Minimum Age to Dive. How young is too young for diving?

It is common for people to wonder what is the minimum age to dive? Diving is one of the most fascinating activities, but, what is the minimun age to dive for kids?

“Exploring the underwater world at a young age! 🌊🐠 #FutureDiver #ScubaKid #PoolAdventures”

A unique experience that changes the lives of the people who practice it. It raises awareness in a special way and helps to look at nature from a different perspective.

Like other disciplines, starting at an early age in diving is a great advantage. However, here are some very important aspects to consider.

Who can dive?

Anyone with the physical ability to handle the equipment and the emotional maturity can dive.

If a person can understand the rules and take responsibility for their safety and that of their companions, they can dive safely and enjoyably.

However, certain conditions can prevent people of any age from practicing this discipline.

Especially conditions associated with lung functions or anything that may affect your ability to perform effectively underwater can be limiting.

middle age kids scuba diving practice
Middle age Kids diving in a pool

See also: PADI Open Water Diving Course in Costa Rica

Of course, a diving license is always necessary. Venturing into open water without proper preparation and unsupervised is not a good idea.

Minimum age to dive

Although there is no maximum limit to learn and practice diving, there are limitations regarding the minimum age to dive, which the student must have in order to participate in a course and be certified.

Generally, the minimum age for diving is between 10 and 12 years old, depending on the certifying association.

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In the case of PADI, the minimum age is 10 years. At this age, students are certified as Junior Open Water Diver.

three kids in scuba gear sitting on a diving platform
Three people in scuba gear sitting on a diving platform

They can only dive in specific conditions, at limited depth and under strict professional supervision.

At the age of 15, students can access the Open Water certification. For this it is necessary to take the corresponding tests and pass the exam.

PADI also states that all 10- and 11-year-olds along with their parents must read “Young Diving”.

Divers under 18 must have the “PADI release form” signed by a parent or guardian before starting training.

scuba kids and instructor
“Introducing the next generation of ocean explorers! 🌊🐠 Our little divers-in-training are getting ready to explore the underwater world. #ScubaKids #FutureExplorers”

What is the minimun age for the PADI Certification?

The minimum age for scuba diving varies depending on the certification agency and the type of diving. For most scuba diving courses, like the PADI Open Water Diver course, the minimum age is 10 years old.

However, some agencies offer programs for children as young as 8 years old, like the PADI Bubblemaker program, which allows kids to experience scuba diving in a pool.

For more advanced diving, such as deep diving or night diving, the minimum age is usually 15 or 18 years old, depending on the agency and the specific course.

It’s important to check with your local dive center or certification agency to determine the minimum age requirements for the type of diving you’re interested in.

What if my child is under 10 years old? Does it get the minimun age to dive?

For those children who are under the minimum age to dive but want to experience scuba diving, there is the PADI Seal Team. It is important to mention that not all PADI Dive Centers develop this program. See Children and diving

The PADI Seal Team program seeks to teach children responsibility and respect for the aquatic world and takes place in a pool.

Three kids diving on a pool
Practicing scuba diving routines in a pool

This program consists of 2 parts. In the first part, the child performs a series of Aquatic Missions, which covers basic diving skills.

  • Breathe underwater
  • Clean your mask
  • Recover the regulator
  • Basic buoyancy
See Also  12 Common Causes of Out-of-Air Emergencies in Scuba Diving

In the second part the child will carry out a series of special aquatic missions that includes:

  • Creature Identification
  • Search and recovery diving
  • Snorkeling
safe scuba diving for kids under the age of 10
Scuba diving routines for younger kids

Upon completion of the program, PADI grants the child PADI Master Seal Team membership.

While this is not a certification, it is a very important step.

When the child is old enough it will be much easier for him to take a PADI certification and enter a world with which he has become familiar.

Costa Rica Dive and Surf does not offer this program.

Programs for children who meet the minimum age to dive.

If the child is at least ten years old but his parents consider that it is not the time to start an Open Water Junior certification, he can opt for a Discover Scuba Diving course.

The Costa Rica Dive and Surf PADI Discover Scuba course is available for both young and old divers to get introduced to scuba diving. Review the related details specifically for younger divers.

two kids diving

Why do the little ones have to wait a bit to dive?

Although children can start swimming even before the age of ten, they often need to wait a little longer to start diving.

One of the reasons is psychomotor skills. In order to dive, children must be able to handle their body safely, either getting on or off a boat. They must also be able to carry the weight of their own equipment.

The child who begins diving must know how to swim, pass a medical examination and be able to understand and follow the rules that the instructor gives.

What are the benefits of diving for children?

Dives with children are shorter and shallower. This is for those who reach the minimum age to dive

They must always be accompanied by an adult to dive.

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The benefits of diving in children are several. Among them we can mention:

  1. Exercises all the muscles of the body
  2. Improves circulation
  3. It is good for lung capacity
  4. makes the heart work better
  5. Helps control your emotions
  6. Lower your stress level
  7. Improves concentration
little girl diving
“Dive into adventure at any age! 🐠✨ Discover why more and more young adventurers are taking the plunge into scuba diving. From pool sessions to ocean exploration, the world beneath the waves awaits! #ScubaKids #AdventureAwaits”

Age associated risks of recreational scuba diving

While scuba diving is an exciting and rewarding activity, there are age-associated risks, particularly for younger divers. Physiological factors such as lung development, bone growth, and cognitive maturity can affect how young divers handle the underwater environment.

The minimum age requirements set by certification agencies like PADI and NAUI are designed to ensure that divers have the physical and cognitive maturity to understand and manage the risks associated with diving.

Younger divers may be more prone to panic, less able to handle emergency situations, and may have difficulty understanding and following dive procedures.

Therefore, it’s crucial for parents and dive instructors to carefully assess a young diver’s readiness before allowing them to participate in scuba diving activities. Additionally, younger divers should always dive under the supervision of a certified adult instructor to ensure their safety underwater.

The role of parents is vital

Diving can be a very positive activity for your children. It will help them build their character and discipline and allow them to venture into a fascinating world with responsibility.

Of course, the role of parents is critical, as children mature at varying rates. Only parents can decide if their child is emotionally and physically ready to take responsibility for diving. Even when they are of the minimum age to dive.


Diving is a positive activity for children.The minimum age for diving is between 10 and 12 years old, depending on the certifying association.

Kids should be able to carry the weight of their own equipment, before to start.

There are other activities as preparation for diving that kids can practice if they do not meet the minimun age yet.

Video: Open Water Diver Course

Video: Open Water Diver Course

If you want more information about the diving courses we teach and their requirements, please contact us or send us a message by whatsapp. We will gladly guide you in the first steps to enter this beautiful diving activity.

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