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Just not enough dive time.
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I dont want to go over what I wrote earlier this year in detail but we have a number of new members and thought it might be worthwhile for their benefit, apologies to those that hav already read it.

Adam (my 15yr old son) and I went to Stoney in Feb (I think it was) and during dive one he got very cold so we sat out dive 2 as he felt rough. I kept an eye on him and he was a bit poorly, but I thought it was the cold that had got to him. Anyway post dive we drove home and he was quiet and not hungry, a bad sign, especially the latter. At home he was tired, listless and not hungry. I didnt like the look of those signs at all, so I called BSAC's duty officer who suggested we had nothing to worry about given the profile etc. Adam was also complaining of a tingly/numb hand.
Next day I called DDRC at Whips Cross as his symptoms had got no better.
To cut a long story short - he hadnt taken a hit as the oxygen had no effect on his symptoms at all.
During all of this DDRC were brilliant - no blame assigned to anyone and glad we had got in as soon as we had.

The effect of this was two fold, one, he has now seen what happens when you do get a hit and as such is aware of the dangers and how essential it is to get into a pot asap. two, he has dived less this year as I believe it has scared him a little and he is now more cautious as to when he dives, in other words he now needs a good reason to dive rather than just to get wet.
For me it was a real eye opener into the dangers that I have exposed my son to and ensure now that he knows fully we are equals on any/all dives and if he wants to can it then I am happy to agree to his wishes. I still believe that diving is a sport he should participate in if he wants to. He doesnt drink alcohol in any significant quantities or smoke at all and I think these represent a far greater risk to his health than diving. I wont allow him to dive more than 20 odd mtrs and at 16 he is now a strapping great lad, over 6' and about the same weight as me, but physically stronger. Mentally I think he could cope with abandoning me if he had to and I have drummed it into him that should be his course of action if needs be.

Watching him in the pot, a single person see-through jobbie, was not pleasant but no worse than watching as my daughter went into theatre to have her tonsills removed. Every day we subject our children to danger as we drive them around on our roads, yet nobody questions this action.

Matt
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (MATTBIN @ Oct. 29 2003,12:52)]Mentally I think he could cope with abandoning me if he had to and I have drummed it into him that should be his course of action if needs be.

Matt
<font color='#0000FF'>Matt

Are any of us mentally prepared for this.  It doesn't matter if you are 16 or 60.  I hope I never have to find out.  

As for children and diving in my opinion over 14 is about right, although I would prefer the parent to be a diving one.  We have had some great kids in our club who's parents dive also, however we had a couple of kids without parents who were absolutley pains in the arse.  We are not set up to be childminders.

FB
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]As for children and diving in my opinion over 14 is about right, although I would prefer the parent to be a diving one.  We have had some great kids in our club who's parents dive also, however we had a couple of kids without parents who were absolutley pains in the arse.  We are not set up to be childminders.
Absolutely agree regarding diving parents only, I was on holiday recently and a young girl joined us, non-diving parents. She was an absolute delight to be with in and out of water but I felt as an adult I was partially responsible for her. Further to this the dive centre 'lifted' her to and from her hotel, they were wide open to any sort of allegation and she to any sort of danger. Admittedly very unlikely but not what I would have done.

Matt
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I called BSAC's duty officer who suggested we had nothing to worry about given the profile etc.
In any suspected case of DCI, the most appropriate action is to call the coastguard or one of the two 24 hour emergency lines. Doing anything else risks unnecessary delay.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Next day I called DDRC at Whips Cross as his symptoms had got no better.
DDRC is in Plymouth, last time I checked. Whipp's cross is 'London Hyperbaric Medicine'

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Watching him in the pot, a single person see-through jobbie
According to BHA guidelines, monoplace chambers are not suitable for the treatment of acute DCI.
 

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The thing that puts me off kidneys diving is because their bones havn't fully developed yet. Fully grown and adult divers still end up with bone necrosis, never mind someone whos bones are still changing. There's plenty time for kids to dive, let them do that, and if they still want to dive in X years time then great. You don't know how much you might be f**king their bones for later in life by putting your little cherubs down their.
 In the meantime, tech them how to snorkel and sail. Teach them how to understand charts and the rules of the sea. That'll only help them be a better diver in the future!!

IMHO
Peter
 

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I agree that the growing bones issue is important but, just out of interest, where would YOU set the age limit, Peter? The Swedish Sports Diving Federation (affiliated to CMAS) says 14 and has received quite a bit of criticism from people who think that's unnecessarily conservative.
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Hyperbaric, agree about any delay being a bad thing, but please be advised that I really didnt think my son had DCI. We had done a very gentle dive, no rapid ascents etc. It wasnt a case of denial on my part but I decided to make the calls to be 100% sure for both him and my wife.

OK London Hyperbaric it is.
They have a mono pod and a full blown chamber, he certainly wasnt showing any signs of acute dci.

Peter, fully aware of the 'possibility' of bone damage, thats why he dives very little and not deep. Its a balancing act between dangers whenever a child does a sport/activity. I understand your concerns. You have also met him, do you reckon he's stunted?  


Matt
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (John Gulliver @ Oct. 29 2003,14:07)]I agree that the growing bones issue is important but, just out of interest, where would YOU set the age limit, Peter? The Swedish Sports Diving Federation (affiliated to CMAS) says 14 and has received quite a bit of criticism from people who think that's unnecessarily conservative.
Not only what age?  But what depth?

Is it OK for a 14 year old to dive to 6m but a 16 year old to 30m?

There are so many factors to take into account, age, build, mentality, maturity.  In my experience both of the younger members of YD I have had the opportunity to meet (Bethi and Adam) have been a pleasure to be around.  I have full respect for their parents decision to allow them to dive and I am sure they made the decision after much serious consideration.

I have also had the opportunity to dive with Adam and Matt, and Adam was a joy to buddy with - showing maturity far beyond his years (far beyond me and Matt for that matter ;) ).  

In this day and age I applaud any parent who can find a common interest with their kids and keep them away from some of the more anti social adventuring.

Daz
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (MATTBIN @ Oct. 29 2003,14:08)]Peter, fully aware of the 'possibility' of bone damage, thats why he dives very little and not deep. Its a balancing act between dangers whenever a child does a sport/activity. I understand your concerns. You have also met him, do you reckon he's stunted?  
Matt,
      I never said anything about stunting growth. It's more to do with Nitrogen going into their bones as they are both;
(a)Growing bigger and stronger(bones that is),and
(b)Still knitting together.

I'm not saying it "will" cause any problems, I'm saying we just don't know. Between this and all the other changes their bodies are already all over the place and the last thing you want to do is confuse it. You never know if the excess Nitrogen will/can cause a chemical, if only temporary, imbalance.

Yes, you're right though! Stunted he certainly isn't.

John,
      I reckon 18. All the growth/mental changes have occured by then. I know folk'll say that they've met maturer 14year olds than 18 year olds,but I've met maturer 18 year olds than 40 year olds. That's really up to the individual instructor to decide on that one.

Peter
 

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Leaving aside the psychological/mental maturity aspect for the moment, there actually doesn't seem to be any medical/physical reason why youngsters much younger than 18 shouldn't dive, according to this link:
http://www.deep-six.com/page105.htm
However, I agree that it is wise to err on the side of caution pending more data.
 

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my tuppence worth, I'd say at 14 the human body tends to be sufficiently advanced to cope with what I would see as the rigours of diving, 12 y.o. possibly if it's kept to 6 or 10 metres.
Let's not forget that evolution has been working on the human body for some time now, and in earlier centuries females would, as a society norm, be bearing children at 14 years old.  

I personally wouldn't condone diving for 10 year olds, I don't care how keen they are, or how much they yammer on about it. I don't believe in this modern idea of pandering to their every whim, some things have to be left till later ages.
 

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Well, as I said before, SSDF set the limit at 14, as do BSAC, if I remember correctly. It certainly seems hard to make a case for not allowing a reasonably mature 14-year-old to dive on the grounds of hazard to health. SSDF have been under attack for being too conservative and I remember reading in Dive that there has been some pretty heated discussion on the subject within BSAC as well. Looking back on myself at the age of 14, I don't think I was sufficiently mature to be relied upon to cope properly with any problems that might have occurred but I suppose kids are more mature today than we were at the same age.
 

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Last night as I was leaving our local swimming pool I noticed there were A4 sized adverts for "PADI Seal team" (or something similar) inviting 8-12 year olds to join this pool based scuba club
Sheesh...
 

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Mattbin

Pardon me for asking but, as a BSAC member, I'm curious about this 'BSAC duty officer'. I didn't know BSAC had such a thing and I cannot think why they need one. The Coastguard, BHA et al are the contacts for diving emergencies. So, what does the 'duty officer' do apart from give out advice which I would consider dangerous?

Do you happen to have their telephone number? I fear I have an emergency coming on that requires my membership number
 
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