Most of us started scuba diving when we were much younger and maybe even before we settled down, married and began to raise a family. Now that our children are getting older it is only natural that we want them to enjoy many of the same pursuits that we enjoy, like scuba diving. What is the best way to go about this daunting task?
Junior Scuba Certification
If your child is at least 10 years old but under the age of 15 years old, they can obtain full Junior Scuba certification by earning the Junior Open Water Certification. This can be obtained at any Dive Center that offers Scuba Classes for Children. At Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center we routinely train younger divers throughout the year.
When a child certified as a Junior Open Water diver reaches the age of 15 they are automatically considered an Open Water Scuba Diver or adult diver.
PADI Seal Team
PADI Seal Team is scuba diving adventure for Kids ages 8 and older. Kids will learn all about scuba diving in the comfort of a swimming pool under the guidance of a PADI Scuba Instructor.
PADI Seal Team is made up of 5 parts that are called Aqua Missions. Each mission will teach the young student different skills that are needed to become a scuba diver.
Aqua Mission One focuses on how to breathe underwater, communicate underwater using hand signals, and how to keep their ears comfortable by equalizing while scuba diving.
Aqua Mission Two includes learning how to equalize your mask and how to clear and recover a regulator while underwater.
Aqua Mission Three shows the kids how to get water out of their scuba mask and how to float comfortably on the surface in scuba equipment, and how to use an alternate air source (called an octopus) in a simulated out of air emergency.
Aqua Mission Four emphasizes buoyancy control underwater, and other ways to recover and replace a regulator into your mouth while underwater.
Aqua Mission Five teaches the kids how to snorkel both with and without their scuba gear, how to switch between their snorkel and their scuba regulator, and provides further practice on everything that they learned.
During each Aqua Mission the youngsters will learn new skills and a few scuba rules. They will play games that reinforce these new skills and rules to insure that when they have fun they do so safely.
Once the child completes all five Aqua Missions they will be certified as a Seal Team Member and receive their Seal Team Card. But the fun does not have to end their. Seal Team members can signup for Specialty Missions. These Specialty Missions include snapshot or underwater picture taking, Creature ID, Inner Space and lots more. After ten Specialty Missions the kids are called Master Seal Team members and receive a new card.
One final word about teaching children to learn to scuba dive. Children are usually much smaller then adults. When you take your child to a facility to learn to scuba dive make sure that the Dive Center has scuba diving equipment especially designed and sized for smaller divers. It is very important that the child scuba diver has a fun experience and trying to make do with scuba equipment that is too large is no way to have fun. At Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy we have a few complete sets of scuba equipment set aside just for the child scuba diver. We have Buoyancy Control Devices or BCD’s in child sizes and regulators with shorter hoses and smaller mouthpieces. This helps ensure a fun and worthwhile experience for the child scuba diver.