Safety is always our top priority here at the JCC. During the summer months, our staff grows by dozens of lifeguards charged with the important responsibility of keeping everyone safe by the pool.
An important tool we use to ensure summer water safety is our “Test. Mark. Protect.” swim skills assessment. We administer this test to children ages five to 12 at both our Uptown and Metairie pools.
Swimmers must perform the following tasks in order to demonstrate their capability and comfort in the water:
JUMP - Jump into water over a swimmer’s head and easily return to the surface.
TREAD - Keep head above water while treading water for 45 seconds or longer.
SWIM - Swim the length of the pool unassisted and without resting. Exit the pool unassisted.
A swimmer competent in all three tasks receives a green band. A swimmer who cannot complete all three tasks receives a red band. This helps communicate the swimming level to lifeguards.
What does a green band mean?
- Swimmers that pass the swim test have access to all areas of the pool.
- Green bands may use the water slide, provided they meet the height requirement.
- Children under age 11 with a green band must have an adult caregiver on the pool deck with them.
What does a red band mean?
- Non-swimmers ages 12 or younger who do not take or pass the swim test must stay within arm's reach of an actively attentive parent or adult caregiver.
- Children who cannot keep their head above water while standing flat-footed must also wear a life vest.
- Children under 5 are not required to wear bands but still must follow red band guidelines.
- Red bands are not permitted to use the water slide.
If your child doesn't receive a green band on the first try, encourage them to keep practicing and retest when they feel more ready. Many of our swimmers start the summer with a red band and earn their green band by the end of the summer. Help them view it as a goal and be sure to celebrate when they receive their green band.
Want to get an extra leg up on the test and practice with your child? Check out a demonstration of our swim skills assessment with Pool Manager Marianne Doyle below.