The following are a range of dive programs available for children of all ages and abilities.
Skin Diver/Junior Skin Diver (NAUI) — this certification class is for kids eight years old and older, teaching the process of snorkelling and breath-hold diving
SASY (PADI) — Supplied Air Snorkelling for Youth is for kids age five to seven. Essentially, SASY is snorkelling using scuba equipment instead of a snorkel. Once a child completes the SASY program they receive a SASY participant card and wall certificate.
Bubblemaker (PADI) — this program is an introduction to breathing underwater for eight- and nine-year-olds. Bubblemaker kids get a one-time pool diving experience with a PADI Instructor. Very popular for birthday parties.
SEAL Team (PADI) — is a confined water scuba experience for ages eight and up. Kids learn basic scuba skills and do “AquaMissions” in a pool where they are limited to a maximum depth of 12 feet (3.6m). Children who progress and accomplish more skills become a “Master Seal” and are then certified to a maximum depth of 20 feet (6m) with an instructor.
Scuba Rangers (SSI) — designed for children aged 7 to 12, Scuba Rangers classes are taught by instructors specifically trained in the Rangers program. Training includes five different levels, providing kids with the skills and knowledge they need to become safe and successful divers in a controlled environment. After completing their fifth level — “Demo Ranger” — students can become Scuba Ranger Club members, receiving an official membership card. Scuba Rangers may then also “specialize” in Scuba Rangers specialty courses.
Scuba Diver/Junior Scuba Diver (NAUI) — This is NAUI’s entry-level scuba diving course, teaching fundamental knowledge and skills to children age 10 and older. As they get older and more proficient, kids can progress to Experienced Scuba Diver and Junior Advanced Scuba Diver, and other specialty courses.
Junior Scuba Program (SSI) — Kids aged 10 to 14 can qualify as a certified diver in a range of courses available to “Junior Divers”, including: Junior Scuba Diver; Junior Open Water Diver; Junior Advanced Adventurer; Junior Specialty Diver. Once certified as a Junior Open Water Diver a child can dive in any appropriate location, though they are required to dive with a certified parent, guardian or active dive professional.
Junior Scuba Diver (PADI) — Children 10 and up can take the full PADI Open Water Diver scuba certification course with specific age limitations for scuba diving. Kids can progress to Junior Open Water diver, which allows them to dive with a PADI-certified parent, guardian or professional to a maximum of 40 feet (12m). Children 12 and up can progress to Junior Advanced Open Water Diver, Junior Rescue Diver, Junior Master Scuba Diver, while also pursuing a range of specialty courses, such as NITROX and photography, to name just a few.
For a more detailed article on kids and diving, see our article ‘Beyond the Bathtub’ in Issue 5 of DIVER Magazine, now on newsstands.
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