Re: . . . certifying children

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on November 17, 2000 at 12:55:34:

In Reply to: And now,a completely different controversy - certifying children posted by brianc on November 17, 2000 at 11:05:20:

I just got done certifying a 12-year-old. Smart kid, very comfortable in the water, passed the test with flying colors, and is on his way to becoming a good diver. (It also helps that I certified his father and older sister.) But the bottom line is that he's still 12.

There will be competent kids and incompetent adults and vice versa, in the same way there are instructors who are good teaching kids (it takes a slightly different touch) and those that aren't. In the end, you'll got to make a judgment call as to whether or not this (certification for a given individual) is the right thing to do. It's not a black-and-white answer and it's always going to be a judgment call that's open to 20/20 hindsight down the road.

On the other hand, personally I'm not comfortable certifying kids UNDER the age of 12. Although you can certainly argue that there may be some 10 and 11 y.o. kids who are capable of handling this sport under the direct supervision of their parents or a qualified adult, something about this, to me, just doesn't feel right.

My partner at Reef Seekers, Bill Wright (father of two small children), feels equally strongly - maybe even more so - about this issue so we've decided to make it a policy at Reef Seekers that even though PADI has given the go-ahead to 10 and 11 (NAUI has opted not to), we're still going to hold the line at 12.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

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