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My children swim really well. Surely they can be treated differently from those who cant swim?

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Yes they can! Pool operators are encouraged to take account of swimming ability and to maximise access to pools.

Clearly there are practical limitations to assessing ability on a case-by-case basis, but there are schemes for certifying good ability.

For example, the ASA and ISRM (the leading national professional body for sport and recreational management in this country) have a Safe Swimming Award. It is like a passport to swim and certifies a level of swimming ability and water confidence.

To get the award a child must jump into water at 1.5metres or more so that his or her head goes right under - or in shallow water hold a submerged mushroom float for 10 seconds. The child must also swim 50metres in under two minutes and tread water for a minute without a break.

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