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Is Scuba Diving for Kids?

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Many people say that scuba diving for kids is true magic, a synonym for discovery, wonder, and adventure.

Others think that “kids scuba diving” is not a good idea, no matter how much scuba kids insist on it.

We say, let’s analyze scuba diving for kids from every possible angle and make good decisions for our children.

We are talking about scuba diving for kids. Let me brag and introduce myself with a story.

– What do you want to be when you grow up?

The boy, about 9 or 10 years old, spikey hair, big brown eyes, a true embodiment of a “Stand by Me” rogue, didn’t take a second to answer.

– Scuba Diver.

– Scuba Diver? Wouldn’t you rather be President?

– No- He answered.

Currently, that kid who didn’t need to force or pretend anything, named Victor Cordoba, works as Human Resources Director in Dressel Divers, PADI Course Director and IANTD Instructor Trainer specialized in Cave Diving, Trimix and Rebreather Diving y trains elite units of the Special Group of Underwater Activities (GEAS) of the Spanish Guardia Civil. This is me.

This is the table of contents:

scuba diving for kids

1. Is Scuba Diving for Kids?

Maybe you are a diving parent, and you wish for your children to follow in your footsteps.

Perhaps your child keeps on pestering you, repeating over and over again, “Dad, I want to dive. I want, want, want… I want to dive.”

But something I am certain of after more than 30 years of diving is that no matter how incredible this sport is, there are people who should not practice it. Fortunately, they are few!

There are people who, surprisingly, do not enjoy being in the water. Go figure! Others lack physical ability and cannot pass the hyperbaric medicine test. Some feel overwhelmed by the theoretical work involved in learning to dive. It’s a small percentage, but it exists.

The same goes for young divers. Over 95% of children older than eight years are physically and mentally suitable for junior diving, but some do not meet the requirements.

  • Kids Scuba Diving Requirements

But if you wonder if your kid is ready to scuba; do answer these questions that PADI lists in its book “Children and Scuba Diving: A Resource Guide for Instructors and Parents”

  • Is this something the child wants to do?
  • Can the child swim?
  • Is the child comfortable in water?
  • Does the child have sufficient attention span to listen to and learn from class discussions, pool and open water briefings and debriefings and other interactions with an instructor?
  • Can the child learn, remember and apply multiple safety rules and principles?
  • Are the child’s reading skills sufficient to learn from adult-level material (allowing for extra reading time, and the child may request adult help)?
  • Can the child feel comfortable telling an unfamiliar adult (instructor or divemaster) about any discomfort or not understanding something?
  • Does the child have reasonable self-control and the ability to respond to a problem by following rules and asking for help rather than by acting impulsively?
  • Does the child have sufficient self-discipline to stay with an adult buddy and follow safety rules, even after becoming comfortable with diving?
  • Does the child have the ability to understand and discuss hypothetical situations and basic abstract concepts like space and time?

Are all the answers YES? Congratulations! You have a youth diver and should keep reading about scuba diving for kids.

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  • Pros About Scuba Diving for Children

Scuba kids acquire maturity, self-esteem, and a sense of responsibility. All divers know that this activity is demanding, both normatively and in terms of cooperative development. Kids know too, even before their first dive. They discover the underwater world at the same time they enter the adult game. Scuba diving for kids is captivating and empowering.

Scuba diver kids follow a discipline, have to think about their actions, foresee consequences and solve simple problems. When you teach scuba diving to kids, you are saying “I believe in you, and I know you can be a great at junior diving”

Scuba diving for children stimulates their cognitive and psychomotor development. Children learn basic scientific principles and apply physics and some simple mathematics. In addition, they do so by moving from the abstract to the concrete, which enhances intellectual development.

They learn to orient themselves in space, keep their balance, and put Archimedes’ principles into practice with their own bodies.

Family fun scuba. The young divers feel appealed by the expectation of a new world to discover. Adults are seduced by the opportunity to forget daily stress and the whole family is excited about enjoying something together.

Scuba kids are committed to the conservation of the natural environment. Diving for kids makes them aware of environmental care.

Diving adapts to what people want throughout their lives. You can dive as young as 8 years old, but there is no limit to stop you diving.

Scuba diving children have a possible career ahead of them. Look at me. I studied biology, but I was. I am, and I always will be a scuba diver.

  • Cons About Scuba Diving for Children

Lack of studies that provide concrete evidence on the effects of pressure and nitrogen on children.

There is no evidence. Around the world, there are only thousands of kids scuba diving, and they have not a single physical consequence. Skaters can’t say the same.

A child’s sense of responsibility.

Kids scuba diving have to be responsible for themselves and others.

If a child shows an indifferent attitude toward diving safety, it seems obvious. He or she is part of the 5% who do not qualify as divers and should not enter the water.

The child shows paralyzing fear or rejection of scuba diving.

Scuba diving children learn to maintain control over themselves, but if they are unable to do that, they are not a scuba kid either. I’m sure there are many other things he or she will enjoy.

  • How Old to Scuba Dive?

The first thing you should know is what your country’s legislation says about scuba diving for kids.

There is no legal age limitation in the USA, but in Spain, there is. Find out about them.

A general industry standard is:

  • scuba age minimum is 8 years old to scuba dive in programs developed in confined waters;
  • age for scuba diving certification in the most important certification agencies is 10-12 years old for the Junior Scuba Certification for beginners;
  • scuba diving age requirement for other certifications is 12-14 years old. A scuba teen can opt for the Advanced Open Water Diver and Specialty Courses.

2. Teaching Kids to Dive

  • 8 Years Old Kids Scuba Diver Programs

They are designed to provide children with an introduction to scuba diving in a safe and controlled manner.

– PADI Bubblemaker

This diving program for children allows them to manage for the first-time child scuba gear and to breathe underwater.

Scuba diver kids enjoy in confined environments: 2 meters/ 6 feet maximum depth, and under a professional’s strict supervision.

– PADI Seal Team Aqua Missions

Kids scuba diving with flashlights, taking digital photos underwater, or floating easy are some of the PADI Seal Team Aqua Missions. A program that takes place entirely in a pool. However, it also integrates basic diving skills, such as breathing underwater, emptying a mask, or recovering a regulator.

– SDI Future Buddies

This Scuba Diving International program for children consists of 4 hours of confined water training with personalized attention and never descending deeper than 6 m/ 20 feet. Some of the skills that the children acquire are

– Adjust the ballast system with the proper ballast.

– Pre-dive check of self and buddy

– Mask emptying; partial

– Use of Buoyancy Compensator Device (BCD)

– Buoyancy Control

– Regulator use

– Underwater swimming; proper use of fins

– Use of instruments

– Underwater communication

– SSI Junior Try Scuba

SSI Try Scuba offers 2-3 hours of training at a depth of 5 m / 16 ft in confined water whose training content does not differ in any way from that of adults.

  • From 10 Years Old Junior Certifications

These are Junior Open Water Courses or in the case of PADI, Junior Scuba Diver Courses.

The theoretical learning is exactly the same as for adults, however, scuba kids never go below 40 feet / 12 meters and always have to dive with a certified parent or dive professional.

  • From 12 Years Old: Scuba Teen Certifications

These youth diving certifications are junior versions of different certifications courses with a depth limitation from 18m to 22m/ 60 to 72 feet.

  • Scuba Diving Camps

Scuba diving summer adventures camps are focused on teen diving instruction. These summer scuba programs accommodate teen divers of any experience level. While scuba teens develop their skills and confidence, having a blast with new friends.

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3. Choosing Scuba Gear for Kids

The biggest challenge when choosing scuba gear for kids is that the items should fit them and meet their needs. A child not only wears a smaller size but also loses more heat in the water than an adult.

The ideal scuba diving mask for children must seal perfectly, have a low volume, a soft silicone skirt for delicate skins, and, if possible, be eye-catching to be easily identified.

The scuba diver kids should be able to put on their wetsuits alone. It should be flexible, comfortable, and thick enough to protect them from cold, cuts or scratches without lose mobility.

The BCD should be easy to handle, with integrated weight pockets for comfort and grow with the scuba diver kid if possible. There are children 10 years old, yet taller than their parents, but for the smallest children, maybe a 7-liter cylinder is enough.

The ideal regulators for children are smaller and lighter to fit well in scuba kids’ mouths. A travel regulator, light and compact, could be a great option.

For children, we recommend open-heel fins, which will give you a few numbers more in size, soft, but long, to improve progress.

If you need personal advice about Scuba Diving for Kids contact us.


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