Diving with children

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Diving with children

Activities related to the sea arouse passions among children and when we talk about the super power of breathing underwater, the adventure is even more attractive. It is one of the most relaxing and beautiful activities that we can do as a family, but there are a number of aspects that we must consider before diving with children. 

At what age can minors dive?

The law defines that to get your first certification as an autonomous diver is 12 years old, with restrictions up to 15. But to have your first experience in diving will depend on the philosophy of the diving agency and the laws of the country. In all agencies (RAID, SSI, ...) the minimum age is 10 years, except PADI that its quality standards allow 8 years.

This age limit can be very relative since these limits are given by scientific studies of the physical development of children. (M.L. Dembert, J.F. Keith 3rd. Evaluating the potential pediatric scuba diver. Am J Dis Child., 140 (1986), pp. 1135-1141) and children, as we well know, have very different stages of development. This means that it can be left to the discretion of the diving instructor if a child is trained to dive or is too small since we cannot forget that diving involves a series of risks. Any parent who gives his children the option of diving wants to do it in complete safety, our dream as divers is to dive with our children and share the beauty of the sea as a family. 

Below I will describe some pros / cons of diving with children.


  • Aquatic activities help the development of psychomotor and muscular skills, improving their cardiological functions and lung capacity.
  • Diving carries responsibility, being part of the training, and this involves a great development of the maturity in children.
  • It is an activity that even in adults greatly increases the self-esteem, we all love it for a reason (it will be nitrogen…).
  • It is an activity where relaxation and breathing are worked, being highly recommended exercises for situations of child stress.
  • It is a sport that we will always be accompanied and our diving buddies are very important for safety and being able to share incredible experiences, so that children obtain great value from the companionship and friendship. The friends we make diving are forever!
  • It is an activity that we can create a very important bond with our children, where the family activities will become the object of desire for the children.
  • All divers are ambassadors of the oceans, to a greater or lesser extent we are all sea conservationists, creating in our children a feeling of responsibility and Environmental education.


  • The understanding of the laws of physics that have a direct bearing on diving is limited.
  • The feeling of risk in children is less so they always have to dive under supervision.
  • For physical conditions consult the quote mentioned below.

Source: Scuba diving in children: Physiology, risks and recommendations R. Cilvetia,e, , B. Osonab, J.A. Peñab, L. Morenoc, O. Asensiod. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2341287915001763

The depth limits set by the standards of the diving agencies are defined by scientific studies, the main reason being that those under 15 years of age cannot dive more than 12m (21m in deep diving, but with a lack of studies).

Children under 12 years of age are limited to 5/6 meters (depending on the agency) in confined water areas (swimming pool or similar) where the risk is minimal.

Those under 10 years of age are recommended not to dive if their physical development is not adequate, there are agencies such as PADI that offer “bubblemaker” in which they will not exceed two meters in depth, the risk being minimal, although no scientific study recommends diving at under 10.

 In summary, diving with children is one of the best activities that we can share with our children, with enormous benefits for children and family ties, but without forgetting that it is a risky activity and that the health of our children is at stake. in front. 

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