I recommend children to wear swimming goggles from around two years of age if they can. Certainly when they are putting their face in the water more.
Using goggles is not just so children can see under the water but to also protect their eyes from the chemicals in water. Even in well managed pools there will be chlorine that will irritate eyes if swimming for long periods.
For children who may be reluctant to put their face in the water using goggles is one of the best ways to encourage them.
Often young children don’t like to put goggles on. I recommend letting them play with goggles at home. Using them in the bath is fun. Looking under water to retrieve sunken toys or using waterproof crayons to draw on the bottom of the bath. (Fun for the kids but less fun to clear up!) Role-play is great so your child can pretend to be a swimming teacher and dolls or teddies can wear goggles and go to their ‘swimming lessons’! Try to make wearing goggles fun. At the pool encourage your child but don’t push it too hard.
A few tips to help fitting goggles.
1. Straps shouldn’t be too loose or tight – neither will help to make a seal on the face.
2. For all ages I recommend more traditional two-piece goggles (i.e. two eye pieces). They fit a smaller face better. In my experience swimming masks rarely make a good fit.
3. To fit goggles place the eye cups on the face first and then pull the strap over the head.
4. If taking goggles off during pool time try to get your child to lift the goggles onto their forehead and not pull them down to their neck. You have to repeat the fitting procedure each time if you do the latter!