During the Y’s Open Swim, please keep safety in mind. Lap swimmers, please don’t ignore proper lap swim protocol:

  • Lap Swimming Tips: Please enter the pool from the shallow end. To avoid accidents, when entering an occupied lane, please get the first swimmer’s acknowledgement that you are there. Please get kickboards, pull buoys, etc., before entering the pool.
  • Directions: If there are one or two swimmers in the lane, they must split the lane in half. The entrance of a third person immediately changes the lane to “circle” swimming format.


For aquatic patrons ages 13 and under

Children are the victims in nearly half of all drownings in the US each year according to the Center for Disease Control. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths for children 13 and under with nearly half of those children drowning in guarded pools. In additional, five times as many children are victims of near-drowning incidents each year.

The Mahaska County YMCA is committed to implementing proven prevention efforts to ensure that children who swim in our pool are safe. To end that, according to industry standards, children ages 13 and under will be tested to evaluate swimming competency. Any child that does not take or pass the swim test will be restricted from deep water but may still gain access to the shallow end of the pool.


  • Child must swim continuously for 25 yards without touching walls, lane line, or bottom of the pool.
  • Child must tread water for at least 1 minute.
  • Swimmers must pass both tests to be considered for the green wristband.

Swimmers who pass, will receive a GREEN wristband and gain full access to the pool.

Swimmers that do not pass or do not wish to take the test, will receive a RED wristband and will be required to stay in the shallow with a life jacket on while in the pool.

Children who receive a red band may swim without a life jacket IF the 4 feet shallow end hits under their armpit.

This policy will be strictly adhered to at all times and does not substitute the need for a parent/guardian of at least 18 years of age to be on the pool deck. Patrons to which the Aquatics Youth Supervision Policy applies can be tested once weekly.