Posted by finfan on January 03, 2002 at 16:08:02:
In Reply to: Child abuse and diving posted by Wayne on January 03, 2002 at 15:03:04:
I know I won't change your opinion because it sounds like you have multiple cases of young people diving sucessfully just in your family and thank god you have never had to regret your decision to allow them to dive early on in age. That said, I think your position is all wrong. I say that, even after being willing to say that you deserve a right to that opinion and if you want to let your 10 yr. old dive then that's up to you.
Personally I think you are placing them in a situation of higher risk then you are probably willing to admit. While I can think of several reasons why waiting until they are older is the right answer, I'll give you my top 3:
First: Physical strength/limitations - Fact: at 10 years old your "super" daughter may be able to get you to the surface, but physically she wouldn't be able to do much with you there. Let's hope you surface right next to someone who has the physical strength to assist at that point and in a place with no current. You might as well be diving alone. Question for you, at 30 feet can she slowly get you to the surface while also in control of her own accent? Fact: panic is a number killer in water related emergencies (lifeguarding 101). Physically she is not capable at 10 years old of being able to control a panic stricken diver or keep a diver in distress from ripping her mouthpiece from her.
Secondly: Decision making capabilities: We spend 18 years (in some cases a lifetime) teaching our children how to disseminate, calculate and then make good decisions (most of the time in less stressful environments then underwater). To believe at ten years old your daughter can exercise the same level of judgement as someone 15/16 or even 17 years old is just lying to yourself.
Lastly, I also have a fear on the effects of diving. I know there isn't any scientific data on what effects (if any) could occur, but then it's not like we have a hugh population of older people that began diving around 10 to test.
I'll always honor your right to make the call yourself, but these other folks have hit it on the nailhead - The only reason even jr certifications are offered is for the BUCKS! I can't believe anyone could ever come up with a single valid reason to say the earlier the better.
Your daughter(s) sound exceptional, let's hope you never have to have that tested in the water in anything but ideal conditions and situations you control.
Good diving to you
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