Parents often grab the first inexpensive pair of goggles they find at the swim school. With all the choices, it’s easy to be fooled into believing that they’re somewhat the same. Choosing the right pair of swim goggles comes down to knowing what to look for on the package. Once you’re sure goggles have these key features, you can narrow down the choice by color or look.
How to shop for swim goggles
First, don’t get rigid plastic goggles from a discount store. Although they look like standard goggles, they’re really just toys and won’t hold up to the rigors of swimming. Cheap foam gaskets deteriorate quickly in chlorine and sun, and the plastic lens can’t provide a clear underwater view.
Ideally, get your goggles from a swim store or swim school where you can try on several styles. Beginning swimmers need flexible goggles that will move with them. They should be comfortable enough to wear for hours. Hold the goggles in two hands and gently bend the frame at the nose bridge to see if it can keep up with a laughing, jumping child.
Avoid snorkel masks for beginning swimmers
Stay away from snorkel masks with integrated nose covers. It might be tempting because some kids can go underwater sooner if they don’t have to learn to hold their breath. But learning to control breathing is a critical swimming skill. Delaying breath control in new swimmers can increase their risk of drowning.
Half masks are great for kids learning to swim. The wide view of the mask helps them acclimate to underwater without impacting their breath control. As kids grow up and get more active in the pool, they might prefer a smaller profile goggle that won’t move on impact during a cannonball or dive.
Straps that small hands can manage independently
Straps can be the most infuriating thing about goggles. Most goggles only have a single strap around the back of the head, which means they’re constantly slipping down or need adjustments. Rubber straps pull hair and are the first part to break on a pair of goggles. Ask any swim store, and they’ll tell you they have a bucket of straps that they keep behind the counter for customer replacements.
The best choice is a split strap that holds goggles in place, reducing the chance of leaks. Frogglez patented strap design keeps goggles in place during the biggest jumps and dives. The comfortable, stretchy soft fabric glides right over long and curly hair without pulling. And, the neoprene can last for years.
UV protection and anti-fog coating
It’s hard to believe, but eyes are just as vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer as the rest of the body. UV damage accumulates over a lifetime, so it’s best to get kids used to goggles at a young age. Think of it this way; every time you apply sunscreen, apply eye protection. It doesn’t matter what color the lenses are; look for a label that says 100% UV protection.
Anti-fog coating keeps the underwater view crystal clear so kids feel more comfortable learning to swim. Get the most out of new goggles by rinsing them in clear water after each use and let them dry before storing. Keep them out of the sun and heat when they’re not in use.
Features to look for on the swim goggle package
When it comes to goggles, most kids prefer bright colors, shiny lenses, or sparkly attachments. Let them choose fun features they want only after you’ve made sure the goggles have what they actually need. For example, lens color is a preference, UV protection is a requirement.
To fit well and stay watertight, look for an impact-resistant polycarbonate lens fitted into a flexible frame surrounded by a large silicone gasket. Choose a strap that small hands can manage independently so they can put them on and off without asking for help.
- Impact-resistant polycarbonate lens
- Silicone frame
- Large silicone gasket
- Flexible or adjustable nose bridge
- Split strap
- 100% UV protection
- Anti-fog coating
Take care of your new swim goggles
Unwrapping brand new goggles is almost magical. You can practically feel the possibilities of fast swims and underwater adventures. All too often, that promise of underwater vision slips away the first time they leak. Help keep the magic of swimming alive by choosing goggles that work well. Your child’s confidence will soar and you’ll enjoy watching them learn a life-saving sport.