The average scuba diver is twenty-nine years old.
It may seem common for most scuba divers to be young adults who are physically fit and have time for recreational water sports.
Yet how about those under twenty? How old do you have to be to scuba dive? Is there a maximum age for diving?
Let’s take a look.
1. The Minimum Age
The general industry standard is that kids under eight years old can learn to scuba dive in a pool. Those over ten will be eligible to become certified by a diving instructor.
While diving is fun and informative, there are certain risks involved. It is important for children to learn from a professional instructor before they dive into the ocean.
With proper instruction, children will learn to assemble and properly use the equipment. They will learn to swim and breathe underwater. They will also be made aware of the changes their bodies will experience in the sea.
Children ages ten and over must become certified before they go scuba diving. They should be ready physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Many scuba instructors find that children are often more ready and eager to learn to scuba dive properly than their parents. In addition to providing them with outdoor exercise, scuba diving makes children more aware of marine life and helps them develop environmental awareness.
Scuba diving can teach kids math skills, physics, and natural science. It will also make them better critical thinkers in the classroom.
A child who wishes to dive should be medically fit for scuba. They should also be eager to learn and comfortable in the water.
Your child should have the attention span to listen to classroom instructions. They will participate in both pool and water debriefings. They should also be willing and able to tell adults about any discomfort they may be experiencing.
Your child should also have a fairly sophisticated reading level, as they will be required to read the same material as adults who become certified.
2. Types Of Courses
Children interested in diving can begin by taking one-session “try-dives” in a pool. Here, they will be taught the basics they need to know in order to be safe, including ear equalization and hand signals.
Children ages eight and over may also participate with in-depth, multi-day instructions. Scuba skills and diving theory will get taught in simpler, smaller increments.
Children may learn about mask-cleaning, or how to use a buoyancy compensator. During the initial instructional time, children will be confined to water that is no more than twelve feet deep. They will be taught in a controlled environment such as a swimming pool.
Diving is a great family activity. It involves exercise and exploration rather than competition. Children will also learn respect for their marine environment.
Unlike many other sports, kids who become certified in scuba can enjoy their hobby for a lifetime. They will gain confidence, self-esteem, and goal-setting skills.
3. Age-Specific Courses
Ten-and-eleven-year-olds may also pursue a scuba diving certification. In order to get certified, they will need to take the same courses and read the same materials as adults. Most scuba organizations now offer open-water certifications to children over the age of ten.
A child who successfully completes an open-water certification will get a “junior” certification. They will need to complete the same coursework as adults in order to earn it.
There are, however, limits placed on the certification of a child. They may not descend beyond a maximum depth of forty feet, and they must always be accompanied by a certified parent or professional. A junior certification can get upgraded to an adult certification at age fifteen with no additional training.
Children ages twelve to fourteen may enroll in a variety of scuba diving certification courses. They may get open water certifications, advanced certifications, rescue diver certifications, and take specialty courses.
Children under fifteen may not, however, lead dives or act as assistants to scuba diving professionals.
Certifications for children ages twelve to fourteen are not as restrictive as those of younger divers. They may dive to a maximum depth of sixty to seventy-two feet. They must be accompanied by a certified adult. And they may upgrade to an adult certification at age fifteen with no additional training.
4. Maximum Age Requirement
In the US, there is no maximum age limit for scuba-diving. Those over age sixty-five, however, should be in good physical condition before they dive.
A detailed medical exam will provide you with information as to whether or not you are physically fit enough for scuba. Anyone experiencing shortness of breath, blurred vision, or chest pains may not be the right fit for scuba. An entry-level diving swimming class can help you determine if you are ready or not.
Oftentimes, accommodations can be made for those with pre-existing conditions. For example, if you have vision problems, you may wish to get a prescription mask made. Those prone to hypothermia may benefit from a dry suit.
Talk to your doctor and scuba professional about whether scuba diving is the right water sport for you. Lots of water sports, such as snorkeling, can be enjoyed by those who are not medically fit for diving.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Scuba Dive?
How old do you have to be to scuba dive? Many scuba schools welcome kids as young as eight years old if they demonstrate maturity, good reading skills, and a desire to learn. There is no limit to the age you can be to enjoy the hobby.
For more information on scuba diving, read our blog today.