INTRODUCING CHILDREN TO SCUBA DIVING

Are your children interested in scuba diving or do you want to share your hobby with them? Here are some tips from Subea…

Are you a diver and want to share your passion with your children? Were they the ones who asked you to try it while you are far from being a Cousteau at heart? Whether it's for one of these reasons or the other, some questions arise. Can children go diving safely? Where, and under what conditions? Etc. See below some tips from Decathlon on discovering and learning about this activity from the youngest age and under the best conditions.

tips introducing children to scuba diving beginners subea

WHY SHOULD YOU INTRODUCE CHILDREN TO DIVING ?

Above all, the children must be truly interested. Make sure that it's actually their wish, that they’re not just trying it to please you or to be like you. This first experience can make them want to continue with it, but it may also put them off and put an end to their future as a diver. However, it's possible that your children, despite being keen, might still feel apprehensive about putting their heads under water. It's a very normal reaction and it will take time and patience to gain confidence. This is where the role of an instructor becomes important. Obviously, if your children are already as comfortable as a "fish in the water" at the beach, you’re most of the way there. If, on the other hand, they aren't used to being in the sea, if they’re still apprehensive despite being keen, it may be necessary to postpone the long-awaited first dive.

tips introducing children to scuba diving beginners subea

AT WHAT AGE CAN THEY START DIVING ?

Scuba diving is allowed from 8 years old.

This age limit is set by the FFESSM (French Federation of Submarine Studies and Sports) as the minimum age, and any proper business or club will keep to that rule. The regulations have, of course, been tailored to meet the very specific criteria imposed by age : limited depth (2 metres from 8 to 10 years old, 3 metres from 10 to 14 years old), limited duration, and diving is prohibited if the water temperature is below 12°C.

At 14 years of age, physiological and psychological development will allow the young diver to take an adult diving course : 6 metres maximum for beginners. However, it's only after the age of 18 that a diver can go out alone. But that's another topic!

WHICH DIVING CLUB SHOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?

Are you already a diver? Then your club will surely do. Otherwise, choose a centre used to dealing with young children.

For scuba diving, special equipment is necessary and it's best for your children to start scuba diving with instructors who are used to youngsters. Try a family-run or small place: one where your children will regularly see the same people if they decide to continue diving, and gain their confidence. A good, calm and reassuring atmosphere will also avoid any feeling of stress. Contrary to what you might think, accompanying your children on the boat is not always a good idea. On the one hand, your presence, if they're shy, might serve to isolate them from other divers and the activity in general. On the other hand, you might be anxious about them disappearing under water and they'll pick up on your fear. Why not send a friend who can accompany them instead of you? However, there must be written parental consent.

DIVING FOR CHILDREN: SEA OR SWIMMING POOL?

Scuba diving can be carried out in either environment.

The advice is often to start in a swimming pool for logical reasons : no boat trip, no weather conditions to be consider, no risk of seasickness, no fear for your children... Beginning in a swimming pool means diving in a safe context and in a place that's probably already familiar.

Is starting diving in the sea to be discouraged? Absolutely not. After all, isn’t the point of diving to discover a new universe? Well, that's hardly possible in a pool. The choice will therefore depend essentially on where you live. In the case of a start at sea, make sure that the conditions are all favourable : fine weather, summer temperatures... If the first day is not the best time, any serious club will know to postpone your child’s dive.

tips introducing children to scuba diving beginners awareness of undersea life subea

MAKING CHILDREN AWARE OF UNDERSEA FLORA AND FAUNA

Diving will introduce your children to undersea life.

In the modern world where there's more and more pollution, having your children learn about diving will help show them that the marine ecosystem needs to be protected. That way they'll be divers and responsible citizens. You’ve probably already explained to them that throwing rubbish on the ground is wrong but they'll learn that rubbish thrown away outdoors is likely to end up in the sea and contributes to destroying the underwater world. It’s never pleasant to see cans or other trash during a dive! They'll understand that they mustn't touch the environment in which they're swimming so as not to risk damaging it, and that bringing back souvenirs from the deep is prohibited... Even though the idea can be very tempting for a child!

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            ARTICLE WRITTEN BY

            baptiste digital manager subea
            Baptiste, Subea Digital Manager

            I'm the Digital Manager for the Subea brand. I'm keen on spearfishing and freediving and have been scuba diving for over fifteen years. I have my level 1 FFESSM and PADI certifications up to “Rescue” level.
             

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