Introducing kids to scuba diving

Are you both divers and want to share your passion with your children? Or are they the ones who want to discover scuba diving? From initiations to training courses, discover how to introduce your children to scuba diving! 

decathlon subea introducing kids to scuba diving

DO YOUR CHILDREN WANT TO GET INTO DIVING OR ARE YOU A SCUBA DIVING MUM OR DAD WHO WANTS TO SHARE THIS ACTIVITY WITH THEM? WHATEVER THE REASON, YOU MAY HAVE SOME QUESTIONS. CHECK OUT OUR SELECTION OF TIPS TO INTRODUCE YOUR KIDS TO DIVING THE RIGHT WAY! 

decathlon subea introducing kids to scuba diving

Why introduce your kids to diving? 

Firstly, your child must want to give diving a go and do a scuba diving initiation! Make sure that they actually want to do it and that they are not only saying it to please you or to be like you. This initial experience can just as easily make them want to take it up or put them off completely and potentially put an end to their future as a diver. Your child may well be nervous about going underwater. This is a perfectly normal reaction! It will take time and patience to put them at ease. This is where the instructor comes in. Of course, if your child is already like a "fish in water", then you are most of the way there! If, on the other hand, they are not used to the water and they are still very nervous, you may need to do the initiation at a later date. 

At what age can you start diving?

Scuba diving is allowed from the age of 8. This is the age defined by PADI as the minimum age for a taster session and no self-respecting organisation would go against it. Regulations have been shaped according to specific criteria imposed by age: restrictions on duration and depth (2m from age 8 to 10, 3m from age 10 to 14), and forbidden if the water temperature is below 12°C. By age 14, physiological and psychological development mean it is possible to enter the adult diving category: max. 6m for an initiation. As for autonomous diver training, they will have to wait until they are 18! But that's a long way off yet... :-)

decathlon subea introducing kids to scuba diving

Which diving club for children?

If you are a diver, your club will probably be just fine. If not, choose a centre that is used to working with young children. Specific equipment is needed for scuba diving and it is best for your children to discover this practice with instructors accustomed to this age group. Pick a small or family-run centre: a small business structure or association, which will help put your child at ease as they will see the same people again if they decide to carry on with diving. A nice, calm and reassuring atmosphere will also stop them feeling stressed. Also, it is not always a good idea to accompany your child on the boat, contrary to what you might think. On the one hand, if they are rather shy, your presence could isolate them from other divers and therefore the activity in general. On the other hand, you may be anxious about seeing them disappear under the water and pass your fear on to them. However, having one of their friends around to share this experience with them can be a great idea! Although please note that this would require written parental permission. 

Where to do a scuba diving initiation?

Scuba diving can be done either in the sea or in a pool. In theory, organisations often recommend starting in a swimming pool for logical reasons: no boat ride and no unpredictable weather conditions, meaning no seasickness or unnecessary worries for the child... A scuba diving initiation in a pool lets them start diving in a safe setting and one that they probably already recognise.~So is a scuba diving initiation at sea discouraged for children? Absolutely not! After all, isn't the purpose of diving to discover a new world? This is difficult to achieve in a pool... Your choice therefore essentially depends on where you live. If you opt for a taster session at sea, make sure that all the conditions are favourable (good weather, summer temperatures, etc.). When the day of the initiation comes, if the weather isn't looking good, any serious club will have a duty to cancel the dive and postpone it.

decathlon subea introducing kids to scuba diving

Diving, a good way to raise children's awareness of underwater flora and fauna

Diving will teach your child the importance of respecting marine life. In a world where pollution is becoming more and more of an issue, introducing your kids to diving will show them that the marine ecosystem must be protected. This way they will become a diver and a responsible citizen in one. You have probably already explained to them not to throw rubbish on the ground, but they will learn that litter is likely to end up in the sea and contribute to the destruction of the underwater world... And it is never nice to see litter when diving! They will learn that they must not touch the environment they are diving in so as not to risk damaging it, and similarly that it is strictly forbidden to bring back memories from the seabed... Even if the idea can be very tempting to a child!

DO YOUR CHILDREN WANT TO DISCOVER THIS EXCITING SPORT? HAS YOUR NEW RECRUIT BECOME A LITTLE FISH IN THE WATER? FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THE COMMENTS! 

orsane sales assistant decathlon marseille bonneveine

Orsane 

Diving sales assistant - marseille, france - mf1 ffessm and subea sub-editor

With professional divers as parents, I started this activity young and have been diving for 20 years. I am now a professional diver too. I am also a shareholder in a diving company with two partners, with part of the business dedicated to recreational diving and training, and another to professional diving.