Main points to have in mind when teaching kids to dive
When it comes to children learning to dive there are several factors to keep in mind. Often children’s attention span is shorter than that of adults and all training has be to fun and varied to hold their attention and keep them interacted and learning.
Both PADI and SSI offer the Jr Open Water Diver course for children from the age of 10 years old. They complete exactly the same course as adults and learn all the same theory. Once they are certified depending on the agency there are different restriction for them when diving. With PADI they remain a Jr Open water diver until the Age of 15, this means that they have to dive under the supervision of an adult at all times. Their maximum depth rating is 12m.
With SSI again they are certified as Jr Open Water until they are 15yrs old, again they always have to dive with an adult. For their depth limit ratings the depth for 10 and 11 years old is 12m and 12yrs+ is the same recommended maximum depth for open water divers of 18m.
What is the best age for kids to start diving?
Children are often fearless and the earlier they learn to dive the more relaxed they are about it. The most important thing is that they fully understand the fundamentals about safety and what to do to stay safe under the water. This is where it’s VERY important to have the right instructor training them to dive; it takes an instructor with foresight to change the course for the children’s learning levels and ensure that they fully master and understand everything that is being presented to them.
What kids can learn through diving lessons
Apart from the knowledge about the equipment and the physics and physiology of diving, kids’ learning to dive offers the opportunity to learn so much more about all the different marine animals under the water. Of course to see them up close with their own eyes, to see the reef with all it marine life with their very own eyes is an experience that cannot be surpassed.
From seeing different tropical fish in movies (Finding Nemo) and TV shows the excitement to actually see the real deal right in front of their very eyes holds so much more wonder and excitement. The thrill to actually see a real life Nemo is something they never forget and love to tell everyone after the dives that ‘They Found Nemo’.
Apart from learning more about the marine life that is habiting our seas, they also learn more about the marine environment, from tides and currents to in water safety techniques.
What are the main differences in teaching according to the age of the student?
Effectively the Open Water diver certification is the same for children and adults, the main key difference is the recommended depth limits and always diving with an adult. Instructors may have to adapt their teaching techniques when teaching Kids to dive and make things more fun to engage the children and come up with different ways to deliver the training so that the children really grasp what is happening and fully understand what is expected of them. Children have to pass the same theory exams as adults, they have to perform the same underwater skills showing that they have mastered them, and they have to fully understand the safety rules associated with scuba diving.
How to take the fear out of diving?
Many children are fearless when it comes to learning to dive but if they have fears of getting in the water for swimming snorkeling or even diving making the activity fun is key to helping overcome the fear. Children with a fear of the water should never be forced to swim dive or snorkel. Small steps and slow introductions with encouragement and praise when they actually put that mask on and take a look under the water. Slowly showing them that it is safe and fun will help overcome many fears. When teaching Kids to dive it’s important to have a relaxed and safe atmosphere with a strong and competent instructor.
What equipment are kids learning to dive going to use?
The diving industry has developed so much over the past few years and the sizes and ranges of equipment these days is vast, there is always something that will fit you.
Children use exactly the same diving equipment as adults, just in smaller sizes. If you do not have your own equipment for children, we would highly recommend you at least buy a Childs mouth piece for the regulators, as often dive centers if they do not have specially allocated diving equipment for children, they will have regulators with mouth pieces that are often too large for children’s mouths. It’s very simple for a center to change the mouth piece with a child’s one, making it much more comfortable for children to use.
Very few centers will actually stock diving equipment for children and its best to contact them before hand and find out what rental equipment that they do have often if the child it not too small the XS BCD’s will be ok. It’s important to check what they do and do not have.
Check more information about kids scuba lessons
If you have more questions about teaching kids to dive, don’t hesitate to contact us.