Should a child wear goggles when swimming ?
There are several reasons why a child may want to use goggles when swimming.
The most prevalent is goggles allow them to see. When underwater one’s senses get dulled, sounds travel badly and scent is nonexistent. You can see underwater without goggles of course but the sight is exceptionally blurry and the act is rather uncomfortable. Using goggles gives a person a clear look below the surface without causing the eyes irritation.
Goggles can help prevent eye infections when swimming, giving the swimmer protection from contaminants in the water. They also provide an idea of how one’s body moves through the water, leading to better form as small corrections are made.
That of course does not mean everyone should wear goggles all the time, some people vastly prefer not to use goggles in the water. Just as some prefer not to use swim aids like flutter boards because that’s all goggles are, a swimming aid to help one swim.
Many kids go into lessons at 3-4 years old without goggles, some of them enjoy the water, others struggle getting their face in the water and need goggles to get over that hurdle.
That being said, Children should be given the opportunity to swim without goggles, this lets the child get used to the feeling of water. A child should grow comfortable enough in the water to if not open their eyes without goggles then at least have their eyelids relaxed in the water.
Keeping their eyes screwed shut underwater can cause problems if a child is in a dangerous scenario.
For anyone learning swimming, not just kids, try to swim without goggles for the first couple lessons. All students should practice submersions, dunking your head underwater and returning to the surface.
For more experienced swimmers a common practice is jumping into deep water with eyes closed and returning to the surface, mimicking a disoriented swimmer trying to find the surface. It is very important for all swimmers to know which way is up.
In the end every kid will have a different experience in the water, some kids myself included hated the water with a passion. I was only able to enjoy swimming after I started using goggles, allowing me to see under the surface which opened up a whole new world.
Some kids staunchly refuse to use goggles because they find them uncomfortable, or they just have learned without them. It comes down to personal choice and I encourage every kid to find what works best for them.