on back for 10 seconds and recovering to a standing position
  3. Swimming 10 yards on stomach with arm over arm motion and legs not dropping below a 45 degree angle.
  4. Swimmer may not rest or stop during the test.
  5. Touching the wall is not allowed and will result in a failure

Deep Water Test – Green Wrist Band:

Passing the deep water test allows swimmers ages 5-16 to swim in deep water without a PFD and use the slides.  Swimmers ages 5-6 with a green wrist band must be supervised in the water by an adult wearing appropriate swim attires within arm’s reach.  Swimmers ages 7-16 with a green wrist band will also receive a pink wrist band allowing them to swim independent of a parent or guardian.  Parents of these children must remain in the same pool area and be visible to them at all times.

Successful completion of the deep water test to receive your green wrist band includes:

  1. Floating on stomach with face in the water for 3-5 seconds and recovering to a standing position
  2. Floating on back for 10 seconds and recovering to a standing position
  3. Swimming half a length of the pool on stomach with arm over arm motion and legs not dropping below a 45 degree angle; treading water for one minute with both ears and chin above the surface of the water; then swimming the remainder of the length of the pool and exiting without assistance.
  4. Swimmer may not rest of stop during the test.
  5. Touching the wall is not allowed and will result in a failure.

Children who cannot demonstrate the required skills or do not wish to participate in the assessment will be classified as a non-swimmer.

Non-swimmers ages 12 months through 12 years will:

  1. Wear a Coast Guard approved PFD or puddle jumper.  Note: PFDs are not required in bodies of water less than two feet in depth, i.e.: the toddler pool.
  2. Remain in the shallow end of the pool
  3. Be supervised in the water by an adult member in proper swim attire and within arm’s reach at all times

Non-swimmers ages 13-16 years will:

  1. Wear a red wrist band
  2. Remain in the shallow end of the pool, no deeper than armpit depth