What is the Lifeguard Swim Test for under-8s?

Lifeguard Swim Test FAQs

If your child is a good swimmer who is under 8, they can take the “Lifeguard Swimming Test” which means that, when they pass, they can as appropriate….

  • -Swim at the deep end of the pool.
  • -Swim in the pool away from their supervising adult.

Under-8s still need to be supervised, see below ratios, but the adult may be out of the pool watching the child when appropriate.

What does a child under-8 need to do to pass the “lifeguard swimming test”?

Under-8s need to show that they can….

1) Swim from the shallow to the deep end confidently with a stroke of the child’s choice.

2) Tread water for 30 seconds

3) Float on their back when requested by the lifeguard to show that they could understand the instruction and do this if needed in a rescue situation.

Ask a lifeguard at the pool if your child can do the test. There is no need to book, but if the lifeguards are busy then you may need to wait until a lifeguard comes available.

Why do we have this test?

We have the test to enable children under-8 who are confident swimmers to enjoy swimming throughout the pool, including at the deep end, away from their supervising adult if appropriate.

It means the adult may be on the side of the pool watching their child if this is suitable for the child in question.

Over-8s, including adults, who cannot swim should stay in the non-swimmers area.

Why is the test only for under-8s?

As with many public pools, under-8s need to be closely supervised, see below.  This test allows those who can swim, to enjoy the pool more and gives their adult a little more freedom too.

How many under-8s can I bring in to the pool?

One adult can bring up to two children under-8s into the pool, with under 4s wearing an attached buoyancy aid.

Where under-4s are not wearing an attached buoyancy aid then the ratio is 1:1. (The pool is 0.7m at the shallow).

All under-8 non-swimmers must be within arm’s reach of their adult at all times and must not go beyond the non-swimmers sign.

Under-8s will be classed as non-swimmers until they have passed the “lifeguard swimmers test”, see details above.

If my child has passed the “lifeguard swimming test” do they class as an over-8 so that I can supervise more children?

No. Under-8s still need to be supervised on the above ratios.

This is down to factors such as maturity, height, ability to communicate etc.

Our aim is to enable more people swim safely and enjoyably.

Please speak to a lifeguard if you have questions about your specific situation. Thank you!


For more information please get in touch.