From as young as eight years old children get introductions to scuba diving through all the leading training associations.
PADI has the kids’ Bubblemaker program and the seal team courses to entice young divers.
After all, besides the educational aspect and the obvious team building benefits, the main objective for small children is getting them comfortable in water and having fun - right?
When your kids get serious about scuba, from the age of ten children can join the Discover Scuba Diving Program.
Introductory experiences are highly supervised experimental tryouts in diving - either in a swimming pool or an appropriate open water environment.
The trial experience may be conducted by an instructor to a maximum of twelve meters or by a DSD Divemaster Leader for the shallow part of the program only - max 6 meters.
The supervisor will use the PADI Discover Scuba Diving Brochure to determine the kids’ fitness and maturity level for the dive. The participant statement must be signed by the child and the parent or guardian before any in water activities takes place.
The Professional Dive Leader offers some basic safety information and diving techniques using the brochure or flip chart and the fun begins in shallow water that the child can stand in. The basic scuba skills are introduced in shallow water and then the child can explore the reef with direct supervision.
The absolute maximum depth for this beginners experience is 12 meters, assuming that the kids are comfortable and happy in their new underwater environment, and there are other limits with respect to numbers of student divers per instructor.
This is a great opportunity for young children to try diving in the ocean. It enables them to get a real taste for the sport of diving and in doing do, to earn their coveted Discover scuba Diving Award.
Some of the most popular spots for scuba intros are Egypt, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean with an emphasis being targeted on converting ‘try divers’ into certified divers.
There is strong evidence from PADI that children who get the chance to start diving through these 'experience programs' are more likely to continue learning and complete the full Open Water Diver Certification.
Kids rarely complain when they are having fun. They are unpredictable and impulsive. They find hazards that are not really there. However, some of the most enjoyable and rewarding courses that I have taught have been for kids.
The sheer amazement on their face with bulging eyes when they see their first clown fish (nemo to kids) is an experience that all dive instructors should have at some time in their scuba career.
PADI Scuba Courses for Kids are educational, fun and highly supervised with a number of age restrictions, maximum depth limits and increased Instructor ratios that have proven to attract young children into the family sport of scuba diving.
The courses and programs start from eight years upwards and when your budding 'Jacques Cousteau' reaches fifteen years, it is a simple administration process to upgrade them to the full adult certification usually without the need to complete any further in-water training.
Article Submitted 2012 by Scuba Steve