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Kids + diving: all you need to know

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kids-diving

Kids + diving: all you need to know

If you’re a parent that loves diving, then you’ll want your kids to experience the joy and excitement that you have discovered. However, you probably also know that diving is not risk-free. And you also want to refrain from pushing your kids too hard or quickly into something they might not love as much as you (well, not yet, at least!). Or maybe your kids are raring to go but you’re not sure that they’re quite ready yet? There are lots of questions you might have as a parent. So, we’ve tried to address some of the main ones below.

family-dive-holiday

How do you know your child is ready to learn to dive?

If they are expressing an interest of their own accord, watching diving videos or reading up around the subject then the time is probably right. Don’t apply too much pressure – the key is giving them the space to discover their own love for diving. If they are not that interested in the idea, then maybe it’s better to wait a couple of years. Of course, there are age limits in place too, so your child will need to be at least 10 years old before they can start diving according to PADI. Certain locations, such as Gozo, have centres geared towards teaching children this young, while other destinations require children to be at least 12 or even 15.

What physical restrictions apply for children learning to dive?

As well as age, you need to make sure your child is physically able to dive. This will involve completing a medical questionnaire and getting the permission of a doctor if necessary. You will also have to grant parental consent if the child is under 18. Children, like adults, will also need to be able to meet certain swimming standards, including a 10-minute float as well as a continuous 300 metres swim unaided.

Have you got the time to commit to scuba diving?

As you probably know, diving takes time. So, you need to have enough of it to ensure that children can complete the course, at their own pace. Younger children will need a little more time to get their heads around the theory. We highly recommend taking the family on a diving location where children can learn in a relaxed and safe environment, can really dedicate their time to the experience and the conditions are just perfect for learning to dive. Mauritius, Gozo and Sardinia are all fantastic locations for a diving holiday with the family. 

family holidays

Trust the experts at the dive centre

They may be your children but that doesn’t always mean you are the best person to teach them. You need to be able to let the qualified dive instructors do their work. They are professionals and your kids need to understand that they are in charge.  When you dive with kids, there are also different depth limits allowed, so you will need to bear
this in mind in terms of your own experience. If you are going to be their dive buddy, then you will be responsible for making sure their gear fits correctly, as well as assessing the situation in terms of their physical ability. This is especially true when wading to shore or climbing a ladder back on to a boat.

The best places to learn to dive with kids

You need to think about the destinations with the best conditions to learn for kids to learn to dive. Along with Gozo and Mauritius, Bonaire is also a great destination for kids to learn to dive. It is shore diving heaven, which makes entering and exiting the water that bit easier.