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bizarre swimming goggle rules

34 replies

lucykate · 31/05/2011 18:29

dd (age 9) wears prescription goggles for swimming (poor vision), there is already a bit of a contradiction in our area when it comes to goggles in that she is allowed to wear them for her paid swimming lesson, but not allowed to with her school swim (same pool, same teaching staff, although we have special permission as she cant see without them)

been swimming to a different local pool today, dd went on the slide with her goggles on, the lifeguard knew and said it was ok. second time she went on, and now we're told by a different lifeguard she can't wear them. it does say in the pool rules no goggles, fair enough, but i'm a bit puzzled as to why they have this rule. the manageress said it was because goggles can hit the face causing injury, but...

  1. surely goggles have gone through health & safety testing before actually being put on sale as a product?

2. olympic swimmers wear goggles while traveling fast through water.

3. how can something already strapped tightly to the face, hit you in the face?

4. they were quite happy for dd to go on the slide without her goggles. to climb quite high, up steep, wet, slippery steps without actually being able to see where she's putting her feet. is that not more dangerous?

so, aibu?, are these goggles rules needed or is it health & safety gone mad?
OP posts:

LordOfTheFlies · 31/05/2011 18:34

At Butlins I wasn't allowed to wear goggles on the rides/slides even though I wear soft contact lenses.Had to scrunch up my eyes (can't see at all well without them)

DS went swimming with school.They had to wear goggles presumably to protect eyes from intensely strong chlorine.


alarkaspree · 31/05/2011 18:35

I've never heard of a no goggles rule before. I have never heard of a goggles- related facial injury either, although I'm sure it has happened.

This one is health and safety gone mad. You could either write to the manager, explaining that your dd wears prescription goggles and asking if they would consider reviewing their policy (maybe they didn't think of prescription-goggles-users when they came up with the rule), offer to sign a paper indemnifying them against any facial injury lawsuits by your family. Or go to a different pool.


AgentZigzag · 31/05/2011 18:36

Never heard such a load of old rubbish.

What else are you supposed to do with goggles??


BeerTricksPotter · 31/05/2011 18:37

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KittySpencer · 31/05/2011 18:39


I don't understand the goggles rules. I wrote in to the school to say both my DC would wear goggles for school swimming lessons as they have sensitive eyes which are painfully irritated by the chlorine in the pool - absent that letter they wouldn't have been able to wear them. Have never understood why they're not generally allowed though.

In your DD's situation the real risk of her not being able to see without goggles and injuring herself seems a lot greater than a perceived risk of them hitting her in the face (and no, I can't see how that would happen either!)


BeerTricksPotter · 31/05/2011 18:46

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lucykate · 31/05/2011 20:55

well, glad it's not just me who thinks it's a bit mad. think i will write to the pool and ask them to clarify this rule.

OP posts:

EvilTwins · 31/05/2011 21:00

I agree tis weird. My Dnieces both have swimming lessons for which they have to wear goggles, but when they go swimming with their school they're not allowed. Dsis has questioned school but it seems to come down to the teachers not wanting to take charge of 30 pairs of goggles - too much potential for losing them. Dsis asked whether she could put it in writing that she would take responsibility and if Dniece lost them, there would be no come-back for the school, but they said no. Consequently, my youngest niece, who is a superb swimmer for her age, won't go in the "big" pool with school as it hurts her eyes.

Pools seem to make up their own rules about these things!


lucykate · 31/05/2011 21:39

have emailed them. will report back when/if they respond.

OP posts:

TheArmadillo · 31/05/2011 22:04

had exactly the same prob 18 odd years ago as I used to have prescription goggles - only some pools though, where others were fine, I couldn't see a thing otherwise so was more dangerous without them surely.

never heard of anyone having an accident wearing goggles either.


lucykate · 03/06/2011 16:44

had an emailed response today from the swimming pool. they confirm the rule is no goggles, they don't explain why the rule is no goggles but do say they are going to review the rules bearing my comments in mind.

no idea if that's got me anywhere or not, but in the meantime have promised dd next time we go swimming we'll go to a different pool.

OP posts:

clam · 03/06/2011 16:53

Part of the reason many schools ban them is that the kids fiddle incessantly with them, rather than listening to instructions. And they snap the straps in each others' faces. And the teachers have to spend ages adjusting the straps before the lesson can begin. And they get broken and then the kids panic and fuss about having to swim without and so on.
But if there's a real medical need, such as lucykate's dd, then an exception would be made.


floradee · 03/06/2011 17:43

no goggles at all? That's awful. I could never learn to swim until I had goggles (that was when I was an adult); the water hurt my eyes too much. My poor mother spent years taking me to lessons without me progressing beyond an adept doggy paddle -- all because of no goggles. Was a miracle revelation to get them as an adult and finally able to learn a basic stroke.

No goggles on a slide makes some sense, but none in the regular pool sounds crazy.


ohanotherone · 03/06/2011 17:47

I would contact the HSE - Just google the Health & Safety Executive. They will be able to advise about this, then you can tell the pool that actually, as a parent you have assessed the risk and their policy is bollocks.

HSE has Health and Safety "Myths of the Months" and often these policies are as a result of someone who is not that bright making up their own rules.


foreverondiet · 03/06/2011 18:58

No goggles at all or just none on the slide?

If none at all, I wouldn't go back to that pool, how are you supposed to learn to swim without putting your face in the water. Totally mad! If just none on the slide, well a bit mad but possibly fair enough.

The point about falling into a river - yes, once you are a confident swimmer then you can practise without.


lucykate · 03/06/2011 22:38

it was no googles allowed on the slide. issue i had is dd wears prescription googles, can't see well without them. they were happy for her to climb up the wet slippy slide steps without them and unable to see though!

OP posts:

Mumwithadragontattoo · 03/06/2011 23:06

I think the problem on the slide is if she bashes her face on it the goggles could break and injure her eye. It is obviously a small risk but a significant one. Maybe she could wear them as she climbs the ladder and then come down the slide with them in her hand?


melpomene · 04/06/2011 00:17

In reply to the point about falling into a river, surely if you follow that logic they should all be fully-clothed in swimming lessons instead of wearing swimsuits?


hanaka88 · 04/06/2011 08:30

You should say sweetly 'ok that's fine, can I have your name though? In case of her hurting herself through not being able to see?'


TeenieLeek · 04/06/2011 08:47

Surely the answer is to explain to her that she can't go on the slide? And aren't you worried that she was silly enough to go on it when she couldn't see? Lifeguard prob has no idea how bad her eyesight was.


melpomene · 04/06/2011 10:16

If she needs prescription goggles due to sight problems, is it possible that it could be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act? I just had a look at the guidance here on the definition of disability, and it says that if someone has a sight problem they consider their ability to see when wearing glasses/lenses. So it's not clear what the situation is if a supplier (ie the swimming pool in this case) forbids someone from wearing their corrective lenses.

Even if the general rule is forbidding goggles, I think they ought to make an exception where prescription goggles are needed to see, so it may be worth mentioning the DDA to the pool?


ragged · 04/06/2011 14:24

DC have a swim teacher who requires on 7-8 sessions of fully clothed swimming each year. But she does allow goggles... swimming pools are full of hurtful chlorine, as a rule.


cuttingpicassostoenails · 04/06/2011 16:34

In a well run, controlled swimming session goggles are no problem. In a pool with many children and adults sharing the same space they can be dangerous. A swimmer getting an accidental kick in the face (swimming under water makes one especially vulnerable) can be seriously injured if wearing a pair of goggles.


vintageteacups · 04/06/2011 16:47

Our paid lessons pool/school pool rules are the same as your op. If you have private lessons, you can wear them and when having school lessons in same pool with same staff, you can't....unless you sign something to say it's medically necessary (which I say it is).

I understand the not wearing on slides etc but as for jumping in and swimming, it's daft.


olderandwider · 04/06/2011 16:52

M'lud and learned friends. Are there any actual recorded cases of children

being injured by wearing goggles at public pools? Do these cases outnumber

the cases of children not allowed to wear goggles being affected by:

severe eye irritation
lost contact lenses
bumping into objects due to loss of said lenses
bumping into objects because their goggles are prescription and they can't see clearly without them
drowning because they never learned to swim because of the no goggles rule?

Case adjourned for further evidence gathering.

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