August 21, 2012

Is your child addicted to swimming with goggles?

Whenever you see anyone swimming seriously, you see them with goggles.  Why is that?

What are the advantages of using goggles when swimming?  The main reason is obvious, to see better!  But kids swim without goggles and don't seem to mind the water in their eyes.  When they are little, they swim and open their eyes.  It's only the older kids who are amazed when they see a little one with their eyes open and no goggles under the water.

When the child gets older and accustomed to using goggles, they may get to the point that they think they cannot swim without them, and that could get to be a dangerous place to be! 

In my early years of teaching I saw several children jump in the pool without their goggles or fall in the pool without them, panic and not be able to get to the side of the pool.  Since then I insist that my students swim some of the time without goggles.  I tell them that I understand that it is uncomfortable and hard to see but that they need to know that they don't need their goggles to swim.  And they so easily forget.  

We parents are responsible too!  How often do we remind them to put on their goggles?  In fact so much so that we help them subconsciously believe that they can't swim without them.

Most people think that it's the chlorine that hurts your eyes but most often the ph balance of the pool is the culprit.  As a former backyard pool owner of many years, it was a challenge to keep the alkalinity balanced for a sparkling clean pool.  (When we changed to a salt system it was much easier!)

Whenever we go to the pool or we plan swimming lessons for our kids we naturally think of goggles.  But which kind to get?  Many times I was tempted and bought the cheapest ones available but, not a good idea! 
No, I am not going to make it easy for you here and tell you which ones to buy or where to buy them.   There are lots of swim stores on the internet and local shops that sell some very good ones.  There also are very many types and fits for different ages and faces, you will have to try several probably before you find the type that you like.  Just look at this display of images of goggles
But remember, don't let your child get addicted to using goggles!  Periodically have your child get a toy from the bottom, swim to the side, and to you realizing that goggles make swimming more fun.  They are not a necessary tool  to make him a safe, accomplished swimmer.

Just after publishing this post I got an email from Finis - a company from whom I bought goggles for the kids and some new fins.

So here is a reason for the NEW BOLT goggles: to reduce drag and increase speed!!


  1. Wow! My son is addicted to googles. I never thought of it this way. Thanks for the post! I will take your advice!

    1. Thanks for writing. So now, how are you going to approach him? It is very important you take his feelings into consideration and not to scare him. I suggest that you or his Dad get in the pool and swim to the side without goggles, then challenge him to do it too. Or offer a reward if he gets a toy from the step or the bottom. It may take a few times for him to have the courage to do it!
      You might want to tell him that the goggles might come off when he jumps in. In Beijing in 2008, Michael Phelps dived in for the 200 meter butterfly and his goggles filled with water. Unperturbed, he swam with goggles filled with water to a new world record. You just want him to practice so that he can swim like Michael Phelps!


What do you think? I want to hear your experiences and I promise to answer your questions and concerns!