Diving historical wreck sites and cool caverns is an experience like no other. With children’s natural curiosity and ability to learn new skills, scuba diving is a skill to learn as soon as possible. Scuba diving programs start for children at age 8. There are a number of certification bodies involved in learning to scuba dive but by far the most popular is PADI (The Professional Association of Diving Instructors), with SSI (Scuba Schools International) another well-known organisation.
Bubblemaker & Seal Team Program aged 8+
Bubblemaker is PADI’s introduction course and allows children aged eight and over to try out scuba diving equipment in a familiar swimming pool environment. It’s a great introduction to learning to scuba dive and will give children an idea of what is involved. Once they’ve completed the assessment they will be safe to dive to 2 metres. We recommend families try this one-day experience first to give an indication if the child is ready to learn scuba diving.
Junior open water diver cert. for ages 10-14
From 10 to 14 PADI offers children a full open water training certification course similar to the adult program. The PADI Junior Open Water course has three main components:
- Theory – Training modules to understand the basic principles of scuba diving.
- Closed Water Training – Before getting into the Ocean you’ll need to complete several sessions in the pool getting to grips with basic scuba skills.
- Open Water Training – Children will need to complete 4 dives in the open water to complete their certification, giving them the chance to put into practice what has been learned in the previous two components.
The Junior certification allows children aged 10-11 to dive to a depth of 12 meters (40 feet) and 12-14 year olds to 18 metres (60 feet). They must dive with a PADI professional or a certified adult over the age of 18. Once your child reaches 15 they are automatically upgraded to the Open Water Diver programme and invited to complete the course to achieve certification.
Open water diver 15+
From 15 onwards children can complete the full open water scuba diver certification, with depth and buddy restrictions defaulting to those of a regular PADI Open Water Diver (18 meters).
How about a learn to dive holiday with BWW?
We only work with reputable, certified PADI dive schools that specialise in training children to scuba dive. We arrange everything involved in a ‘learning to dive’ family holiday from speaking with your local dive centre to recommending the best destination based on abilities, interests and ages. We take into consideration younger members of the family who might like to try snorkelling or the more senior who are happy relaxing on a yacht, watching from afar.
Every year, fewer species are surviving our planet. Our oceans are under threat, coral and sea-life are depleting in record numbers. Showing children how utterly marvellous our Blue Planet’s oceans are will go a long way in cultivating a lifelong love of nature. Why wait?,