One of the many reasons why people dive as a hobby is the beauty and curiosity of the ocean. It is so vast, deep, and largely undiscovered that many people feel drawn to explore it by scuba diving. This is also the same reason why scuba diving can be a relatively dangerous activity. That’s precisely the reason why divers have to be certified before they can go down deep, and the diving community is highly divided as to whether kids should be allowed to go diving or not. While many experts leave it up to the parents to decide for their children, there are a few things to consider before you let your kids jump into the water.
What’s a good age to begin scuba diving?
This question will have different answers depending on who’s answering it and also depending on the kids in question as well. One of the most important qualities of a successful scuba diver is his ability to react to panic and stress. Unfortunately for most people, this characteristic develops in maturity, which usually comes with age. There are kids who mature faster than their peers. However, there truly is no test of good reaction skills unless one is put in a real-life situation.
Some parents wait until their children are in their teens before beginning scuba lessons, while other parents wait until their children voice out their own desire to learn scuba diving. Still, other parents believe that the earlier it is to expose kids to scuba, the better. In this situation, to determine what age will be good for kids to start scuba diving, parents will have to decide whether their kids are ready or not.
At what age can kids become certified?
Perhaps this question can better determine when kids can begin scuba diving. According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors or PADI, children as young as 10 years old can be certified under the Junior Open Water Divers category. By the time kids turn 15 years old, they can become eligible to be certified as Basic Open Water divers. Whether they are ready for this type of certification might be based on how much training they received early on.
What happens when they are certified?
Once kids receive their certification, it means they are ready to explore the ocean. Scuba diving with kids is a big responsibility in itself, especially for new divers. Many stressful situations can present themselves under water, and these may be difficult to deal with even as adults. Make sure that you, as a parent, are ready to manage your own diving along with your child’s. Take the time to allow your kids to get used to it, and don’t forget to set your own rules and boundaries. Also, never underestimate the benefits of researching and studying a dive area before you actually go. For some, it might mean life and death.
Get ready to scuba
Other than that, scuba diving can be a life-changing experience and a life-long hobby. Scuba can teach kids discipline and determination. It can also give kids a natural appreciation of the ocean and everything to explore in it. Get the best gear for your children, and find the best dive sites for them. Involve them when you’re planning your dive trips. The more understanding they have of everything involving scuba, the smarter and more prepared they’ll be when they’re under water.