We hope you are having a FINStastic day! You have been in swim lessons for weeks now and we hope your child is having a blast. Here at FINS we get asked about goggles all the time. Does my child need them? Do goggles help? Why does FINS require children to complete some skills without goggles?
Does my child need goggles? In our Intro to Swim and Safety Levels, it is totally up to your child (and you). FINS does not require goggles in our intro levels. We find most children do prefer to use them. While many younger children do not like the feel of goggles on their faces, most will change their minds and prefer to wear them as they get older. Having eye protection does eliminate a lot of the distraction that comes with splashes to the eyes or eye irritation after water exposure. We do recommend goggles, andwe do ask that your child have their own pair if they plan to use them. While FINS has a limited number of pairs to borrow, those are reserved for the occasional use if a child forgets their own . As a bonus, having their own pair of goggles will also help the instructor focus more class time on learning to swim and less time adjusting goggle straps!
Do goggles help a child to learn to swim? Having goggles does tend to aid in the process when swimming longer distances in our advanced levels and helps eyes not be become irritated from prolonged exposure to water (whether that is in a pool, ocean, lake or river). They may also help cut down on distractions. However, as mentioned above, the use of goggles in our intro levels does not directly affect the ability to master skills.
Why does FINS require children to complete some skills without goggles? We have not been shy about expressing that our main focus is on water safety and drowning prevention. By the time your child completes this program, they will be able to fall in, turn around and swim to the wall WITHOUT goggles. We require this as an exit skill because should your child accidentally fall into a pool, it is highly unlikely that they will be wearing goggles. We want to simulate the accidental fall while practicing so that it feels as familiar as possible in the real event. Our goal is for them to know how to perform the self-rescue techniques instinctively and in all circumstances.
Where should I buy goggles? FINS sells goggles we LOVE and work well for many swimmers. In addition, there are a few local swim shops who sell other brands if you would like to explore further. Buying goggles at a big box store may not be the best plan. We tend to notice more leaking and quicker breaking of those goggles. A good pair purchased a FINS or a local swim shop will only cost a few more dollars, but will be worth it’s weight in gold! How do we define a “good pair” of goggles? First and foremost is comfort. The child must like the way they feel. Secondly, you must make sure the part around the eye seals tightly on the face. If the goggles are too big (or too small) water will constantly leak in making the goggles essentially useless.
Be on the lookout next week for our final email in this series. We will talk about ways you can help further advance your child’s swim and safety skills by practicing at home!