A question I hear a lot around the pool side and even in the ques at school drop off and collection – should children have swimming goggles? In fact I even heard it in my local supermarket today while getting lunch, hence why I thought of talking about it today.
From everything I have read there are a few takes on this and I am confident to say yes they should have swimming goggles, there is a but though. They should not be using them all the time. Let me explain this in a little more detail.
Protection from debris and chlorine in the water. I am sure if you have visited the average swimming pool you have finished with eyes feeling really sore from all of the chlorine in the water to keep the water clean. There are other chemicals and systems that can be used, however chlorine is the most common. You will also see hairs floating around, old gooey sticking plasters and other crap you really don’t want getting into your Child’s eyes. Despite all the filtration, care and maintenance in a modern pool, this cannot be helped and is a balanced risk you have to take. Googles will of course reduce the risk of large and small particles getting into the sensitive areas of the eye.
Your Child may well have a medical condition that might be aggravated without goggles, this really needs no more explanation, just use common sense here.
Under the water while swimming your Child can see much more clearly, helping to avoid accidents. I have seen a few blood noses in my time from people swimming across others and being hit in the face by an elbow, or as once happened a friend at school actually swimming into the wall at the end of the pool! (it wasn’t me….).
When you become more advanced it is great to see you are swimming straight and with good technique. Goggles can assist you here, allowing you a better sub aqua view of your body shape, the line you are taking and the shape of your hands. Also at this level you are going to have you head in the water the majority of the time so soreness becomes common place without the correct eye protection.
So When Shouldn’t We Use Swimming Goggles?
Until we are really happy putting our heads into water and staying there and every now and then from there onward. You may have read a few posts here and if so you will understand that my primary driver for getting people swimming is to reduce accidents associated with water, in fact in the UK there are 100,000 water-related rescue, and flood events annually, with circa 400 deaths. And the chances are there weren’t any goggles around during these horrid events.
Therefore you need to get everyone in your family happy to swim confidently in water without goggles on. This is really important as an impromptu slip into cold water is hard to deal with for a good swimmer, however if you are not used to opening your eyes the situation has turn heavily against you!
So to sum up, in my opinion, you should make sure you are as good a swimmer with or without them before you consider using them all the time, stay safe!