Are you planning on going snorkeling with children - maybe on a family holiday? Snorkeling with kids should be a fun and relaxing experience... right?
When small children are near water, there are a few extra details that need considering. This help guide explains how to maximise the safety of a family snorkeling holiday adventure.
These tips and advice is to help adults and young kids get the most out of a snorkeling trip.
Even so, you can also send questions and comments to a trained staff member if you prefer to get a personal response.
Look for an opportunity to introduce kids to the technique of using a mask and snorkel ahead of the trip.
Snorkeling for kids has no real age barriers. As a result, even very young children can experience the 'non contact' sport of floating and swimming in water.
For example, get them to practice snorkel breathing in the bathtub or a local swimming pool. The extra preparation is most likely to result in a happy activity for the whole family.
Whenever possible, buy your own snorkeling equipment for the trip and for personal use afterwards. A basic mask and snorkel does not take up much room in luggage space and the benefits of owning and using your own gear are huge.
Dive masks are available in small sizes for kids. What’s more, buying snorkel gear for children doesn’t have to be an expensive experience. In fact, you can buy cheap and basic snorkel sets for kids through our online shop.
It is important to go with a tour company that has a lot of experience with the added dangers of snorkeling with kids. Some companies do not care enough about the quality of the trip. Instead, they only concentrate on getting high numbers of snorkelers.
You want to make sure you won’t get crammed into a small boat - like sardines. Also, will there be shade from the sun, toilet facilities, and safety equipment on board (e.g. first aid kits)?
As most parents know, children get restless with ease. It is worth considering a small increase in the price and hiring a private boat. Doing so can increase the quality and overall enjoyment of the tour for a fun family event.
Fact... professional scuba divers and snorkelers always advise against feeding the fish in their natural habitat. Tour companies that encourage people to throw food to attract fishes, are doing more harm than good – even when it's done unintentionally!
The underwater environment is a delicately balanced ecosystem. It depends upon fish eating their natural diet to help sustain this equilibrium.
Try to educate and encourage your children to respect fish species in their aquatic realm for the sake of their kids to be able to enjoy the same activities in the future.
You should learn how to be a Green Fins friendly snorkeler and help to protect the underwater world. Never touch the coral reef and always be aware of the damage that your diving fins can do to the fragile corals.
Fish rarely attack humans for fun. However, some sea life creatures will try to protect themselves from what they perceive to be an external threat to its existence – or its juveniles.
Hopefully, you'll have had lots of fun snorkeling with children and become interested in the wonders of raw nature beneath the waves. There are many ways snorkeling kids (and their parents) can get involved and help to protect aquatic environments.
For example, Project Aware is a non-profit organisation working with scuba divers and snorkelers across the globe to protect and conserve our freshwater and saltwater underwater environments.