That never-ending battle to get children to keep their goggles on - it's every swimming teacher's bug bear. But in the child's defence, it is very hard to come across a pair of goggles that fit and stay on and don't leak or rub. This post is dedicated to a bit of goggle education.
Firstly, cheap goggles are a false economy. They're often very hard to adjust, steam up quickly and begin to leak after not much use. It's much better to pay a bit more and get a pair that will last for several years and that work as goggles should.
Below are a couple of types of goggles that we at Bruton Swimmers recommend. You can get them from Rich at Ram Sports who is incredibly helpful. He is based in Wincanton on the high street opposite Boots. You can always phone him up on 01963 31779 as he can probably drop off any goggles at my house on Wednesdays and I can deliver them to you at the pool (you can either pay me or pay him).
Aquasphere Seal Goggles:
These are brilliant for children who don't like the idea of goggles as they're more like a snorkel, allowing a great field of vision. It also avoids the issue of the nose band which is often not the right size and can make goggles leak, which of course puts children off using them. Seal goggles are an expensive option, but they often fit children for several years, so they are very much worth it.
Aquashpere Moby Kid
These are more like a traditional pair of goggles and suitable across a wide age range (3 to 11). They seem to fit most children's faces which is very unusual. They adjust very easily and are also easy to put on and off.
A bit about wearing goggles
When should children get goggles?
The answer is not easily answered, as it really depends on the child. However, for younger children that can't swim and are learning water confidence, I wouldn't really recommend goggles as it's good to get them used to swimming without them. When they start practicing putting their faces in is generally considered a good time to start using goggles as they may be reluctant without them.
Some children aren't interested in goggles and that is absolutely fine, as long as it isn't hindering them learning to swim (eg putting face in or swimming in a straight line). We have a few children who swim very well without goggles and manage just as well as those who swim with them.
How can we help our child get used to goggles?
When children first get their goggles, it's a great idea to try them in the bath, both for fit and to practice putting their faces in the water. Equally, it's good to practice putting them on and off (and preferably, keeping them on for longer than 2 minutes)! The best way to get goggles on is to get children to hold their hands over the eye piece whilst you put the strap over their hair. Remember that the strap needs to be quite high otherwise the goggles will probably leak.
Children often want to take goggles off for a bit which is absolutely fine, but they can then get in the habit of on/off/on/off which can waste quite a lot of time during lessons. If they do want to take them on and off it's best to teach them to put the eye piece on their forehead whilst keeping the straps where they are: that way when they need to put them on again it's just a case of pulling the eye pieces back into place.
Hopefully that will help and as always, please get in touch with any questions!