Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 12:36 UK

School restricts swimming goggles

School swimmers with goggles
The school said it had to be legally covered for injuries

A Devon primary school has introduced restrictions on the wearing of swimming goggles by pupils.

St Sidwell's school said it was for safety reasons, following guidance from the Association of Physical Education (APE).

APE states that goggles "should only be allowed exceptionally in school swimming lessons, when chemicals in the water may adversely affect eyes".

Parent Tracy Brock told BBC News: "It's health and safety gone too far."

APE warns that the goggles could slip off children's heads or wearers could collide in the pool and cause "severe eye injury".

It says in sessions of more than 25 minutes, goggles could be justified.

People in charge of children are afraid of being sued, which is a shame
Tracy Brock

But it adds: "In these rare instances where the use of goggles may be allowed, the adult responsible for the group should have the prerogative to require the pupil to remove them for reasons of safety."

Mrs Brock, whose daughter Tess, 11, uses goggles to keep chlorine out of her eyes, said: "If it carries on like this we are going to be breeding a generation of namby pambies. They'll be frightened of their own shadow before too long.

"It's ridiculous, but I think it's the suing culture.

"People in charge of children are afraid of being sued, which is a shame.

"Everyone I have spoken to agrees with me."

The school said in a statement: "In the present culture we need to make sure we are legally covered in the event of a problem or injury.

"We do however try to be flexible and are happy to discuss with parents any concerns they may have."

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