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Finis Fruit Basket Jr Swim Goggles Protected My Babies' Eyes

Updated on March 1, 2014

When I was little, I didn't wear goggles.

In fact, I was one of those strange children who would voluntarily swim under water with open eyes hoping to find pennies, rings, or other treasures at the bottom of the pool.

My red, stinging eyes were annoying, but not something anyone worried about.

I didn't actually start wearing goggles until I joined a swim team at age 11. I remember the hard foam, the constant leaks and broken straps. Swim goggles were made for adults, so they never really fit until high school.

Fast forward many years, and I was taking my baby to his first swim lesson at a small swimming facility dedicated to teaching little ones how to swim and be safe in the water. The swim instructor was a former Olympic swimmer. Her whole family had dedicated their lives to teaching swimming to young children.

I was confused at first, when I saw goggles wrapped around tiny heads. Even though I had taught swim lessons in college, the idea of babies and toddlers wearing goggles was new to me. It just wasn't done.

When the swim instructor explained why pool water wasn't great for young eyes, it made so much sense. Of course, eyes turn red and burn because of a reaction to chemicals in pool water. Why would I want to do that to my child?

The warm instructional pool had a bucket full of their own Finis Fruit Basket Jr Goggles for swim lesson use. The brightly colored goggles had small gaskets (the round part that fits on the eyes) and a double strap that went around the back of the head. They were made of very soft silicone. Different colors even had funky fruity smells, which kids loved. The nose piece was connected so there were no sharp edges around the face.

At the beginning of the lesson, the instructor showed me how to put the goggles on my son by spreading the straps around the fingers and thumbs of both my hands. I stretched the strap around the back of his head first, then gently stretched the front of the goggles over the forehead, nose, then eyes. The instructor had goggles on too. She encouraged mommies and daddies to wear them during lessons because kids- even babies, like to belong and follow the lead.

If the goggles didn't fit, the lesson was no longer about learning how to swim, but about painful eyes.

Sure, other brands of goggles were cheaper and had cute princesses, superheros or Nemo attached to the front. Nonetheless, kids really didn't want to wear them because they leaked or just plain hurt.

Baby and toddler swim lessons were similar to "Mommy and Me" classes with singing and games, but they were also designed to promote water safety and prevent drowning in young children. Kids were taught how to save themselves and paddle back to the wall as soon as possible.

Sure, kids were also taught how to swim without the goggles to prepare for a real accident, but eyes were protected from pool chemicals for the majority of the lesson time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88 percent among young children age 1-4, who are at greatest risk of drowning.

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To see if the goggle fits, do a little magic trick .

Forget about the strap for a moment. Press the gaskets (goggle pieces) very gently on the eyes until there is a bit of suction. If the goggles fit correctly, the goggles stay put for a few seconds even after letting go. If the goggles are too big, there will be no suction and they will just fall off. No suction, no seal...which means water will leak in.

The strap does hold the goggles in place, but the strap can't correct for a lack of suction and a poor fit. Pulling the strap tighter will just make the goggles hurt.

FINIS H2 Jr Blue/Clear
FINIS H2 Jr Blue/Clear

These goggles are a tiny bit bigger than the Fruit Basket Jr goggles. They are perfect for some toddlers or young childen.

FINIS Jelly Pink/Purple
FINIS Jelly Pink/Purple

These are also bigger, with a different shape gasket.


Nice demo of the magic trick on some older kids. It is the same idea for smaller faces.

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