Child abuse and diving, the first place to look for a dive instructor

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Posted by Wayne on January 03, 2002 at 15:03:04:

In Reply to: KIds and Scuba posted by Jim Hoffmann on January 03, 2002 at 10:40:12:

This is a sore spot for me, but for different reasons. You see, my 10 year old daughter dives. So do her older sisters aged 13, 18, 22.

At the shore or deck, the gear is a problem because of its bulk and size. Under the surface, these problems go away.

Beach diving in full gear can be a handfull for adult divers. It is harder for kids and small adults. Getting carried away by the longshore current sounds like it was a problem of inattention on "dad's" part and is independant of buddy age. That is the real issue to me. The "senior" buddy needs to absolutely know what they are doing to protect the junior buddy -- of any age.

In the case of my 10 year old diver, she spent more than a year preparing for her class. She knew the material long before class. She had been free diving since she was 7 and had been body boarding since she was 4. Her "18 skills" are top notch and she thinks it is fun to practice them. She is not the normal 10 year old diver and I recognize it. But even with this "SUPER 10 YEAR OLD DIVER", I would never let her do the dives I normally do. And I never let her buddy with or be near an inexperienced or rusty diver.

Randy54 said that he saw folks of different age and size buddy up and this frightened him. My little girl knows how to -- and easily can -- send me to the surface in many ways (and I am a big diver). It is a question of knowing the operation of a buddy's weight system and BC.

Now that I have been defensive about all this, let me say the following. Most kids should not dive. Those who are prepared and buddied with qualified parents, should be able to enjoy appropriate diving adventures. I think the Jr certifications are good for certain families because the kids are going to do some kind of diving anyway. It is better that they have formal training by a non-family member.


P.S. I have seen more non-swimming girlfriends diving dangerously than kids.

P.P.S. Here is a picture of the 10 year old diver in a warm water setting.

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