Just when you thought you had everything you need for your toddler, swim class rolls around and you need to buy goggles. As with everything else, you want the best for your toddler, preferably without spending a fortune. Many types of goggles are available, from lower-end dollar store options to competitive eye wear. Because we are talking about a toddler, you only need mid-range goggles that are safe and comfortable.
Goggles are particularly useful in chlorinated water. Your child will feel more confident in the water because he can keep his eyes open longer and won't be discouraged by stinging eyes. Don't leave goggles behind when you go on vacation. Goggles are just as useful in saltwater, which becomes irritating after prolonged exposure. It's a good idea to condition your toddler to wearing goggles before your next vacation.
Comfort might not seem like an important safety feature, but when it comes to goggles and toddlers, it's relevant. If your child is comfortable in his goggles, he's more likely to keep them on his face. Toddlers who fuss with their goggles can snap their skin with the elastic band and create a choking hazard by dangling them around their neck. Look for straps that are easy to adjust but also stay in place once they are adjusted. The best straps will be ones that he can adjust by himself as he develops the skills. You'll also want a nose piece that doesn't pinch his little nose.
You can buy goggles with almost any kind of lenses. Run-of-the-mill lenses work in most circumstances. However, if your child wears glasses, you'll need prescriptive lenses. Those cost more but will give him confidence in the water. He'll be able to see you clearly and it will be easier for him to mimic the motions of other swimmers and instructors. This helps keep him safe in the water because he is less likely to panic. If you are going to be swimming outdoors, particularly in sunny locations, you'll want to invest in lenses with UV filters to protect his eyes when he's out playing.
Some pools and instructors do not approve of goggles. Children need to learn how to open their eyes under the water and how to get splashed in the face without panicking. If you are using goggles with your toddler, ensure that he also knows how to open his eyes underwater without the goggles. You can do this at home in the bathtub first, and then transition to the pool. Your swimming instructor will also help. It's a good idea to mix up using goggles so he gets used to both ways of swimming.