Scuba Diving for Children
Whatever dive centre you choose on Koh Tao, there are several options when it comes to scuba diving courses for children. Did you know that kids as young as 8 can go scuba diving?
With family holidays on Koh Tao becoming increasingly popular, it often comes as a pleasant surprise to parents that their children can join them on their underwater adventures! Scuba diving courses for children allow families to explore the magic of the underwater world together, strengthen bonds, and make lasting memories at the same time. Koh Tao dive sites are shallow and full of colourful tropical fish and vibrant coral reefs. So even if children are too young for scuba diving courses, they can always sign up for a discover snorkeling experience and there will still be plenty to see!
Due to physiological considerations, depth limits apply to many scuba diving courses for children. Also note that depending on which dive school you choose and what scuba diving agency they are affiliated to, some of the specifics of each course may change a little. But in general, options for scuba diving courses for children are as follows:
Discover Snorkeling: Children that are too young to go scuba diving can explore the coral reefs around Koh Tao on a snorkeling trip. Most of Koh Tao’s beaches and bays give way to colourful reef structures from as shallow as 2 metres so there is plenty to see, even from the surface.
Bubblemaker: This is essentially a mini dive for a mini person, and allows children from 8-10 years of age to experience the underwater world on a miniature set of scuba equipment. The maximum depth is 2 metres.
Try Diving/Discover Scuba Diving: Children as young as 10 can explore the fascinating world beneath the waves on a day of try diving. The maximum depth is 12 metres, allowing them to see plenty of fish and enjoy the same introductory diving experience as their older siblings and parents.
Open Water Diver: Children aged 10 and upwards can become fully certified divers, although as with all diving courses for children, some limitations on depth and supervision ratios apply. Check with your dive centre for specific details, but generally speaking, children under 12 are limited to 12 metres, whereas older children can go to 18 metres.
Advanced Diver: As one of the main purposes of advanced diver training is to extend depth limits, some younger children are unable to take part. Children can enrol on advanced scuba diving courses from the age of 12, but children under 15 years of age are limited to a depth of 21 metres on training dives rather than the usual 30 metres on advanced courses.
Important things to know about scuba diving courses for children on Koh Tao
- Participation in any scuba diving activity requires you to fill in a medical checklist and sign a set of waivers. Junior divers must have their waiver paperwork and medical countersigned by a parent or guardian.
- Some medical conditions may prevent children from diving, while others require prior written approval from a physician. So be sure to discuss any medical conditions thoroughly with your dive centre before you enroll your children on a scuba diving course or experience program.
- You will be required to wait 18-24 hours after diving before you can fly. So do bear this in mind when you are planning your travel to and from Koh Tao.
- The age restrictions placed on scuba diving courses for children are based on physiological factors and safety considerations. Because breaches in standards are treated incredibly seriously by all scuba diving training agencies, it is likely dive centres will ask to see children’s passports as proof of age.