Scuba for Kids Aged 10 and 11
To take diving lessons from a PADI instructor, you need to be at least 10 years of age. The most basic course is an Open Water Diver certification, and student divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15 without further training.
Divers 10-11 years old must dive with a PADI Professional or a certified parent or guardian, and dives cannot exceed 12 meters/40 feet.
Children who enroll in this course must read the same materials and take the same examinations as adults. Whether or not a child will excel in a certification course will depend on his reading level as well as other factors.
A child who successfully completes the open water course will receive a “junior” certification. The certification requires the same course work as an adult certification; however, a junior certification has certain limitations placed upon it.
Scuba for Kids Aged 12 to 14
Divers 12-14 years old must dive with a certified adult and dives cannot exceed 18 meters / 60 feet.
Kids aged 12 to 14 may enroll in a variety of junior scuba diving certification courses including open water/ basic certifications, advanced certifications, rescue diver certifications, and even specialty courses. Children aged 12-14 may not lead dives or act as assistants to scuba instructors.
Junior certifications for children aged 12-14 also have depth and supervision restrictions; however, they are not quite as strict as the restrictions for younger children. Children aged 12-14 are limited to a maximum depth of 60 feet for the junior open water certified divers and must dive with a certified adult or dive professional. All junior certifications may be upgraded when the child reaches 15 years of age.