Scuba diving has greatly evolved in the past 20 years and there are more than 6 million [1] active scuba divers worldwide. While the number of divers is increasing, so is the number of kids learning to dive. But is it safe for kids to dive?

Let’s take a look.

Why should kids scuba dive?

When kids scuba dive it can be one of the most rewarding activities they can be doing. They learn important hands on skills like how to set up their own equipment, how to conduct equipment ‘buddy checks’ and how to correctly care for their equipment.

While scuba diving, children learn vital skills that are crucial for their own safety as well as the environment around them like clearing their mask and regulator from water, as well as buoyancy skills which help them avoid contact with the bottom and fragile marine organisms.

Most important of all, kids get to learn about marine life and how to passively interact with the marine world by taking nothing more than photos and leaving nothing but bubbles!

School programmes and learning objectives

We believe that as humanity heals the ocean and planet, the oceans and planet will heal humanity. Our children are the ultimate drive for change, they are the decision makers of the future and we integrate conservation modules with school camps to ensure that kids learn about how they can be that change.

We also put conservation at the front of everything we do, with every school programme or trip we educate the kids about one of the many conservation modules that have been developed by professionals in their respective fields.

The scuba diving industry and safety

Since the development of the modern “SCUBA” unit or “Aqua-Lung” in the 1940’s by Jacques-Yves Cousteau diving has come a long way in terms of safety standards. Back then, when diving was predominantly a military or a career diver choice, there was very little known about how depth and pressure affected us except through trial and error or the very dated US Navy Tables developed in 1915 that were not intended for recreational use. [2]

In the 1980s and ’90s diving started growing as a recreational sport and developments like the personal diving computers brought diver safety to its peak [3]. In 1999 PADI dropped its minimum age requirement to 8 years old for the PADI Bubblemaker and 10 years old for the PADI Open Water Diver course. This was done after extensive research and established that between ages 8-10 years kids are only allowed to dive up to 2m in a controlled environment and between ages 10-12 up to 12m of depth in the ocean. Once a child has exceeded that age the maximum depth limit will be based on the divers training and development.

Safety standards at OrcaNation

Now that we’ve established all the reasons why we think scuba diving is great for kids and schools, let’s look at what steps we take to ensure the safety of our customers and children.

  1. Ratios:
    Every OrcaNation customer is accompanied by an OrcaNation Dive Professional at a ratio that does not exceed 4 divers to 1 professional with no exceptions. With children who are younger than 12 years old, no more than 2 children will be part of that group.
  2. Our OrcaPod:
    Our OrcaNation Dive professionals are one of our most valuable assets, they are all professionally trained PADI Instructors or Divemasters who have years of experience in diving education as well as school programmes and activities. Meet some of them here>
  3. Activities:
    All OrcaNation led activities are risk assessed by professionals and are conducted to the highest standard in the industry. All scuba diving activities are following PADI safe diving practices with even more conservative measures taken when children are involved.
  4. Extra precautions:
    All OrcaNation Dive Professionals are first aid and CPR trained, emergency equipment like emergency oxygen and first aid kits are available at all our facilities. Our professionals are all trained to follow our set emergency action plans in case a situation arises. During school programmes, we always have a boat available on standby for emergencies to evacuate any of our island locations.

Read more about our school programmes here>

OrcaNation & schools

OrcaNation has been successfully running school programmes with some of the biggest international schools in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Beyond delivering the highest standard diving courses in South East Asia, International Schools also reap the benefit of partnering with OrcaNation on developing and conducting our educational modules.

Coral Reefs Orca Scuba

There are over 35 educational modules and over 20 land and water based activities and courses that we conduct on a regular basis with schools.

Conclusion

Is scuba diving for kids safe? Absolutely yes! Especially when it’s conducted with OrcaNation Dive Professionals at any of our OrcaNation locations. Using the highest standards in the industry, diving has never been safer.

Speak to a member of our team >

Sources
[1] DEMA: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.dema.org/resource/resmgr/imported/Diving%20Fast%20Facts-2013.pdf
[2] Huggins, Karl E. (1992). "Dynamics of decompression workshop". Course Taught at the University of Michigan. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
[3] PADI: https://blog.padi.com/2017/07/17/scuba-diving-safe/

BLOG AUTHOR: Buddy Tolba

If you want to find out more about diving for kids, contact our Customer Experience Team who will be happy to assist you in arranging your next family diving adventure.