Goggles banned at school swimming lessons in Britain

Children have been banned from wearing goggles during school swimming lessons for fears they could hurt themselves. Pen-pushers have slapped the ban on the swimming aids amid "fears" a pair could "snap" onto a child's face too hard, injuring them.

Parents branded the ruling by Oxfordshire County Council's healthy and safety brigade as "nutty" and "extreme."

However, bureaucrats defended its no-goggle policy claiming that it reflected national guidance provided by sports bodies. Children will now need a medical reason for them to be allowed to wear the protective eye wear in the pool during school lessons.

Teenage swimmer Danni McFadden, aged 13 years, said: "It hurts my eyes if we swim without them and I go in the water." Her mother Carmel Ryan added: "I remember being a child and I thought it was great swimming underwater. "It makes swimming more fun. "The professional swimmers wear goggles. "It's a bit nutty. "If they think someone is messing around with them, they should correct it. They do protect the eyes."

Zilah Grant, aged 24 years, of Wantage, Oxon., takes her son Khian, three, swimming regularly as it helps him with his disabilities. "I do not think it is very wise of them to do it. "Goggles bring the fun into swimming as you can see each other under water."

Last year Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to tear up health and safety regulations which "have become a music hall joke."

Oxfordshire is not alone in banning goggles. Last year, Leicestershire County Council advised schools of the "dangerous" eyewear which it said could snap back in childrenâ s faces, or make them bump into one another due to reduced peripheral vision. Hertfordshire County Council has done the same.

A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council refused to divulge the specific reason why goggles had been banned from its swimming pools. "This local authority, like others throughout the UK, reflects to schools the national guidance provided by various governing sport bodies on this issue," he said.

"These organisations include The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), the Swimming Teachers Association (STA), the Association for Physical Education and the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management."

The ASA said it did not have a strict policy on goggle use, but offered guidance to pool operators and parents.

The STA said children should be encouraged to not wear goggles in swimming lessons, but recognised they may be necessary for medical or other reasons. It added that goggles should meet British standards and fit correctly.


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