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Community Services

Wading pool admission requirements

Age restrictions at wading pools

Due to the level of risk involved in water environments and to ensure the safety of participants, the City of Winnipeg Community Services Department established the following rules for children using the wading pool:

  • Children under 7 years of age must have a parent or guardian 12 years of age or older actively supervising them at the pool and surrounding area at all times.
  • Children arriving onsite without suitable supervision will be asked to leave the wading pool area until they can return with an appropriate parent or guardian.

Wading Pool Attendants have complete authority.

  • Wading Pool Attendants have the right to allow or prevent access to any part of the pool or the pool in its entirety should there be any safety concerns regarding the patron’s use of the facility.

Active supervision

Role of the parent/guardian

  • Children under 7 years of age must be accompanied in the water by a parent/guardian at a ratio of 1:4 (1 parent/guardian to 4 children).
  • Stay within arm’s reach of your child(ren) at all times.
  • When parents entrust the supervisory responsibilities to the guardian, they should ensure that guardian understands and accepts the responsibility they are given. Guardians are required to be 12 years of age or older.
  • Parents/Guardians are responsible for the behavior of the child(ren) they bring to the wading pool.

Role of a Wading Pool Attendant

Source: Alert Lifeguarding in Action; The Lifesaving Society

  • To provide a safe and enjoyable experience through the performance of a high standard of care for the safety of our patrons.
  • The Wading Pool Attendant’s primary function is accident prevention achieved through patron education and influencing or directing patron behaviours.
  • Wading Pool Attendants work with patrons to ensure an understanding of pool rules, identification of potential risks and how to be water smart at a wading pool.
  • If, for any reason, the Wading Pool Attendant must leave the pool area, they will clear the wading pool of all patrons until they have resumed visual contact of the pool.
  • Wading Pool Attendants have complete authority with the emphasis on safety first. Should there be any safety issues regarding patrons use of the facility, wading pool attendants have the right to allow or prevent access to any part of thewading pool or the wading pool in its entirety.

Wading pool rules

  • Wading pools have a maximum depth of 45-60 cm ( 18-24 in.)
  • For children 12 years of age and under.
  • Children under 7 years of age must have a parent/guardian 12 years of age or older actively supervising them.
  • Appropriate swimwear is required (i.e. swimsuit, shorts).
  • Wading Pool Attendant must be on duty while swimming. (wading pools only)
  • Children who are not toilet trained are required to wear a leak-proof swim garment.
  • No play hazardous to other patrons. This includes, but is not limited to: running, climbing structures, spitting water, throwing buckets of water, the use of water guns or hitting.
  • No smoking within 30 m (City of Winnipeg BY-LAW NO. 62/2011).(See No Smoking By-law)
  • No alcohol/drugs.
  • No glass or food on the pool deck.
  • No large inflatable devices. (See floatation devices/Water toys)
  • No Diving.
  • Small water toys are allowed. (See floatation devices/Water toys)
  • No bicycles/skateboards/scooters/in-line skates, etc.
  • No abusive/profane language.
  • Animals are not permitted, with the exception of service animals. Service animals are not permitted in the water.
  • Do not drink pool water or water from spray features.
  • Persons infected with a communicable disease or having open sores cannot enter the water.

Floatation devices

Floatation devices are not allowed in wading pools with the exception of:

  • Life jackets
  • Floatation rings (no larger than 18 inches in diameter)
  • Water Wings

The Wading Pool Attendant has the authority to limit the use of floatation devices in the wading pool if it is at capacity.

Water Toys

  • Water toys such as small boats, water sieves, shovels, small buckets, etc., are allowed in the wading pool.
  • Patrons will be asked to remove water toys from the pool by the Wading Pool Attendant if the following occurs:
    • Buckets are used to throw water at other children or putting sand in the pool.
    • The wading pool is at capacity and the toys are deemed hazardous to other patrons.
    • The toys are causing issues among the children in the wading pool i.e. fighting over toys.
    • Water guns are not permitted.

Slide rules

  • Children 12 years of age and under only.
  • Children under 7 years of age must be actively supervised when using the slide.
  • Feet first only.
  • One child permitted at a time.
  • No playing at the bottom of the slide.

Use of technological devices at aquatic facilities

  • For a positive and safe experience for everyone at our aquatic facilities, patrons wishing to use cameras, video cameras or other photographic/smart devices to take pictures or video at the pool must have permission from onsite staff before doing so.
  • The use of all technological devices is prohibited in washrooms, change rooms and locker rooms.

Bathing capacity

  • “Maximum bathing load” means the total number of persons permitted in a swimming pool or other water recreational facility at any one time.
  • Bathing loads are established by the Manitoba Public Health Act.
  • For the safety of all patrons the bathing load will be enforced by the Wading Pool Attendant.
  • If a person arrives on site and the wading pool is at capacity, they will be required to wait until space becomes available.

Groups using wading pools

Groups are welcome during regular scheduled hours. Wading pools are free public facilities, bookings for group events such as birthday parties cannot be made. Capacity restrictions, group ratios, and supervision requirements must be met for all group use.

When Groups use City of Winnipeg facilities

  1. Groups are required to adhere to all rules.
  2. The Wading Pool Attendant has the right to allow or prevent access to any part of the wading pool or the pool in its entirety should there be any safety concerns regarding the group’s use of the facility.
  3. If the wading pool is at capacity, groups will be required to wait until space becomes available. Groups will be limited to a 2 -hour time frame during peak times.
  4. Group Leader /Child Ratios at Wading Pools for the safety of all children who attend the wading pool with a group, group leader to child ratios are required to be in place prior to entry into the pool.

These ratios consider each child’s different skills and abilities in an aquatic environment.

  • Children under 7 years of age: one leader required for every four children (1:4 ratio).
  • Children 7—12 years of age: one leader required for every fifteen children (1:15 ratio).
  • Maximum group size in the wading pool is 30.
  • Groups will be limited to a maximum of 2 hours during high demand.

Role of the Group Leader

  • Group leader to child ratios must be adhered to when the children are in the water and surrounding area.
  • Group leaders must be within arm’s reach of children when in the water for children under 7 years of age.
  • Group leaders must be actively supervising their group both in the water and surrounding area such as the spray pad.
  • Group leaders are responsible for the behaviour of the children that they bring to the wading pool.

Closing procedures

Draining of the wading pool is coordinated with the time the pool closes. Staff begin draining the pool prior to closing and as a result, there will not be a full basin of water at closing time. Children will be permitted to stay in the wading pool while it is draining under the following conditions:

  • They do not play near or sit on the drain.
  • There is no whirlpool present.
  • The wading pool attendant does not have to leave the wading pool area to attend to other facility requirements.

If, for any reason, the attendant must leave the pool area, the attendant will clear the wading pool of all patrons until he/she has resumed visual contact of the pool.

Unexpected Closures

The wading pool will be closed if the following occurs anytime during regular operating hours:

  • The weather turns to thundershowers during the day.
  • Lightning and/or thunder are present.
  • Water, electricity, access to a phone for emergencies, first aid kit or washroom facilities are not available.
  • Foreign material such as glass, fecal matter, vomit, animals or blood is found in the wading pool water and has the potential to affect pool water clarity and quality.
  • Maintenance issues.
  • Pool water clarity or quality does not meet Manitoba Public Health Act standards.
  • Chlorine & Ph not at Manitoba Public Health Act Standards

No smoking at wading pools

No Smoking (By-law 62/2011) Amended April 1, 2018

The No Smoking by-law includes but is not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes, (water pipes, hookahs and similar devices that allow the user to inhale tobacco, cannabis or any other substances and that generates second-hand smoke when being used.ie. vaping.

Smoking is not permitted

  • Smoking within 30m of athletic field or hockey rink during a youth event.
  • Smoking on playground. 
  • Smoking within 30m of swimming pool, wading pool, spray pad or spray park owned or operated by City of Winnipeg.
  • Smoking on school premises. 
  • Smoking within 8m of outdoor entrance to City of Winnipeg workplace.

Last update: June 22, 2022

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