When is your child old enough to certify to SCUBA dive?
This is a question that you should take honest consideration in before enrolling your child. As a SCUBA instructor, I teach a lot of younger divers. A child can become certified to SCUBA dive at the age of 10 years old. But, is that child really ready to take this course.
These are things to consider when making that decision.
- The classroom work that they complete is the same course that the adults take, can they read and understand what they have read to answer these questions?
- There are dangers involved in SCUBA, can the child comprehend what these dangers are and understand how to avoid them?
- The swim test that has to be completed is a 200-yard unassisted swim and a 10-minute float, are they a proficient swimmer able to do this.
- They will be assembling and disassembling the SCUBA equipment. Will they be able to do this on their own?
- Do you feel confident that your child will be able to assist you in an emergency situation?
- Is this child strong enough and large enough to handle the heavy scuba equipment?
- Is this child really wanting to take the course, or are they doing only because you want them to?
In my years of teaching SCUBA, I have had a lot of 10-year-olds take the course and do really well. SCUBA is a sport that they can continue to do all thru out their entire life, so I want them to have a great experience when they are taking the open water SCUBA course. However, keep in mind a refresher is always necessary if they have not been diving for quite a while.
As a parent, you are not doing them any favors for your child by doing their homework for them or doing all of the gear assembling for them. Let them do it by themselves. It may take them a little longer to do this, but they will be more confident in what they are doing.
After they are certified divers between the ages of 10-14 they must dive with a parent, guardian, or dive professional. When an SDI Junior Open Water Diver reaches the age of 15, they may be able to upgrade to an SDI Open Water Scuba Diver certification.