There are scuba diving courses that can be taken online, by DVD, or in a classroom setting. The informational part of these courses is only the first step to being able to be certified to dive in various situations. There are specialty diving courses that may also be taken once the open water certification has been acquired which allow individuals to learn how to dive in wreck situations, do underwater photography, or even do rescue diving. There are minimum scuba diving certification age requirements so that children are kept safe in the water and are under the watchful eyes of their parents until they are old enough to participate on their own.
There are some beginning scuba diving courses for children that are at least eight years old, but this is not the minimum scuba diving certification age. These courses are merely designed to get the children used to diving situations in closed water environments such as swimming pools. They begin to get the children used to some of the gear that will be used when they are finally ready to dive, such as the flippers, masks and even snorkels.
Once the child reaches ten years of age, then he is officially ready for scuba diving certification. However, from the ages of ten to fourteen, the scuba diving certification is for limited depth diving and the dives have to be done with a parent or legal guardian who is certified in open water diving. This certification is a junior open water certification and is designed to allow these children to safely participate with their parents on vacation or in other diving situations.
Once the child reaches fifteen, then he is at the scuba diving certification age for open water diving certification. At fifteen, the child can be tested for open water certification so that he can dive on his own without parental supervision. In all cases and at all ages, scuba diving certification classes can only be entered if the students are in good health. There are medical questions that they must answer and they must also prove that they can swim 200 meters in a pool situation and tread water for ten minutes. Once these proofs are made, then they are allowed to begin their training for the in-water part of the certification process. The scuba diving certification age is a safety precaution that helps all individuals who are interested in diving to participate within their limitations.