Safety and supervisory standards

To ensure the safety of residents swimming in City pools, certain supervisory standards will now be enforced when you visit recreational facilities.

The standards apply to pool swim sessions only – they do not apply to swimming lessons or to wading pools. Parents/guardians with younger children are encouraged to view the Wading Pool Safety and Admission Requirements where the standards are different.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are unsure of how these requirements apply to you and your family, please contact your facility of choice BEFORE your visit.
  • In order to ensure adequate supervision and to identify children at greater risk, the City of Ottawa is now issuing wristbands during swim sessions. All participants require a wristband to access swimming.
  • All Children 7 years of age and under, regardless of swimming ability, must be directly supervised (within arms’ reach) by a responsible person 16 years of age or older.
  • Children 10 years of age and under who are non-swimmers or who cannot pass the facility swim test must be directly supervised (close proximity and able to render assistance) by a responsible person 16 years of age or older.
  • Non-swimmers and those who cannot pass the facility swim test must remain in shallow water. Each ratio below indicates the maximum number of children that one responsible person would be able to supervise.
    For example:
    Children 5 years of age and under: maximum 2 children per responsible person 16 years of age and older. The person responsible must be in the water and within arms reach. This person may not have any additional children under their care unless the other children are at least 8 years of age and are able to pass the facility swim test.

GENERAL PUBLIC

Age
(years)

Information

Admission
Requirements

Adult : Child
Ratio

Band
Colour

5 and
under

Parents must be within arms reach at all times

Always accompanied (parent/guardian 16+)

1:2

Orange

6-7

Parents must be within arms reach at all times

Always accompanied (parent/guardian 16+)

1:4
1:6 wearing
lifejackets

Orange

8-10

Did not pass facility swim test

Always accompanied (parent/guardian 16+)

1:4
1:8 wearing
lifejackets

Orange

8-10

Successfully completed facility swim test

No adult supervision required

N/A

Green

GROUPS AND CAMPS OF 10 OR MORE PARTICIPANTS

Age
(years)

Information

Admission Requirements

Adult : Child
Ratio

Band
Colour

5 and under

Supervisor must be actively participating within arms reach at all times

Always accompanied

1:2

Orange

6-7

Supervisor must be actively participating within arms reach at all times

Always accompanied

1:4
1:6 wearing lifejackets

Orange

8-10

Did not pass facility swim test

Always accompanied

1:4
1:8 wearing lifejackets

Orange

8-10

Successfully completed facility swim test

Always accompanied

1:10

Green

11-15

n/a

Always accompanied

1:15

Green

Each ratio indicates the maximum number of children that one responsible person (aged 16 or older) is able to supervise. Parent/guardian must be in proper bathing attire, in the water, actively participating within arm’s reach at all times.

High-risk participants must be in a ratio of 1:1. High-risk participants are defined as those who have a condition or illness that may put them at risk in an aquatic environment (e.g. frequent seizures, fainting conditions, etc) and those who are unable to control behaviour or impulses and require direct supervision.

Supervisory Ratios for Groups of High Risk Participants to be determined by pool staff based on the specific needs of the participants and associated risks. We recommend you call the facility prior to your visit.

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