Swim Tests Keep Children Safe at the YMCA

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is committed to ensuring everyone is safe while swimming in our pools. Individuals (14 Years of Age and Younger) must participate in a swim test and will be issued a green, yellow or red band. These bands help our lifeguards identify if a child/youth is outside of their swimming ability area.  

Red – Non-Swimmer  

  • Has not passed any level swim test 
  • MUST stay in the shallow end 
  • Five years and under must have a parent in the water 
    • Must wear a life jacket unless the parent is providing contact support – hands-on 
  • Six years and older must wear a life jacket unless the parent is in the water within arms reach

Yellow – Intermediate 

  • Can enter/exit pool independently AND swim 15 yards freestyle and tread water for 30 seconds 
  • Must stay in the shallow end where they can stand confidently
  • Five years and under must have a parent in the water 
  • 6 - 11 years must have a parent on side of pool supervising 
    • May use the deep end with a parent in the water and a life jacket
  • 12 - 14 years without a parent must remain in the shallow end 

Green – Proficient 

  • Can jump into deep water, tread water for one minute, float on back for 15 seconds, swim 25 yards and exit pool independently 
  • Five years and under must have a parent in the water if in the deep end. A parent can be poolside at shallow depths 
  • Six years and older may swim in any section 

50 Meter Pool Swim Band Test 

  • In addition to the green band test, children ages 12 - 14 will need to complete the below test if they are swimming in the 50M pool.
    • Jump into the water, tread water for 1 minute, float on your back for 15 seconds, swim 50 meters with proficient freestyle and exit the pool independently.

General Reminders when at the YMCA pools:

  • Parents are responsible for the direct supervision of their children while in the pool area 
  • Red bands must wear life jackets OR remain in arms reach of a parent or guardian at all times. 
  • YMCA staff reserve the right to re-test any swimmer at any time.  
  • Learn more about all the pool policies here.