Children are still growing, some at a rate of nearly 15 cm per year. Diving equipment is heavy, so make sure to keep their spine, joints and overall growth apparatus from being overburdened. Help carry their equipment to the water and assist with putting it on and taking it off. Encouraging good teamwork and assistance to others often makes this component palatable for children. You can carry their tanks, maybe they can carry your fins.
Children can also get cold very quickly in the water. Sometimes, they will shiver but do not want to get out of the water. A sudden reaction to a cold environment can even make a child panic. So, how can we avoid this? Have them put on multiple layers, watch them during the dive and adjust time spent underwater based on current temperature status.
If the child requires glasses, make sure to use an appropriately-sized dioptric mask. Many dive centers have these on-hand or can easily order them prior to in-water work.
Provide equipment and a tank of appropriate size to child divers. An adjusted adult-sized compensator, ill-fitting or tight fins, bad mouthpiece can cause great discomfort for anyone. Ensure the equipment is sized appropriate to the diver.
One of the most important details in equipment is the appropriately-sized mouthpiece for a child, both for the regulator as well as the kids snorkel.
EVEN CHILDREN CAN HAVE HEALTH ISSUES
Many people consider children healthy. Do you think children can not have symptoms of DCS (decompression sickness)? That they can not have an open PFO (patent foramen ovale)? Quite the opposite! Even if complying to all the standards and recommendations, children can exhibit DCS symptoms after the dive. Children are not small adults. The way they breathe, the anatomy of a child’s respiratory and circulatory system, the effect of pressure on ORL and tissues in children, the developing nervous system, that and more differentiates them from adults and should be taken into consideration when diving with children. Keep it in mind and be mindful and aware of any issues, be it before, during or after the dive.