Outdoor Education (Swimming - Instructional)
Instructional swimming at Designated Swim areas in lakes, ponds and rivers.
Secondary - Curricular 2023
- Designated Swim Areas (waterfront) in camps are governed by Ontario Regulation 503/17 (s. 24 and 25).
- Also consult Outdoor Education (General Procedures).
- Consult Swimming if the activity occurs in a pool.
- Consult Outdoor Education (Swimming - Leisure) for a definition of and safety standards for leisure swimming if, during an instructional swimming session, the focus moves from instructional to leisure swimming.
- Consult Outdoor Education (Swimming – on Watercraft and Land-based Trips) for a definition of and safety standards for swimming at Non-Designated Swim areas in lakes, ponds and rivers when on Outdoor Education watercraft and/or land-based trips.
- Those supervising the waterfront area (for example, aquatic instructor or lifeguard) must have a whistle or other signaling device.
- Boundary markers must be used to establish the swimming area.
- Correctly fitting and Transport Canada approved personal flotation device (P.F.D.) or lifejacket must be worn by identified non-swimmers at all times when near or in the water.
- Accessibility to standard safety equipment as stated in Ontario Regulations 503/17, s. 24 is required:
- one or more buoyant rescue aids attached to a shoulder loop with a 6mm (0.25”) line at least 1.6m (5’3”) in length
- one or more reaching poles of 3.6m (12’) or greater in length
- one or more buoyant throwing aids attached to a 6mm (0.25”) line at least 8m (26’5”) in length
- spinal board
- paddleboard or boat, when any part of the swimming area is more than 50m meters from the shore
- Appropriate attire must be worn.
- Prior to swimming, the teacher must check with local authorities to determine whether water is safe for swimming (for example, location, water quality and away from fast moving water).
- Designated Swim area must:
- Be clearly designated with defined physical boundaries (for example, at camps buoyed, or enclosed dock areas);
- Have boundaries that are clearly visible to watercraft users (for example, buoy line is visible to users of personal watercraft and motorboats occupying the same body of water);
- Be free from hazards;
- Be of suitable water temperature; and
- Have stationed water rescue equipment.
- Teacher and trip guide/instructor/lifeguard (as appropriate) must:
- be aware of and respond to changing weather and water conditions prior to and during the excursion; and
- cancel, postpone or alter the excursion if conditions put students’ safety at an elevated level of risk (for example, wind, temperature, lightning storms, fog).
- Do not swim if there are any indications of hazardous weather (for example, lightning, high winds). If hazardous weather approaches, leave the water immediately. Prior to allowing students back into the water, there must be a 30-minute lapse from the last visual observation of lightning or sound of thunder. If possible, consult local weather radar predictions and Canadian lightning danger maps.
- Inform in-charge person of any student with a medical history or any medical problems that may affect the student’s safety in water (for example, diabetes, asthma, heart condition, convulsions, epilepsy, frequent ear infections).
- A swimmer counting system must be used at regular intervals (for example, number students, blow whistle and have them count off). Use this counting procedure at the beginning, every 15 minutes, and as the students exit the water.
- Duration of swim must depend on:
- the capability of swimmers;
- the weather conditions;
- the conditions of water; and
- the time of day.
- Diving is only permitted in designated swim areas where there is sufficient water depth (2.75m [9’] minimum) and safe water conditions.
- No swimming after sunset or before sunrise.
- Students must not retrieve water toys that go outside the designated swim area. Water toys that go outside the defined swim area boundaries can only be retrieved when safe to do so via watercraft, (approved by a lifeguard or aquatic instructor), and not by the acting lifeguard or aquatic instructor while supervising.
- Students must be made aware of all rules and regulations associated with the swimming area.
- Students must be informed of acceptable standards of behaviour.
- Lifeguards must be readily identifiable to all swimmers at all times.
- In a water emergency situation, the aquatic instructor/lifeguard is in charge. Where an emergency situation extends beyond the water, accessing emergency medical services or emergency transportation from the site, the teacher in charge of the trip in consultation with the aquatic instructor/ lifeguard and where appropriate trip guides are to determine an action plan in accordance with school board procedures.
- An emergency action plan must be in place and communicated to all trip guides, instructors and teachers.
- During the initial swim, students must demonstrate procedures for exiting the water during emergency situations (for example, 3 loud whistle blasts).
- On-site supervision is required.
- Teachers must accompany students to the swimming area and be present at the swimming area or in the water during the activity.
- Despite the supervision required, the lifeguard (at a recreational camp) shall ensure that, where non-swimmers, persons with special needs, or those under five years of age using the waterfront area in the camp, additional supervision is provided that, in the opinion of the operator, is adequate having regard to the characteristics and number of children using the waterfront area. R.R.O. 2018, Reg. 503/17, s. 24 (3).
Aquatic Instructor Qualifications
- At least one aquatic instructor or lifeguard must have a minimum of a current (not more than three years prior to the day on which the holder is on duty) first aid certificate (standard or higher) including CPR C issued by one of the following agencies: St. John Ambulance; Canadian Red Cross; Lifesaving Society; Canadian Ski Patrol; or an organization whose certificate is deemed equivalent by the medical officer of health in the local health unit.
Swim Test for Shallow and Deep Water - Waterfront
- An initial screening/testing of swimming ability must be done at Designated Swim areas in shallow water (equal or less than 1.35m) prior to the activity.
- Students must successfully complete the following swim test, without a personal flotation device (P.F.D.) or lifejacket, to be designated a "swimmer":
- tread water for 1 minute
- swim 50 m (164’)
- Identified non-swimmers and students who do not successfully complete the swim test, must wear a properly fastened P.F.D. or lifejacket:
- for instructional swims. The P.F.D. or lifejacket can be removed during instructional swims when the non-swimmer is under constant visual supervision by the instructor during learn-to-swim skill instruction and/or practice;
- when on a dock or when at a shoreline where the depth of the water is deemed a risk.
Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery for the Swim Test for Shallow and Deep Water
- Appropriate swimwear must be worn.
Aquatic Instructor Qualifications for the Swim Test for Shallow and Deep Water
Lifeguard Qualifications for the Swim Test for Shallow and Deep Water
Supervision Ratios for the Swim Test for Shallow and Deep Water
Fri, 11/03/23 01:17 pm