When can children start to scuba dive?

When can children start to scuba dive?

When can children start to scuba dive? This question seems to get a plethora of answers. If you’re trying to find all the key facts about when children can start scuba diving, then you are going to love this post.

This post is direct, fact based and to the point. By the end of this post you will know what ages, exclusions, health considerations and what’s involved in kids learning to scuba dive.

Let's get started

You can use these links to navigate the section guide that most answers your exact question.

  1. How old do you have to be to scuba dive?
  2. Is there a minimum age for scuba diving in the UK?
  3. Scuba diving lessons for kids
  4. What exclusions are there for children scuba diving?
  5. Additional considerations for kids’ scuba diving

These should answer most answers you have, but we understand that there are always specific questions about unique circumstances, our team can help, so reach out to them.

 


Get the Key Facts Guide about children and scuba diving here

We realise that this may well be a large amount of information and more than half of you are probably reading this on your mobile phone. If you would prefer, we can send you a PDF copy of this sent straight to your inbox for future reference.

 


How old do you have to be to scuba dive?

1. How old do you have to be to scuba dive?

The short answer is 8 years old.

But this is only answers the question of when you can first try scuba diving. With the rise in popularity of scuba diving in the late 1990's early 2000's, more and more families wanted to go scuba diving together. There are some age restrictions and they vary in what they allow a youngster to enrol on to. Please bear in mind these ages are minimums and not a recommendation about when a child should start. The concentration and maturity of each child varies, but you, the parent, will know your child best.

8 years old

This is the youngest your kid can start to learn how to scuba dive with an Instructor and it should really be done with a qualified professional as there's more to teaching than just knowing how the equipment works. From what I was taught the age limit is mainly to do with lung development and a lack of research on the effects diving can have on a child's body. Little is known exactly how scuba diving affects children compared to adults, as of course there is little experimentation in the area, so it's best to err on the side of caution. The child's size is a big factor too as finding kit small enough for them can be hard, there is dedicated childrens kit out there that will make their first dive comfortable and encourage them to want to continue. At eight they are limited to the pool with a maximum depth of 4m for their safety but it's a great way for them to get used to the gear and how it works in a controlled environment with a professional diver. Saying that the most important thing is that you never force your child into a hobby that they don't want to, they have to want to learn and pushing them into it too early can backfire.

10 years old

At ten years old kids can enrol in their first official qualification which is the same course as adults but with shallower depth limits and they must dive with an adult even after qualified. Once qualified their qualification will stay with them forever and is recognised all over the world with them just needing to top up their skills from time to time.

12 years old

At this age kids have greater depth limits but must still dive with an adult certified diver even when qualified but the adult diver doesn't need to be a professional level diver.

15 years old

PADI consider any diver qualifications under the age of 15 years old to be 'Junior', meaning they will have special guidelines and depth limits until they turn 15. So under 15 you'll get a Junior Open Water qualification or Junior Advanced Open Water. The curriculum and requirements are much the same just with different depth limits. Once qualified Junior divers must dive with a qualified adult.

18 years old

Welcome to the rest of the world of scuba diving...

 


Is there a minimum age for scuba diving in the UK

2. Is there a minimum age for scuba diving in the UK?

There is no different minimum age for scuba diving in the UK, however, due to the cold, we use drysuits to keep us warmer for longer. If your child is small, they may want to wait until they grow or fill out a little before enrolling on to a course in the UK. A rough guide is between 11 and 13, depending on their build. 

In warmer waters where you can dive in a wetsuit all year round, then crack on from 10 years old.

 


Scuba diving lessons for kids

3. Scuba diving lessons for kids

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How old do you have to be to scuba dive?

4. What exclusions are there for children scuba diving?

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How old do you have to be to scuba dive?

5. Additional considerations for kids’ scuba diving

If you haven't done this before, toothpaste is the best way to prep your mask if it's brand-new and hasn't been dived before. It also won't do any harm to rub some before a dive day, however it shouldn't be your go-to solution for defogging on a dive site just before a dive. 

To prep your mask, rub the toothpaste on the inside of the mask, making sure the whole lense is covered. Rub around and then rinse gently with fresh water until the lens is clear and no toothpaste remains.

Make sure you rinse thoroughly, as any leftover toothpaste can make your eyes water really badly. It does make your mask smell minty fresh though!

 


Get the Key Facts Guide about children and scuba diving here

If you want to keep this for future reference, we can send you a PDF copy of this sent straight to your inbox.

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