Do you Wear Contact Lenses?
No googles is not our rule, but the American Red Cross policy.
No Goggles During the Course
The only time during the course you will be allowed to wear goggles is during the 300-yard swim prerequisite test.
You will not be allowed to wear goggles for any skills training or final testing during the lifeguard course. The Red Cross warns:
“Goggles are not made for underwater swimming. There is no way to equalize the pressure inside the goggles with the increasing pressure outside the body. The air volume inside the goggles tends to compress. This compression tends to “pull” the eyeball out of the socket to effectively reduce the trapped air volume. If swimmers spend time below the surface of the water wearing goggles they may pop blood vessels in their eyes. Goggles should not be worn for underwater swimming . . . Submerging to a depth of 5 feet or greater has the potential to cause barotraumas to the eye of an individual wearing swim goggles that cannot be pressure equalized.”
A lifeguard would not have the time to put on goggles just before they do a rescue, and would not wear them all the time to guard.
What Do the Pros Do?
1. If their vision correction is minor and they can easily see they skip wearing your contacts in the pool and just wear them or glasses in the classroom.
2. If they can't see what's going on without correction and plan on wearing their contacts during the swimming portions of the course, experienced lifeguards usually open their eyes underwater without losing their contacts by simply squinting underwater. Opening an eye or two just a little lets you see underwater without losing the lens. Also, you can skip opening your eyes altogether by holding your breathing longer, and feeling around for your target, or again just taking the tiniest squint while feeling around.
3. Some pros wear their contacts in only one eye, using the uncorrected eye to see underwater.
4. They bring extra lenses in case they lose them.
5. They know wearing contact lenses during swimming is not recommended by eye doctors, but may choose to take the risk to become/stay a lifeguard. Talk to your eye doctor.
6. If they don't want to take the risk, they have prescription sports glasses made. These can be worn swimming and work great for class.