Snorkeling with Children – Have fun Snorkeling with Kids and Family!
Snorkeling is a fun activity for pretty much any age whether it’s kids, adults, or families. What do you have to consider to go snorkeling with children? Let’s jump right in!
Children appreciate family trips, especially when they get older. They can look back at all of the fun activities that they did with their parents. Snorkeling with kids is one such activity that involves some skill and the right gear.
Children can learn snorkeling and enjoy it throughout their lives. After all, who doesn’t love to poke their head underwater and take a gander at the fish? The following will present more information regarding enjoying this activity with your kids.
How to Introduce Snorkeling to Children
Children can start this activity quite young. Trip Savvy goes so far as to say that kids can start at four or five years old. So, what do you need to consider when you take kids for a snorkeling trip for the first time?
The basics your kid needs to be able to do
The European Child Safety Organization provides more in-depth information on this matter. Kids need to know how to use the snorkeling gear before they go into the water.
Teach them the usage in a safe environment like a pool. Don’t forget that aquatic wildlife that you can find in the open water can be causing anxiety, like everything unknown. As such you want to know that your kids can handle the snorkeling gear and equipment and be safe with it!
Use floatation devices like snorkel vests or belts
They should also still be wearing floatation devices, even if they are proficient swimmers. There are basic hand signals that need to be mastered as well before taking them on a snorkeling trip.
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Only looking – No touching!
Kids also need to be taught to not reach out and grab what they see. Even if it is plant life, the motto should be, look, but don’t touch.
This can be especially important because coral is sharp and can cut and scrape people up pretty badly. Parents need to ensure that the snorkeling space is safe – for example, they should take their children to areas with reefs so that the children are not swimming out in the open.
Stay in the open
Also, parents need to tell their kids not to go into little coves when they go snorkeling with kids. It’s easy for a kid to get curious and try to explore a cove or cave that has a lot of fish or other marine life.
These kinds of situations can easily lead to finding other sea life like eels which often can get children scared. This is not a pleasant surprise for a child.
Confined spaces like caves or coves can also cause some claustrophobia. You will not know how your kid reacts to snorkeling in a more confined space so start with keeping them out in the open!
What about Equipment for Kids?
Children require pretty much the same snorkel gear that adults need. Yet, a couple of sizes smaller. There will be no joy for a kid to go snorkeling when the fins or mask don’t fit because they are too large.
Mask, Snorkel and Fins
The typical gear your child will require is masks, snorkel, and fins. All of those can usually be gotten online or in stores in sizes that match your children’s height and age.
Fins – How to find the right ones?
It’s easy to understand that the fins need to be the right size for the kid’s feet. Otherwise, he or she will constantly slip out of them or they will be too tight if they are too small. Both of those issues will ruin the fun of snorkeling for your kids instantly.
When purchasing fins for children, adjustable fins are an option. This budget-friendly buy can be adjusted as the child grows up.
Find the right Mask and Snorkel
A mask that’s not fitting right will leak and let water inside. This in turn will end any snorkeling adventure pretty quickly as it’s no fun to having to clear out the mask all the time.
Lastly, a snorkel that is not a dry-top snorkel will make it harder for the child. Especially in the beginning, it will be happening that your child will be getting too low into the water and the snorkel can submerge.
If the snorkel is not dry then trying to take a breath can result in a lot of water coming in through the snorkel. This is specifically a problem if the waters you have your kids snorkel in are not calm. The result is that your child has to come up and cough and ends up not liking the whole experience.
If you use a traditional setup with a mask and a snorkel then you also need to ensure that the mouthpiece is small enough to fit into your child’s mouth. If it’s too large then it will hurt the kid’s mouth and it’ll be impossible to breathe normally.
An issue that kids sometimes have is that they can’t breathe through their nose when they use a traditional mask and snorkel combination. They have to teach themselves to remember not to try to breathe through their nose. An alternative could be to use full-face snorkel goggles that allow your kids to breathe through mouth or nose. That can make a world of a difference for them!
Is a Full-Face Snorkel mask for kids safe?
A newer and better way might be to get a snorkel mask covering the whole face for your child. These full-face snorkel masks provide better visibility underwater and make it a lot easier and comfortable for your kids to breathe. Many of these snorkel goggles come in sizes specifically fitting children.
Get quality snorkel gear for your children!
Make sure that you only purchase quality equipment for your kids when you go snorkeling with the family. In the worst-case, their life could depend on the gear you get.
It can be a safety concern to get one of those masks of low quality as the snorkeling mask for your kids. The lens on one of those could be made from cheap material that breaks apart and could cut the face or the eyes of your child while they are wearing them in the water!
Where to start?
People often do not know how to start their children and family with snorkeling. According to the European Child Safety Organization, the best place for kids to learn to snorkel is to begin on land. It certainly is easier to learn the basic theory to snorkel on land before you get to take your children on a snorkeling trip and into the water!
Practice with your Kids
The reasoning behind this is that children need time to practice before getting into the water. Even if an adult picks up the skill quickly, that does not mean that the child will learn as rapidly.
The main purpose is to teach your kids to snorkel safely and confidently in the water. Their safety is of the utmost concern. It’s the number one priority. Having them be confident in using their equipment will make the snorkel adventures with parents and family so much more enjoyable!
Teach Kids to Breathe through the Snorkel
Two of the major concerns that ECSO suggests are that children need to learn how to breathe through the tube and keep the snorkel mask clear before and when they are in the water.
The child might have to learn to do both at the same time if the tube clogs up at the same time as the snorkel mask blurs. They must be adept enough not to panic, but instead simply blow through the tube to clear the airway.
Start in a Pool – Transition to open water
Dr. Orlena Kerek suggests in her blog that one way to get kids get used to the breathing aspect in a pool. They will be able to learn the coordinate motions that go with swimming and using the gear while you stay close when they learn those basics.
Once the child has become adept, the ultimate goal is the ocean. After all, they won’t see fish in a swimming pool. If they run into trouble once they are in the open water then you can always take them back to the pool for more instructions and practice.
Snorkeling trips for the whole family
Many resorts will vie for visits from a family that loves to adventure and snorkel.
Places to go for the Family to Snorkel
The Travel Channel suggests some destinations on their site – https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/beaches/photos/best-us-caribbean-snorkeling-resorts. Most of their picks involve not leaving the resort property. This might be ideal as everybody gets to learn the snorkeling adventure together.
National Geographic offers some advice as well (https://www.nationalgeographiclodges.com/about-our-lodges/best-of-lists/best-family-getaways/#.WtBLyIjwbIU). Generations of families that visit Petit St. Vincent Private Island continue to pass snorkeling onto their children.
An all time favorite for families is a a snorkeling tour at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Your family can enjoy gorgeous weather and watch marine life in abundance.
Bring a dry bag for snorkeling to keep your valuables dry and safe when you got to snorkel with the family!
The entire family can enjoy snorkeling together. It will take a while to acclimate the children, but once this happens, the clan will benefit from the sea’s sights and being outdoors in fun locations like Florida or even Maui.
There is a cornucopia of color and life below the surface of the water. It is waiting to be explored.
The ventures are fairly low risk, especially if the family chooses to stay in resorts that cater to snorkelers. And with a little preparation, the family can take to the seas and inhale the open air.
Be sure to follow safety precautions because they are there for one’s safety. The most basic is to stay close to your kids when they snorkel! Don’t let them out of sight so you can be there in an instant if they get into trouble.
It is best to ask the locals and hotel owners for any tips when staying on their beaches. They, after all, are trained to keep up to date with the latest weather and nautical conditions.
And now? Grab your kids and snorkeling gear and have a fun time in the water!
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