Last Updated: March 23, 2023
Exploring life underwater through snorkeling gives you a calming and relaxing feel, whether young or old. You get to see various marine life, such as brightly colored fish, sea turtles, and corals, comfortably without going deep into the water.
However, some people fear letting themselves or their kids snorkel because they feel they are not old enough. Or, they are left wondering whether a minimum age requirement exists for someone to go snorkeling.
But is there a minimum age for snorkeling? The short answer is no. Children can start snorkeling as soon as they are confident swimming on their own.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Snorkel?
Most people living along the ocean shore snorkel a lot, including small kids, who do it more often than older people.
As such, it’s evident that even younger people can snorkel.
On average, the earliest people start snorkeling is between the age of 4 to 5 years, but is this the minimum age requirement?
There is no rule that you must be of a certain age to snorkel. So long as you can swim and can wear snorkeling gear, you are good to go as early as two years old or less.
Is it Safe for Kids to Snorkel?
Yes, it is safe for kids to snorkel.
Snorkeling is one of the safest and most straightforward ways for children to have a full ocean experience while having fun at the same time.
However, most little ones need a proper understanding of the dangers posed to them under the water’s surface. The beautiful scenery inside the water can make them feel excited and carried away by the moment, making them lose their stability.
Therefore, it is important to have your kid understand the basics of water safety before you let them snorkel.
Additionally, it is recommended that the child is in the company of an adult’s supervision for extra safety.
Can Kids Snorkel if They Can’t Swim?
Yes. Kids can snorkel if they can’t swim.
Snorkeling is a water surface activity that mainly involves a lot of floating and minimal swimming. So, if the kid can beat the fear of staying in the water and float confidently, they can snorkel.
However, you need to take extra precautions to ensure the child is safe.
For example, it is important to ensure they have tried on their gear before getting into the water to ascertain they are comfortable in it.
Also, it’s a must to have them wear a life jacket especially if they have little or no floating skills.
Additionally, it is recommended that kids snorkel in calm waters with few or no currents and shallow depths. This gives them more safety since the waves won’t push them away, forcing them to swim back or panic.
Making Your Children Comfortable with the Water
If you feel your children are uncomfortable in the water, you can help them boost their confidence by taking them through water stability exercises and movements. Their comfort in the water will have improved within a short time of practice.
How can you achieve this?
At home, you can use your bathtub or an inflatable backyard pool to do the exercises. It makes them feel at home while in the water. Alternatively, you can carry your snorkeling gear to your local swimming pool and help them practice until they get it right.
Tips For Snorkeling with Kids
Snorkeling with kids can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. But before heading to the water, you must ensure they are as safe as possible. Here are some tips for snorkeling with kids.
1. Choose a Kids-friendly Snorkeling Destination
Most kids cannot snorkel just anywhere, so the spot you choose can make or break their experience.
Before settling on a destination, conduct adequate research to identify the best spots for the kids. Consider aspects such as weather, depth, number of swimmers, availability of lifeguards, the strength of water currents, and more.
2. Use a Life Vest or Jacket
Snorkeling requires above-average swimming skills, such as floating on water, which your children may still need to work on. So, ensure your kid has a life vest or any other floatation device to help them stay on the water surface during the activity.
3. Educate Them About Marine Life
When the kids know exactly what they expect to see during the activity it makes it a wholesome experience for them when they finally see it.
Teach them about the various plants and animals they may encounter. You can do this by reading marine life books to ensure they have adequate knowledge, including animals that may pose a threat, such as poisonous fish.
4. Educate Them on the Correct Techniques
Before heading out to the water, ensure the kids can properly use their equipment. Teach them how to correctly put the equipment on, how to breathe while snorkeling, how to clear water from the equipment, and how to hold their breath.
If you need to teach them satisfactorily, you can outsource the service from a professional trainer to assist you.
In addition to the above, the kids need the right gear to have a wholesome experience.
Choosing the Right Gear for Your Child
The snorkeling set your child may need includes a mask, snorkel, and fins. They’ll be good to go with these, but you should ensure they fit perfectly.
There are two types of snorkel masks: traditional and full-face masks.
Full-face masks are perceived to be the best for kids since they provide a wider viewing area and keep their faces dry. However, if not used correctly, they may cause breathing difficulties, so it’s recommended that kids use traditional masks since they are safer to use.
Kids’ snorkels have a smaller mouthpiece and are shorter in length – perfectly designed to fit their mouths. In addition, they are mostly dry or semi-dry.
Semi-dry ones allow a small amount of water to enter when submerged. The dry snorkels keep water from entering the tube, so you’d rather choose a dry one for your kid.
There are two types of fins: open heel and full foot fins.
Full-foot fins are simple to use since they fit perfectly into your feet but are only available in a specific range of shoe sizes.
The open-heel fins would be ideal for kids since they are adjustable and can fit even smaller shoe sizes. Nonetheless, ensure that the fin you select for the kids is comfortable and provides adequate mobility in water.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.