5 mistakes to avoid at all costs with children when diving
Your children wants to practice diving or practice already? Want to share your passion with him?
There are many good reasons to let this aquatic activity begin.
However, to make sure the experience will be a success. Keep in mind the mistakes to avoid at all costs when diving with children!
There is no consensus on the minimum age for scuba diving. In the Polynesian lagoons some children are initiated well before 5 years. Whereas some European diving federations do not accept to start the activity before 14 years.
Reasonably, we can think that in the case of dives adapted to children. And supervised by experienced instructors, a child can learn scuba diving from the age of 8 years.
The ARPE (Reflection Association for Diving of the Children) even proposes to initiate them from 5/6 years. If we consider the psychological development of the child. The age would probably be around 10-12 years old, when the child understands the rules and integrates the notions of danger, …
Most diving federations open their training from the age of 8 years.
Before starting a diving activity it is important to understand the motivation of the child to practice it.
Most of the time the children of divers will naturally be trained in this activity without having chosen it on their own initiative.
We must therefore be careful that in this case attention and respect of the basic rules may not be integrated in the same way as in the case where the child decides to practice this activity on his own, …)
To summarize, you should never force a child to dive even if you believe it is OK, just common sense ! 😉
Body development of children
A child is not a small adult !!!
Since he/she is not yet fully developed, it is important to keep a close eye on various risk factors and to adapt the dive accordingly: protecting your hearing ducts by descending and ascending at a slower speed, being extremely vigilant to the cold (a child cools faster than an adult), to protect its skeleton in full growth by proposing adapted material, to limit the depth and the duration of immersion.
Even if he plays the big boy or looks tall and strong, your kid still remains a kid 😉
Since it is not a miniature adult, it is important to provide to the child equipment adapted to its size, its weight and its morphology. The manufacturers have understood this and generally offer equipment suitable for children from 8 years. Ex: smaller tanks and therefore lighter, a jacket with weight pockets instead of belts difficult to hold in place on the hips of a child, wetsuits to their sizes, footwear, …
In general, it is preferable to choose equipment designed for children and respecting their morphologies. This is for their comfort, safety and pleasure.
Supervision of children
The immersion of a child must remain the business of experienced instructors specially trained for this purpose. Their training must have included, among other things, the “pedagogy” aspect and they must be particularly vigilant about the safety rules and the direct implications of diving with children. Unfortunately, child responsibility is still left to experienced divers and / or assistants, particularly in some associations, whereas this is not the case for adults starting to learn scuba diving with instructors.
Are children less important than adults?
This common supervision mistake is still far too frequent and a cause of fear for kids. This could bring them to give up practising this beautiful activity full of benefits for them
We encourage you to request quality supervision for your children, to learn more about the people who will supervise them … to call on specialists.
It is therefore important to be aware of these 5 factors that are particularly important for children … because diving with children is and must remain above all a recreational activity that provides them with well-being, relaxation and pleasure through the discovery of the wonders of the underwater world.
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