Safety diving tips for children

1. Provide regular reminders
Kids are hesitant to ask questions in front of their peers, especially if they’re already certified and feel like they’re supposed to know it all. In dive briefings, go over basic skills like hand signals, gear set-up and buddy procedures. Underwater, kids are easily distracted and often forget to watch their buddy, keep up with their group, and regularly look at their gauges. As such, keep kids close together underwater and always in buddy teams of no more than two so they can focus on just one other diver.

2. Make it a game
Kids are competitive. They want to out-do their parents and each other at every opportunity. For example, no one wants to be the first to run low on air at end of a dive, so stress good air consumption techniques and psych them up about cool neutral buoyancy skills like hanging upside down. Also, get them comfortable with reg recovery by blowing bubbles.

3. Watch ‘em like hawks
Check gauges often and personally. Kids are not always forthcoming when asked how much air they have left during a dive — they don’t want to be first to run low or be the cause for all to turn around. And many kids (boys) think the deeper they go, the cooler they are.
Never just ask a child underwater the amount of air left in his or her tank; take their gauge in hand and check it, along with their maximum depth reading. Also, check their gauges frequently as kids tend to use air faster. At the same time, make sure kids know how to read their own gauges, particularly computers. Have them demonstrate how to use whatever gauges they’ve got before they get in the water.

4. Find the right fit
Don’t let the wrong gear cost you a future diver. Make sure you have kids fitted in appropriate size gear, including tanks. As with adults, comfort is directly related to how much fun they’ll have and how safe they will be.
Many parents don’t want to spend money on gear for kids because they outgrow it quickly, but they need to appreciate that the right size fins, for example, are just as important as proper size shoes. Moreover, kids get cold and most need at least a rash guard or lightweight wetsuit for warmth, as well as protection. Many manufacturers, such as ScubaPro and Sub Gear, offer smaller gear and XS and XXS adult sizes for small teens.

5. What they really mean is…
Kids don’t always say what they mean. They will often come up with excuses to skip a dive rather than admit they are afraid or intimidated. Always notify parents of complaints, particularly illness, but sometimes a little one-on-one will reveal real reasons for hesitancy. Perhaps a particular skill has stressed the child, or they may not want to disappoint parents who are encouraging diving. Rather than risk losing a future diver, take time to figure out the root cause behind excuses and you may be able to offer an easy fix. And if a child just doesn’t want to dive, don’t try to make them, regardless of their parents’ desires.

6. Special needs
Talk to parents to learn if a child has a learning disability and adjust your teaching style accordingly. While significant disabilities need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, relatively common learning disabilities, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), need not be a barrier to learning. In fact, children with ADHD become extremely focused and motivated when something captures their attention, and they will rise to the occasion if tasked with being an “instructor assistant” who can help check gauges and make sure other kids are doing what they are supposed to.

7. Discipline
If a child’s behaviour is disruptive then discuss the matter with his or her parents and discipline as required, but be careful not to embarrass a child in front of their peers as it can be a humiliating experience for them. At the same time, parents need to step back and let instructors teach without interfering. There’s no place for “helicopter parents” hovering poolside.

8. Check in
Follow up after the dive. Be sure to ask kids how their dive was. Compliment them on what they did well and offer tips to make their next dive better. Kids like keeping score, so be sure to log each dive with them immediately. It’s not likely they’ll do it later on their own. Stress why it’s important to log dives, show them your logbook and share how many logged dives you have. Telling dive stories is something they love, so share your experiences.

9. The Next Step
Keep the communication going after completing any kids program. Give them ideas about fun places to dive, and provide opportunities for them to dive with other kids. To that end, provide information about other courses they can take, especially as they get older. And keep in mind that instructors can develop their own specialty kids courses and submit them to PADI for review and approval.

10. Role modeling
Instructors who smoke, curse and act inappropriately — particularly male instructors prone to leering at young teenage girls — have no business teaching kids. As the frontline face of diving, instructors need to be an inspiration to children so be the kind of teacher students will remember for the rest of their lives in a positive way. After all, an instructor’s efforts with children today will have a lasting effect on the future of diving, so keep them safe, make them responsible and enjoy diving with them.

Free transport

Our daily excursions start with the pickup and transport from your hotel or from a pickup point. Our service covers all areas of the Prefecture of Rethymnon.

Photo service

We offer professional photos of our divers, guests and underwater life for more than 10 years. You can take these lasting memories with you on a USB stick. 

Memory certificate

At the end of the day, just before leave and during our final meeting you will receive a memory certificate from your "journey" with Kalypso Dive Center.

Multilingual staff

Carefully selected, multilingual professional staff - we speak more than 10 languages - will make sure you have safe and enjoyable dives.

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How to turn a DSD into a unique dive experience?

How many certified divers took their first scuba diving steps through a PADI Discover Scuba Diver? Anybody wonders why this first experience changed their lives?

Most divers I talked to explained their DSD was a great experience. Thanks to the dive centre and dive instructor, passing their passion for diving, a new diver was born. The correct environment, information sharing, atmosphere and good preparation turned the Discover Scuba Diver in a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of them.

Both my wife and I started in the same way years ago. Thanks to the great time we became so passionate about diving that we completely changed our lifestyle. From the discovery, we went through recreational diving to become so passionate about diving, to decide to swap our traditional jobs for a life in the diving industry. Even after we took this big step, we still remember our DSD years ago.

How to turn each Discover Scuba Diver (DSD) into an “I-love-scuba-diving” experience:

  • Organise each DSD as if it was a first date: Understand the DSD candidate does not know what to expect!
  • Be prepared: Follow a fixed DSD circuit and routine, but leave room for a personal touch.
  • Adapt to your customer: Accept people are unique, give them room to absorb scuba diving at their own pace.
  • Be passionate: share your passion for scuba diving with your guests before, during and after the dive.
  • Take your time: Remember the experience does not stop getting out of a wetsuit.
  • Help them remember: a picture says more than a thousand words, help them organise some pictures or a video as a permanent souvenir.

I fully agree there are a thousand more points to be added, but these six definitely help making a DSD something unique!

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