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swimming pool rules and child admission


The purpose of a child admission policy is to help safeguard the group of pool users who historically are most at risk of drowning in swimming pools. It is not intended to prevent children from having fun and enjoying the exercise and socialising aspects of swimming and it's benefits in health terms, nor is it intended to make life difficult for parents / carers. However, lifeguards cannot replace the care and attention of a parent / carer for children who are swimming and nor should they be asked to do so.

Evidence also indicates that children under the age of 8 are the most vulnerable group.

ISRM recognises that just as there are differences between swimming pools, there are differences between children. The guidance is based upon an intensive study of child drowning incidents, the relationship of children's age to height, swimming pool depths, swimming ability and maturity.

By following this guidance it is believed that swimming pool managers, with the help of parents / carers, can reduce the level of child drownings in swimming pools in this country. It is from these guidelines that the following procedures are derived and enforced at all times at Melbourn Sports Centre.


Standard adult to child ratio during all Melbourn Sports Centre sessions is 1:2 (excluding pool parties, private hire or swimming lessons).

Please note: A responsible person, aged at least 16 years, must accompany all children under the age of eight or children that are classified as a weak/non swimmers* into the swimming pool. Whilst in the pool, the responsible person should maintain a constant watch over the children for whom they are responsible and must stay in close contact with them at all times

Parents/Carers must also consider: Suitable buoyancy aids to be worn by weak/non swimmers.*

*Weak swimmers are classified as children who cannot demonstrate to a member of staff that they can swim at least 20 metres unaided


Associated with child admissions, is the issue of children of the opposite sex using the same changing room, as the responsible person who is accompanying them, and issues of child protection.

Responsible persons accompanying children to a pool should be able to take under 8's into an 'opposite sex' changing room when there is no other responsible person with them to take them into a 'same sex' changing room, for it is reasonable to assume that a child deemed to young to swim unaccompanied by a responsible person, is too young also to fend for him or herself in a changing room or change unaccompanied. There is also a risk that if a young child under the age of 8 accompanied by a carer is allowed into a changing room unattended, that the child is also able to enter the pool area on their own without protection of an accompanying carer, and so be at risk of drowning.

Young children in an open changing or showering area may embarrass some adult users. hence discretion should be exercised and due consideration shown by both the accompanying person and other adult users in the presence of a child. The overwhelming consideration in these circumstances has to be the safety of the child.


- No smoking, alcohol or drugs permitted on site.

- No food to be consumed in the changing room.

- No outdoor footwear to be worn by poolside.

- No spectators onto poolside without proir permission.

- No photographic equipment (including mobile phones with cameras installed) allowed onto the premises without prior written permission.


- No running or diving.

- No ducking or pushing people into or under the water.

- No acrobatics or gymnastics.

- No fighting or bullying.

- No swearing or spitting.

- No standing on or jumping onto floats.

- No holding or standing on lane ropes.

- When in operation please adhere to the lane directions.


- Please shower before entering the water.

- Please go to the toilet before swimming.

- No chewing gum whilst swimming.

- It is advised NOT to swim if you are suffering from the following: Ear infections, open wounds, coughs / colds etc.

- For bather safety, it is advised to inform one of our senior members of staff, if you suffer from any medical conditions that may hinder your swimming or water safety e.g. epilepsy, angina, asthma.

- These rules are not exhaustive. The lifeguards instructions should always be followed.


- Be aware of the lane pace and judge own ability accordingly.

- Swim single file to allow overtaking when necessary.

- Allow a reasonable and safe distance between fellow swimmers and yourself.

- Respect others personal space.

- Allow others to overtake at the end of the lane if necessary.

- Avoid talking or stopping in inappropriate places.

- Show respect from others when dealing with a problem; if necessary make the lifeguard aware.

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