Kids Ask the Darndest Things … and FOSS Answers!

When you teach kids, you have a chance to see the world through their eyes. They notice and are curious about things that grown-ups dismiss or simply never think to ask about.

Our teachers have heard a lot of questions over the years, and we go out of the way to answer them all as best we can. But we realized the kids we talk to in person probably aren’t the only ones who wonder, and their parents might never hear. So in this article, we want to answer five questions we heard at the pool recently for the benefit of parents too!

1. What are the numbers teachers wear on their shirts?

All FOSS teachers have the number “25” on their sleeves, in recognition of the school’s 25th anniversary in 2018. But if you look around you might also see some people wearing the number “5” on their back. This indicates a person who was selected as a member of your location’s Fab Five – the five FOSS employees recognized for their outstanding work the previous quarter!

2. Why does it sting if I open my eyes underwater?

We have to control the water in the pool to keep it clean and safe. We balance the pH and add chlorine. But neither of these things cause stinging – the stinging comes from used-up chlorine (think of the chlorine as a policeman, that goes in the water, grabs some dirt or contaminant, and then drags it off to the filter to be removed.) If your eyes sting, that’s the chlorine that has grabbed a contaminant and it is on its way to the filter. It can’t hurt you and should not even sting too much; most swimmers don’t even notice it after a while.

(The formal term is “combined chlorine” and of course this all happens at the molecular level. FOSS tests regularly to keep combined chlorine levels low, and well within national guidelines.)

3. When do I get goggles like the big kids?

You actually don’t need goggles, and at FOSS we want kids to learn to be comfortable without them first for safety – falling into the water by accident usually happens without goggles, so we want swimmers to feel fine opening their eyes and finding their way to safety if needed. But once a swimmer has shown they can keep their eyes open underwater for five seconds, you can get goggles if you want – they do make swimming more fun and pleasant!

4. Can I swim under the island?

This one is a hard “no!” It’s too easy to get stuck, and you’re hard to see under there. We need all of our swimmers to follow rules like this for safety, and we ask parents to reinforce that in our pools, everyone follows rules!

5. Do I sweat in the water?

Yes you do! It is not as noticeable since you are already wet, but like all exercise, swimming makes you sweat. It is important to stay hydrated, especially when swimming, since you may not notice that you are sweating. You are always welcome to bring a non-glass water bottle to class!

Do you or your child have a question about things you see and do at the pool? Always feel free to ask, and we’ll be back with more questions from kids sometime soon! See you at the pool!

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