Scuba diving is one of the world’s most thrilling sports. It gives you a sensation of freedom unlike any other, and exploring unknown territory is exhilarating. It also teaches you multiple skills, such as concentration, teamwork, and non-verbal communication. Diving allows you to meet new people and travel around the globe to dive at some of the most divine diving locations.
With all the benefits of diving, it seems like a sport that everyone should get to experience. But, as a parent, you might have a few questions, such as how old do you have to be to start diving? Is diving a safe sport for children to try out? Today we will be answering all of those questions and so many more to inform parents of everything they need to know about kids and diving.
Is Scuba Diving Safe For Children?
The topic of children participating in scuba diving is somewhat controversial, and many parents are hesitant about the idea, rightfully so. Many argue that scuba diving can be unpredictable. Children’s bodies are still developing, and some believe that they may not have the capacity or capability to use all the equipment properly or practice the techniques accordingly. While these concerns are valid, Scuba diving is safe for children as long as all the safety procedures are followed.
It is essential to know that your child must be at a certain level of maturity and have a passion for diving; otherwise, it is not a good idea. You don’t want to force your kids before they are ready or uninterested because things can become dangerous if they don’t pay attention or take proper care. If your child is willing and excited to try this sport, they are more likely to pay attention to the rules and techniques and perform more safely. Also, the maturity aspect comes into play because they need to be mature enough to understand that this is a potentially dangerous sport for anyone and needs to be taken seriously.
What Age Can Kids Begin Scuba Diving?
The answer to this question is genuinely dependent on where your child is learning to dive. Some diving companies won’t train children under twelve, while others will teach children as young as eight. The most significant factor in determining when your child can dive is their maturity level and willingness to participate. But to become certified to dive in open waters, your child must be at least ten.
For kids under ten interested in diving, they have some programs available that can introduce them to this fantastic sport and get them more comfortable and confident in the water. The most popular programs are the PADI Bubble Maker Program, and the PADI Seal Team Program. The PADI Bubble Maker and Seal Team are designed for children eight and older to get them familiar and comfortable with being in the water, using equipment and techniques they will need to know before going onto the PADI open water Phuket. The SASY Program is for children five to seven interested in diving. In this program, they will also teach the basics and use extremely buoyant floating devices so the children can practice right at the top of the surface of the dive pool. These courses are great options for kids who aren’t quite old enough to get certified but want to try diving.
What Is The Process For Aspiring Young Divers?
For young drivers to dive in open water, they need to get certified. But with the basic certification, there are limits. Fortunately, there are additional courses that your kids can take to enhance their skills and get them prepared for diving as an adult.
Children under ten cannot be certified, but they can participate in beginner classes. These classes are perfect for getting your child familiar with being in the water and helping them learn the basics. They will also help them build confidence and prepare them to get their certification when they are of age.
The first thing aspiring young divers need is to get their PADI Junior Open Water Certificate. The only two requirements for this course are that your child is between 10-15 and knows how to swim. Once they have got this certification, they will be able to dive in open water, but there are some rules they must follow. 10-11-year-olds are only permitted to dive if they have a PADI professional or certified parent or guardian accompany them, and they must not exceed a depth of 12 meters or 40 feet. Children 12-14 years old need to be accompanied by a certified adult and not exceed 18 meters or 60 feet.
After they have got their certification, they can now take other courses to help gain skills and continue to learn the fundamentals of diving. Some courses available for children age ten and up include PADI Mermaid Course, Junior Adventure Diver, and Equipment Specialist. For children age twelve and up, some of the courses they can take are Discover Freediving, Night Diver, and Shark Conservation Diver.
When your child is 12 or older, they can become Junior Master Scuba Divers, the highest level of diving that kids under 15 can achieve. As a Junior Master Scuba Diver, you will be allowed to dive to 21 meters or 70 feet while supervised by an adult. You can also help PADI professionals set up for classes, partake in briefings, assist with organization, and participate in presentations to the community. The requirements for your child to become a Junior Master Scuba Diver are:
- You must be between 12-14.
- You must have your PADI Junior Advanced Open Water Diver Certification.
- You must have your Junior Rescue Diver Certification.
- You must have completed at least five specialty courses.
- You must have at least 50 logged dives.
How to know if your child is ready to learn to scuba dive
Now that we have discussed many aspects of diving for kids, let’s talk about how to tell if they are ready. As a parent, we always attempt to do what we think is best for our kids. Age isn’t the only factor you need to consider when scuba diving. Here are some things to consider before allowing your child to try out diving:
- Is Your Child Mature Enough?
We have talked about maturity throughout this article because it is genuinely an essential factor. Your children must be mature enough to understand the seriousness of this sport and realize that it isn’t a game. Your child must have a good attention span, self-control, discipline, and grasp simple concepts related to diving. If you believe your child can do this, then you should let them give it a try on a Phuket dive tours!
2. Is Your Child Healthy Enough?
Certain health conditions don’t pair well with diving. Problems with vital organs, diabetes, or asthma are a few examples of medical conditions that may prevent one from scuba diving. If your child has medical problems, it would be best to consult with a doctor beforehand to determine if it is safe to dive.
3. Is Your Child Interested?
Is diving something your child wants to try, or do you want them to try out? If your child isn’t interested in diving, don’t force it upon them. They should be the ones coming to you with the idea. If they are forced to do it, they are less likely to pay attention, follow the rules, and try their best. Not taking this sport seriously can result in severe injuries, so they must do everything they are told. If you can tell that diving is something that your child is passionate about and eager to try, you should look for an age-appropriate course for them to take and test it out.
4. Does Your Child Have The Capacity To Listen To The Instructors And Follow The Rules?
Your child needs to listen to their teacher and follow the rules. The ability to focus and listen is crucial in determining if your child is ready to scuba dive. Failure to follow directions and comply with the rules can result in extreme injuries. It is vital to establish what is expected of them while learning to dive.
Pros About Scuba Diving for Children
- Flexibility and strength
- Improves your agility
- Scuba kids acquire maturity, self-esteem, and a sense of responsibility
- Greater appreciation of the environment
- Relieve stress
Cons About Scuba Diving for Children
- Equalization Problems Can Occur While Scuba Diving
- Lack of studies
- Scuba Diving Can Be Dangerous sometimes
Diving is an incredible experience that everyone should try out at least once, including children. It may be scary for some parents to allow their children to get into the ocean with equipment and explore what lies beneath. But with the proper training, maturity, and willingness on behalf of your child, it can be an unforgettable experience and an opportunity to learn a new skill. Plus, there are plenty of advantages of scuba diving that your child could benefit from in the long run. If your child expresses interest in this excellent sport, let them try it out! They may pick up some new skills, get travel opportunities, or even a career in scuba diving down the road! You can book your family dive trip with Thailand Divers your local Phuket dive center If you become a certified diver then you could go and explore Similan Islands diving on a Thailand liveaboards. There is so much to see on your vacation to Phuket, but one thing that will stay in your mind forever is a scuba diving experience in Phuket.