If you and your partner are avid snorkelers who have started a family, you are probably excited to introduce your children to the world under the waves. However, there are no hard and fast rules about when your child is ready for snorkeling. Obviously, they need to be extremely comfortable in the water, so you have hopefully had them in swimming lessons since they were very young. Here are a few more things you can do to help your kids love snorkeling as much as you do.
Full Face Masks
Purchasing a full face mask for your child can help them to breathe easily under the water. A regular snorkel mask only covers the swimmer's nose with a snorkel attached to a mouthpiece. Getting used to breathing through this type of snorkel is really challenging for kids and even some adults. Instead, you could invest in a full face mask which allows your kids to breathe normally.
Please keep in mind that full face masks do pose the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning since they are breathing exhaled air. If you resurface regularly and swim with a buddy there won't be any problems.
It is crucial that your kids are comfortable in the water. To help your kids get used to swimming facedown with a mask, you may want to frequent local swimming pools and risk looking a bit silly in all your gear. Once they feel good about having their face in the water, swimming in the shallow part of the ocean can help them adjust to waves without being in danger.
For their first few times, make sure that you stay near a place where they can rest, and that your kids do not get out of arm's reach. That way if they become uncomfortable you can jump right in to help.
Get to Know the Animals
As a family, you may want to investigate what types of animals your children may see underwater. Sometimes kids have a hard time snorkeling because they are afraid of the fish or animals they may see. Studying and discussing the different species will likely help everyone to feel more comfortable, and make it a lot more enjoyable as well.
In conclusion, every small step you take towards helping your child feel more safe and comfortable in the water is one step closer to an incredible family vacation. If you are not quite sure if your child is ready, talk to your child's swim instructor. They will likely have a good idea about what they are capable of. You may also ask about incorporating some snorkeling gear into their regular lessons. Some instructors are happy to help.
For more information about snorkeling with your children while on vacation, contact a local company like Sea Maui.