Tuesday, June 09, 2009

British Nanny State Bans Swimming Goggles for Schoolchildren

England is back in the news for another short-sighted and stupid health and safety decision. This time, they're banning children from wearing goggles during swimming lessons.

The decision — made by the Department of People Who Don't Understand How Swimming Goggles Work — believe goggles are a "hazard and can cause permanent eye injury."

The ruling was issued by the British Association of Advisors and Lecturers in Physical Education about a school, Ysgol Bryn Coch primary in Mold, Flintshire.

Lifeguard trainer Tom Ingram told the London Daily Star this decision could stop children from learning swimming.

"In 10 years of training lifeguards and watching pools I have never known an injury from a pair of goggles," Ingram said. "In fact, it may be worse for kids not to wear goggles as it will stop them developing their stroke, make them strain their necks and leave their eyes exposed to the pool chemicals."

The ruling only allows goggles on medical grounds by children who suffer excessively from the effects of water chemicals.

Despite three families pulling their kids out of swim lessons, and at the risk of becoming a national laughing stock, headteacher Lynne Williams told the Sun, “It has been recognised that goggles can pose a real risk to children and this has been accepted by the governors.”

Said another way, "It has been recognized we have no idea what we're talking about. This has been accepted by everyone else in the entire world."

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