Perhaps you’re a seasoned diver or considering to pick up SCUBA diving and are excited to share the fun with your child. But before you signup your kids, let’s review the prerequisites by PADI for the PADI Junior Open Water diver course.
- Minimum age of 10 years old
- Able to swim
- In good physical health
- No prior SCUBA experience required
The course content is no different from the adult certification. However, once the child is certified, the following restrictions must be met :
- Divers 10 – 11 years old
- Must dive with a PADI professional or a certified parent or guardian.
- Depth must not exceed 12 meters.
- Divers 12 – 14 years old
- Must dive with a certified adult.
- Depth must not exceed 18 meters.
What if the child is less than 10 years old? Then he/she may participate in the PADI Seal Team Program.
Minimum age required for the PADI Seal Team program is 8 years old and the course can ONLY be conducted in a swimming pool. Depth will be between 1.2 to 2.0 meters. Open water dives are not allowed after being certified.
Alright, with that reviewed, so probably your child has met all the above requirements. But just before you very well sign those papers, remember kids are not young adults. So there are additional questions you would need to ask yourself:
- Does your child want to learn to dive?
- Does your child have sufficient attention span to listen and learn from class discussions, pool and open-water briefings?
- Is your child able to follow various safety rules and protocols?
- Is your child able to cope with adult-level materials* (with additional time and help required by the child)?
- Does your child feel comfortable to feedback about any discomfort to an unfamiliar adult (instructor or divemaster)?
- Are you comfortable of having a junior diver as a buddy?
* Only the PADI Seal Team materials are designed for kids but will not be suitable for the PADI (Jr.) Open Water Diver courses and beyond.
If your answers to all the above are “Yes”, then you and your child are ready for a life changing experience. Imagine the holidays spent together as a family, beneath the waves exploring the wonders and beauty of the underwater world. Having to appreciate the ocean together may also become the foundation for your kids for a lifelong commitment in marine conservation.
To be honest, SCUBA diving is a very safe activity when rules and protocols are being adhered to. Hence it’s also very important to understand if the child is to ready handle the responsibilities in SCUBA diving when he/she partakes in it. Our role as dive instructors is to assist them to grow and find passion in this lifelong activity.