Children and Scuba Diving in Padangbai
Scuba diving is an amazing activity in many ways. Besides engaging you in physical exercise, another important thing is the experience you get from seeing the underwater world at first hand. Reading books and watching documentaries is part of the whole learning process, but seeing the aquatic animals and plants in actions is certainly the best method for observation.
What we see every day here in our OK Divers dive center in Padangbai is that diving, like many other sports is a great for teambuilding and bonding. Divers, more than others, make new acquaintances when diving with new buddies and often find friends for life. We absolutely cheer for families who come to village of Padangbai to learn diving together. Surprisingly in many cases, the children are the ones to initiate this adventure. They are more eager and curious than their parents when it comes to trying new sports. Scuba diving adventure can give the children a valuable experience to improve their understanding of nature and our responsibility towards it. However, there is an on-going debate among scuba diving professionals whether children are even allowed to dive.
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) allows children as early as 10 years old to get certified as Junior Open Water Divers. Using age as a point of reference is always good and has been proven effective in other aspects of life too. PADI, as one of the most reputable diving organizations in the world, sets the minimum age for children divers, however the parents should consider more than that prior to signing their kid up for a diving course.
Divers get to experience one of a kind perspective in observing the underwater world and enjoy the beauty of aquatic life. These are the two things that only few of us have had the chance to witness. Scuba diving, however, requires the use of various equipment and techniques. More importantly, the child needs to be mentally ready in case of errors. Most accidents in diving are caused by panicking or ascending too quickly. Whether it starts from equipment failures or other things, being mentally unready is a risk. Children develop mentally and physically at a different rate, so the decision to allow any kid to dive depends on various factors apart from age only.
There are several dive sites around Padangbai suitable also for these little divers. However, as anyone else who wants to become a scuba diver, children too require proper training to gain the skills, practice and getting used to the gear. If you are thinking of taking your children diving for the first time, you should consider the following:
- Seek the service of a professional and skilled instructor who has naturally good attitude towards children.
- Children under 8 years have immature lungs, so they should never perform a dive or diving training.
- Children should undergo a proper pool training before proceeding to open water training.
- A diver should weigh at least 45kg and stands at 150cm tall.
- If your child does not feel at ease, or is literally scared, you should never ever force them to continue the activity or the course. They might find their own path to scuba diving at an older age, so don’t spoil it for them.
Set a good example instead and they might follow and become scuba divers one day.