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#5303 - 04/26/01 06:42 AM Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
What is your opinion of the new 10 year old certification that many diving organizations are offering? Do you think that a 10 year old can make a competant diver? What age (older or younger) do you think should be the youngest a diver should be before they can be certified?

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#5304 - 04/26/01 10:22 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
nobends Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 76
Loc: NY,NY, USA
Boy, that really has to depend on the 10 year old right? We place a limit on driving ages so that young drivers aren't a danger to themselves or to others. I guess the same should hold true to diving right?

If a 10year old can truly understand the risks/rewards associated with diving, both to themselves and to their buddies, then why not?


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#5305 - 04/26/01 06:36 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
It totally depends on the 10 year old. I have taught some who are bigger than me and some who catch on to the dive tables quicker than an adult. But there are also those who physically can't handle the equipment or the academic part of the class.
From my experience 14 is a pretty good age to start. (Then again who knows????)

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#5306 - 04/27/01 02:52 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Sandshark Offline
new diver

Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 4
Loc: Shelburne Falls, Ma. US.
I don't believe that they should be certified that young. Granted, there are kids who probably could do better than some adults but, that's not the total picture. To me, I think that this is too young of an age. If kids 10 years old were old enough to be certified for diving, then why can't they get a license to drive a car? Or even a mo-ped? In my opionion, I don't think that the maturity is there.

Sandshark



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#5307 - 04/29/01 12:29 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
SHARK444 Offline
avid diver

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 14
Loc: Mason City IA 50401
It's like the saying goes, age shouldn't matter. As long as the person is enthusiastic about the sport has the ability to learn, pays attention, and can follow the directions they should be able to scuba dive. We as divers are supposed to be encouraging the younger generation to take up our sport. I'd rather see a ten year old diving into the water than see hiim/her diving into drugs.

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#5308 - 05/08/01 02:03 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
badmamerjamer Offline
avid diver

Registered: 05/08/01
Posts: 5
Loc: austin,tx,usa
i think we should keep in mind that its not going to be the 10y.o. out there by themselves. the ability of the child + the confidence of the guardian of that child should be more at issue.

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#5309 - 05/08/01 10:24 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
I agree with badmamerjamer, though I think age DOES matter, it is the same with driving, the age limit is set for all people even though some may be ready to drive earlier most are not. In diving this is more prevelent because of the physical demands. In this case a parent or gaurdian is a very good idea to have along.
and shark...
"We as divers are supposed to be encouraging the younger generation to take up our sport. I'd rather see a ten year old diving into the water than see hiim/her diving into drugs. "
I hardly think that diving and drugs have a large correlation. There are also a lot of other things to keep them off drugs.

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#5310 - 05/08/01 08:09 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
Personally as a instructor i have no problem with children getting certified. If they are able to pass the academic exams / confined and open water skills im more then happy to certify them. If they cant they dont get certified just like any adult.

The question should be is a parent / legal guardian qualified enough to take responsibilty for themselves and a child underwater. Ive seen many adults who can barely take responsibilty ie: sticking with your buddy, monitoring your buddies air, etc. for there buddy let alone a child.
Not to mention there is no requirement for the supervising adult to know how to even rescue someone in need of help. Personally i think there should be requirements of the adult supervising the child.

Just remember that diving just like anything else can be dangerious, snow skiing, water skiing, driving in a car, etc and we dont put all these requirements on them for children, Statistically diving is very safe if we follow the rules.


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#5311 - 05/09/01 05:37 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
statistically almost anything is safe if you follow the rules. But I do agree on more requirements on the supervising diver

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#5312 - 05/09/01 08:31 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
davidsgoindowndeep Offline
new diver

Registered: 05/08/01
Posts: 4
Loc: cairns australia
i am only 15 and i only just got certified my personal opinion is that 10 is way to young becouse a 10yo is not mature enogh to cope with emergancies +not physicly mature enogh to carry all the gear thet is needed in a full kit
13 to 14 is a more realistic age

david watson


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#5313 - 05/11/01 06:14 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Jerry Offline
new diver

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 4
Loc: Harrisburg, PA, USA
David makes a valid point. Most 10 yr olds do not have the physical strength or maturity to handle emergencies or, for that matter, get back on a boat in surge etc.

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#5314 - 05/14/01 09:03 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
thats why children have to be supervised while diving. You must also remember that diving with a child and your instructor should make this clear to you, that a child is NOT your buddy, YOU are HIS/HER buddy and in effect you are solo diving since a child may not have the strength or ability to be your buddy in a emergency. As for gear.. the scuba industry is just now starting to make childrens gear.. its hard to expect a 10yr old to wear adult gear and be able to function like a adult.

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#5315 - 05/26/01 11:27 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
The Natural Offline
avid diver

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18
Loc: Hollywood, FL, USA
Yeah, I am new here, but I have to agree with most of the people here. I think you should be 16 to Scuba. Just my opinion. I am in a class with a 10 year old, and a 13 year old, and they make me nervous as all hell. I think young kids should stick to snorkeling.

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#5316 - 05/31/01 02:13 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
sharkb8mg Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 26
Loc: Creola,AL
I agree with David. I think 10 is too young. I had a 15 year old in my class & he is dead now. He shot a big ling & it knocked his reg out of his mouth & drug him into a rig leg, knocked him out. His mom grabbed him and shot to the surface. He was DOA and she was bent. I guess what i'm saying is maybe 15 is too young???....no offense David. It's hard to say how old is old enough.

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#5317 - 06/03/01 05:24 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
sure there are kids who shouldnt be certified and then ive seen adults who shouldnt be certified either. Adults can be just as stupid and dangerious to themselves as any kid. The only difference is kids have to be supervised and stupid adults dont. hmmm

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#5318 - 06/03/01 08:37 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
I think that maybe there shouldn't be the diver who must be supervised, shouldn't a diver be able to be responsible as a diver and a buddy?

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#5319 - 06/03/01 09:21 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Hybrid8 Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/21/01
Posts: 23
Loc: Toronto, Canada
quote:
Originally posted by Toothpickman:
1.) What is your opinion of the new 10 year old certification that many diving organizations are offering? 2.) Do you think that a 10 year old can make a competant diver? 3.) What age (older or younger) do you think should be the youngest a diver should be before they can be certified?

Unlike everyone else, I'll just answer the questions asked.

1.) Way to get people excited about the sport at a young age. More money for certs and equipment. Making of young consumers.

2.) The average 10 year old could never make a competant diver. The cert material should in fact be a little tougher, and even at the current level would probably overwhelm a 10 year old. Having lower level materials for kids is a little silly and outright dangerous. And even with kids equipment, you can't reduce the weight and size of certain kit very much without also compromising on their quality: regs, tanks, bc, etc...

3.) Older. 16. Puts them at a good stage through high school where they should be able to grasp the concepts being taught in the same vein as they're learning their sciences in school.

Bruno


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#5320 - 06/07/01 01:34 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
quote:
Originally posted by Toothpickman:
What is your opinion of the new 10 year old certification that many diving organizations are offering? Do you think that a 10 year old can make a competant diver? What age (older or younger) do you think should be the youngest a diver should be before they can be certified?

1. I do not believe that 10 year olds have the cognitive ability to understand the concepts that will be presented in the classroom and in the water. Even if they can pass the tests and perform the skills set forth by agency standards, they do not have the cognitive ability to understand how their actions underwater could ultimately end up in death. In the stage of development that they are (from a psychosocial point of view), their understanding is that no harm can come to them, they are invincible. Why do we wish to place them in a situation that requires a grasp of concepts that they are cognitively unable to understand and implement appropriately? Furthermore, I believe that 12 and 13 is too young for the same reasons. Add to that the attention span that man pre-adolescents have and you have a recipe for disaster.

2. Please see #1. I do not believe that a 10 year old can be a competent diver. By definition, a competent diver can not only fend for themselves, but can also help or support another diver. If agencies believe that divers under 12 can not dive without a parent present (or professional), then how can they be considered competent? Most of the responsibility is place on the parent or professional. If you disagree, just ask yourself, what is the rationale for putting young divers with a parent or professional? And, is it really safe to put children and parents together? I've seen many disagreements topside and over-protectedness on the parents part that the child never learns anything. No, I really don't believe a 10 year old can be competent; sometimes I even question if a 12-15 year old can be.

3. I believe that 15 is a good age to start. Not only are the concepts that are presented in the classroom concurrent with their high school education, they are also more capable in the water as far as comfort and stamina. Their concepts of right and wrong and death are more concrete, they are able to handle equipment easier, and their attention span is greater.

To beat it into a rug, I think that offering scuba to anyone under 12 (and even that is too young) is the biggest mistake that training agencies have made. I do not care about empirical data put forth by CMAS in regards to younger divers; I care about the safety of the children. How can one be safe if they can not understand that concept? I think that children should be allowed to be children; why do we want to make them grow up so fast? If a family that dives together stays together, then let's not set up children to fail. There is a time and place to learn scuba, it will always be there waiting for the right moment. Don't rush a good thing!


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#5321 - 06/07/01 02:59 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
im only going to say 1 thing and that is we do not place restrictions on children riding bikes, snow skiing, skateboarding, etc nor do we require them to even take a class ahead of time, now your going to tell me that a child under supervision is a danger to himself.. hmmm ive certified many children and ive seen many who are better divers then alot of the adults ive certified. Sure they dont have the strength to rescue a adult but do we require that of children when they water ski or snow ski or ride a bike.. come on you cant tell me scuba is more dangerious then any of those other activities. Sure diving can be dangerious but so are alot of other sports. The parents and children are required to have a lecture on the dangers of diving before we even allow them near the water to give the parents a opportunity to understand the dangers of diving. Its the parent who ultimately decides if the child is to take up scuba diving and just like any other sport its their right to decide if their child is responsibile enough to do so. Anyone who claims children arnt capable of learning to be responsible divers is just ignorant.

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#5322 - 06/07/01 06:15 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
[QUOTE]Originally posted by rstone:
im only going to say 1 thing and that is we do not place restrictions on children riding bikes, snow skiing, skateboarding, etc nor do we require them to even take a class ahead of time

In each of these "sports" there is not the interdependence that exists in the sport of diving. Diving is more like mountain climbing than any of these sports. In this respect diving IS more dangerous than these sports. That is why a there is a test and classes as well as an age limit, that is set to fit the general populations abilities. Like driving a car or flying a plane while diving another person's life is your responsibility, I would think you would understand this as an instructor.


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#5323 - 06/08/01 12:22 AM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
Mr. Stone,

I did not say that "a child under supervision is a danger to himself" by diving under supervision. I said that I did not feel that they could understand the concept of diving being dangerous. As a matter of fact they don't understand that concept in the other sports you listed either. That's what allows them to do all those fancy tricks on snowboards, skis, blades, and so forth. Any adult that would pick up those sports would give careful consideration to the consequences.

As PADI gives their instructors a choice on whether or not they will work with students 10 and 11, I have chosen not to work with them. I have had 12-14 year olds in classes and they don't pay attention during classroom or water sessions. I have a hard time thinking that 10-11 year olds would have better attention spans.

While diving is statistically safe, according DAN's annual stats report, I still feel that the inherent dangers that are present in diving are enough to warrant re-examination of what age is too young.

Furthermore, I believe that a lot of the hype around younger students is just another pocket for the industry to dive into. In other words, I believe it is driven by a desire for money, not in the interest of the children we are ultimately teaching.

Now, that isn't to say that if a child is brought up through the ranks that they wouldn't make a good diver (i.e. in the PADI system of education there is SASY then Seal Team), I am saying that I wouldn't want to by responsible for them. Furthermore, the industry is somewhat against solo diving, and that is just what we put ourselves and/or the parents of those children in by requiring the children to dive with a professional or certified parent. In fact, PADI's position was putforth in a memo and on the web stating that they are against solo diving practices. Sounds somewhat hypicritical of them to putforth that statement and then put parents and professionals into the situation.

Cheers.


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#5324 - 06/08/01 06:07 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
kwesler Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/07/01
Posts: 55
Here is the perspective of a newly certified 11 year old. My wife and I are both certified, and we did the whole class with him, which was a VIP course with just us. Our rules were that he had to pass OUR version of the tests-more stringent. Also, he had to be perfect in all his confined water excercises. He could exhibit no discomfort in the water or with any of the equipment. He had to do everything himself. Most importantly, when the instructor was watching his skills, I was watching his eyes for any sign of distraction, or in the case of reg recovery drills and such, panic. My son, as a part of his personality, is a very calm person. As an accomplished musician, and former NASA camp attendee, he has consistently demonstrated discipline and concentration. I have great confidence in him. All that being said, when we dive, we go as a threesome. We only go in good conditions. We only go when we are all feeling perfect-not ok...perfect. Diving with him is not fun, other than the pleasure in knowing the world that is opening for him. It is rigorous parenting. But the best stuff always is!

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#5325 - 06/08/01 08:36 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
sure toothpickman there is a interdependence that exists in the sport of diving and putting a parent in a position of being a solo diver without the experience could be dangerious and do i think parents should have tougher restrictions if supervising a child.. YES!. however that doesnt mean i think a child is anymore a danger in the water then some adults or anymore likely to kill themselfs then in any other sport. What i was trying to point out was that we do require children to do alot of things to be certified and the dive industry should be given credit for this since alot of other sport industries dont!.

jmsdiver sure adults consider the consequences, and some of them make a bad judgement and die, and im sorry to hear you had bad experiences with children then again we only do private classes with children.. store policy. One on one is alot easier. Jmsdiver i dont care if its open water or divemaster sure its about money isnt everything? 95% of the dive industry is in the dive business to make money. You and me both teach for money not because we are great guys and want to do it out of the kindness of our hearts.. just a fact of life.

Actually jmsdiver the padi memo didnt state that. You didnt read the whole thing did you?
here is part of the PADI memo:

Can Solo Diving be done responsibly?

Yes, but let's be clear about what responsible solo diving is and what it is not. It requires experienced scuba divers willing to make the necessary commitment to train and equip themselves to accept the added risks involved. That is to say, a person with the required attitude and aptitude to pursue responsible solo diving. This is true in other adventure sport activities such as solo rock climbing.

It is important to clarify what responsible solo scuba diving is. PADI views it as a form of technical diving and not for everybody. To responsibly engage in solo scuba diving, a diver must first be highly experienced, have a hundred or so buddy accompanied scuba dives, be absolutely self-reliant and apply the specialized procedures and equipment needed to engage in the activity. This includes, but is not limited to redundant air sources, specialized equipment configurations, specific dive planning, and management of solo diving problems and emergencies. When solo diving is performed within this description, we see a place for it. Responsible solo diving is not diving alone without the mental discipline, attitude or equipment. That said, no amount of redundant equipment can effectively back up a diver's brain better than another individual.

let me state that again in case you missed it...

"when solo diving is performed within this description, we see a place for it."


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#5326 - 07/19/01 01:23 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
Sebastian Offline
avid diver

Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 9
Loc: Piran, Slovenia
Look at this page, its a godd article about this.
http://www.divernet.co.uk/technique/0601kids.htm

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#5327 - 07/19/01 11:35 PM Re: Opinion of scuba certification at young ages
gqmedic Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/01/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Moreno Valley, CA. US
While my 11 and 13 year old are pretty great boys, in observing thier latest examples of judgement, self accountability and perception of danger,(The eldest can't even sit still in his math class, my youngest can't even remember to take out the trash! Much less be trusted to maintain his gear post dive or trusted enough to NOT jam his arm in some underwater hole occupied by a startled home defending morray eel) 10 year olds diving? Not with me they're not! Trust me, when I say, DAD SAYS NO.

Would my vehement NO ever change? Certainly!
Without consideration of chronological age, when they reach a point in thier developement as young men, demonstrating self accountability, perception of danger, the ability to absorb and respect the information being presented to them accompanied by the aquisition of the skills and physical requirements, I look forward to taking them to where Dad goes weekly to see the things I see underwater. I can't think of too many things more facinating I could share with them. So, from a parent's point of view, do I think 10 year olds "pack the gear" to be competant divers. No, not really.

But, what do I know? I've forgotten what it was like to be 15, when I knew everything. *wink*

Dennis


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