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Children and Diving
jswantek - 10/30/2008 9:50 AM
Category: General
Replies: 9

I have a ten year old son, who’s going to be eleven soon. He’s expressed interest in learning how to dive. He loves the water, is a strong swimmer and has no problem with snorkeling. I’ve checked the class schedule at the LDS and they say that he can start classes. My question is, does anyone have experience diving with children? Are there any issues or concerns that I should be made aware of? Is there a selection of gear available in youth sizes? I have more, but I’d like to hear back first. Any advice I could get would be appreciated. Thanks, Joe
OcalaJim - 10/30/2008 11:17 AM
I think the first thing you need to decide is whether or not your child has the maturity to understand physiology and diving. There aren’t really any formal studies on the effects of young children diving, either (at least not that I’m aware of). So, if you think your child is mature enough, get him certified by a GOOD instructor. Find one that is familiar with teaching kids. After your child is certified, make sure you keep him/her within the limits of their cert. SSI has a Junior Open Water Diver for kids between 12-14 that allows them to dive to 40ft. There is gear that you can buy that’s designed for small kids - BC’s and tanks (an 80 aluminum might be too heavy).
jswantek - 10/30/2008 1:20 PM
He’s actually very familiar with and has a good understanding of dive physiology just from listening to me for the past three years, LOL! I’m interested to know if anyone can recommend manufacturers of equipment in youth sizes. Obviously I’m not going to buy anything until he’s ready, and he’s been growing so quickly, if I were to buy anything now he’d most likely outgrow it by the time he was ready to use it. Does anyone have experience with diving with their children that could maybe pass along some advice? Thanks, Joe
luv2dive100 - 10/30/2008 8:29 PM
One of my buddys is now almost 13, but started at 11 years old. he has a account here on divebuddy. my 15 year old dives as well and started at 12. Experiencing diving through there eyes is wonderful. my younger son sometimes swims like he is walking, just needs practice . They love diving in Cozumel.I wish I dove that young. would have gone further in training. I think its all maturity. Good Luck
chefkeith - 11/03/2008 7:25 PM
I have a 12 and 10 year old. the 10 did Padi bubblemaker and the 12 did discover diving and went on a 30 ft dive.Both want to get certified but every instructor wants them to do the book work at home or online. They both watched the padi open water dvd and understand but the book is hard for them to follow. Are there any instructors that teach the kids the bookwork? im in pompano florida thanks Keith
diverjmacj - 11/05/2008 9:24 AM
I have taught a number of children. As can be expected, they vary as to maturity level and ability to understand the material. However, most have been adequate as divers and at that age must dive with an experienced diver and with depth restrictions. (I think the agencies may have slightly different rules, I am PADI) I have found that teaching children is one of the most rewarding groups to teach. Their enthusiasm and the joy they experience when diving is very rewarding. I can still hear the kids squealing through their regulators when they see the fish, etc. I also recommend you find an instructor that has taught kids and enjoys teaching kids. It can take more patience than normal. Then you have to trust the instructor and let he/she be in control.
SeverinoScuba - 11/06/2008 6:20 AM
From chefkeith: Both want to get certified but every instructor wants them to do the book work at home or online. They both watched the padi open water dvd and understand but the book is hard for them to follow. Are there any instructors that teach the kids the bookwork?
Keith, I have taught several children, a few 10-11 yo and several 12 to 15 yo. The PADI Open Water manual is written for adults. They will need help from the parents and the instructor. Density, volume, vertigo, and several other words will be new to them. Children are fast learners and do great with the tables and on the quizes and tests. Feel free to contact me with any questions, Chef Jeff
diverjmacj - 11/07/2008 1:30 PM
I agree that children are fast learners and do a good job with tables and tests. As an instructor I always recognized that they would need a little more assistance with the bookwork. It is nice when they can do that out of the classroom because it let’s me know what areas I need to concentrate on in the classroom. is not a requirement and both myself and an instructor associate have spent a lot of time working through the material in the classroom with a class of or including younger children. It takes a little extra effort on the part of the instructor but is really worth it in the long run. We both really enjoy teaching younger children and the return we get is worth the extra time. Wish I could have done it at their age.