Proper supervision is key to water safety

Simply put, the key to water safety is proper supervision — and a large part of that job is knowing the abilities of all people in the water at your camp or conference center.

Church Mutual's Swimmer Safety Program® can give lifeguards and counselors an easy way to scan a swim area and immediately assess the skill levels of everyone in the water. The program calls for each swimmer to wear a red, yellow or green wristband that identifies each attendee as a non-swimmer, intermediate or qualified swimmer, respectively.

This program allows your camp to screen all swimmers before they spend any amount of time in the water. It includes a two-part swim evaluation test for both intermediate (yellow bands) and qualified (green bands) skill levels. People who are unable to demonstrate intermediate abilities are certified as non-swimmers. Wrist bands are to be worn at all times for all skills levels.

It’s also important to enforce boundaries for swimming levels with buoys, ropes and other markings.  Non-swimmers should not go beyond waist-deep water; intermediate swimmers should not swim into water deeper than their shoulders; and qualified swimmers typically are given access to the entire supervised swimming area. 

Adult supervision also is important as is having at least one certified lifeguard on duty at all times during youth water activities. The ratio of swimmers to supervisors should be at least 5-to-1 or fewer.

For more information on the Swimmer Safety Program and information video and to review safety suggestions for other water activities, visit The Swimmer Safety Program is available to customers at no cost. It contains:

  • Evaluation Forms to fill out for each swimmer, noting what tests were passed and what color wristband was issued to the individual.

  • Laminated guidelines for lifeguards and supervisors that fully explain the tests you use to establish skill levels.

  • Color-coded wristbands issued to swimmers, who are required to wear them at all times. Red is for non-swimmers and anyone under the age of seven. Yellow is for intermediate swimmers, who are not allowed in water above their shoulders. Green is for qualified swimmers, who have access to all swim areas.

We've learned that the primary key to water safety is proper supervision. A large part of that job is knowing the abilities of the people in the water. Order your Swimmer Safety Program today and take the first step in making your waters safer.

We’re here to help! For additional questions, contact Church Mutual Insurance Company’s Risk Control Central.

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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

© 2022 Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. All rights reserved. Protecting the Greater Good is a registered trademark of Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.

Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.