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Thread: How deep should a child go?

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    Nicholas Smith Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo's Avatar
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    How deep should a child go?

    I went diving with my 12-year-old daughter over the weekend. Her PADI card says her limit is 12m. We showed that scant regard. But how deep should her limit be?
    One risk seems to be with PFOs: clearly at age nought, incidence of PFOs is 100%; at age 18-20 it is low, though nobody knows how low for sure; then incidence is believed to rise with age. Since we know so little about the incidence of PFOs in the general population, doubtless there is negligible evidence about how it varies with age. Is there any evidence that incidence at 12 is higher than at, say, 45? (Now we'll have PADI putting depth limits on middle-aged people).

    There has also been discussion about bubbles and micro-bubbles impacting bone growth. My understanding was that the tests were done on non-human subjects with DCI from some aggressive profiles.

    Clearly young Ama pearl fishers have been breath-hold diving to 40m for thousands of years.

    20-25m seems a fair limit from a practical point of view, but I'm interested in the medical implications.

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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbo  View Original Post
    I went diving with my 12-year-old daughter over the weekend. Her PADI card says her limit is 12m. We showed that scant regard. But how deep should her limit be?
    One risk seems to be with PFOs: clearly at age nought, incidence of PFOs is 100%; at age 18-20 it is low, though nobody knows how low for sure; then incidence is believed to rise with age. Since we know so little about the incidence of PFOs in the general population, doubtless there is negligible evidence about how it varies with age. Is there any evidence that incidence at 12 is higher than at, say, 45? (Now we'll have PADI putting depth limits on middle-aged people).

    There has also been discussion about bubbles and micro-bubbles impacting bone growth. My understanding was that the tests were done on non-human subjects with DCI from some aggressive profiles.

    Clearly young Ama pearl fishers have been breath-hold diving to 40m for thousands of years.

    20-25m seems a fair limit from a practical point of view, but I'm interested in the medical implications.
    There are different beliefs and practices depending on whom you speak with. I believe no deeper than 10' until, after child reaches puberty. The reason, lung development. at these young ages their lungs are still developing and puberty is generally a good bench mark.

    I personally feel a child should not impose an undeveloped lung to any sort of depth period (on a side note girls lungs usually develop slower than boys).

    As far as young Ama pearl fishers well the Himalayans have been living in high altitude low ppo2 atmosphere... Does that mean you and I can do so too

    Again this is just my insight from my acquired knowledge, hope it helps

  3. #3
    New Member Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell has a reputation beyond repute Simon Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbo  View Original Post
    Since we know so little about the incidence of PFOs in the general population, doubtless there is negligible evidence about how it varies with age. Is there any evidence that incidence at 12 is higher than at, say, 45? (Now we'll have PADI putting depth limits on middle-aged people).
    Hello,

    Actually, we know an awful lot about the prevalence of PFOs in the general population. They can be detected in about 25-30% of adults, which is why worrying about it in this context is not worth the effort. We don't screen divers for them, so not surprisingly, the prevalence of PFO in divers is also about 30%. Yet despite this, serious neurological DCS (the form of the disease most predisposed by PFOs) remains very rare (less than 1:10,000 recreational dives).

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbo  View Original Post
    There has also been discussion about bubbles and micro-bubbles impacting bone growth. My understanding was that the tests were done on non-human subjects with DCI from some aggressive profiles.
    There is no relevant human work, and I am not aware of any from animals either. If this were really a problem we would have expected to see it in the large population of teenage divers who are active and whose epiphyses have not closed.

    Sorry this is a bit brief, I'm in a hurry!

    Warm regards,

    Simon M

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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    I liken it to the pregnancy issue: If you dive and then find out you are pregnant, don't worry about it but it is advised not to continue diving until after giving birth (in an abundance of caution). We don't know all there is to know about children diving. So, a limit has been established that seems reasonable given that we don't know all of the answers.

    I am no doctor nor a medical professional. This is just my understanding of what I have learned over the years. Seek the advice of a professional, etc., etc.

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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbo  View Original Post
    Clearly young Ama pearl fishers have been breath-hold diving to 40m for thousands of years.
    Sorry to take a different view to Simon Mitchell on this, but there is more we do not know, than know. A lot more.

    Have you seen how tall an Ama pearl fisher is? Or x-rayed their bones, tested their IQ and neural functions, or their lifespan? Also what problems they have if they get to be old. ... I have not seen any decent studies on this other than deco comparisons between deco tables and profiles used by pearl fishers, and a lot got injured.

    Children diving is clearly going beyond what we know is safe, IMHO, even though I am sure PADI can show studies with lots of kiddies diving and paying their membership dues. That is different to saying it is unsafe: we do not know that either. Do you want to take the risk? If so, why? There is lots of time for them diving when they grow up.

    I personally would not want to see my children diving until they are really adults. That way, no ultra guilt if anything goes wrong. Lot of responsibility for a parent taking a child diving even if it all goes right.

    I will tell you a secret: diving is not safe for adults. Getting my bones x-rayed and having the doctor point out the bone necrosis tells me that. Friends with peripheral neuropathies tell me that. As an adult we can trade off the fun/risk/cost balance. Children cannot, nor do we know enough to do so for them.

    Alex
    Last edited by AD_ward9; 15th August 2007 at 07:39.

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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    If I may, I'd like to suggest you look at some of the considerations in this presentation which may help you to get a perspective on your question:

    Why I Do NOT Train Kids by Larry "Harris" Taylor, Ph.D.

    Why I Do NOT Train Kids In Scuba Diving

    rgds
    monty

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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    That link is one excellent post! I downloaded the Powerpoint, and will use that next time I am asked.

    Pity I can only Green you once for that. The author is a rare breed: someone with commonsense. Glad to see you too are in that club.

    Alex
    Quote Originally Posted by montyg  View Original Post
    If I may, I'd like to suggest you look at some of the considerations in this presentation which may help you to get a perspective on your question:

    Why I Do NOT Train Kids by Larry "Harris" Taylor, Ph.D.

    Why I Do NOT Train Kids In Scuba Diving

    rgds
    monty
    Last edited by AD_ward9; 15th August 2007 at 07:36.

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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    Age is important but IMO not the vital element.

    Your buddy, once qualified should be capable or rigging and fault finding their own kit, able to handle it into and out of the boat, able to assit you in any situation that can arise underwater, able to make difficult life affecting choices like- should I leave my daddy to die and surface on my own?

    I have to ask myself the above questions before diving with adult buddies, can you make those calls with your or someone elses child?

    I raised my concerns when the BSAC here in the UK lowered the age limit last year, our common sense cries where drowned out by the calls to lower the age limit by callous parents not wanting to curtail their diving by having children to look after- sorry but you had them, you should bl**dy well look after them till they are old enough to dive (about 18+ IMVHO) or choose for themselves.

    Finally I've seen a number of very distraught children being taught to dive in the UK by parents/instructors who know jack about teaching children, you might be a great diving instructor but heres a shocking revalation- Children and different to adults.

    Ok rant over- its not rebreather related so doesn't really belong here.

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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    Quote Originally Posted by montyg  View Original Post
    If I may, I'd like to suggest you look at some of the considerations in this presentation which may help you to get a perspective on your question:

    Why I Do NOT Train Kids by Larry "Harris" Taylor, Ph.D.

    Why I Do NOT Train Kids In Scuba Diving

    rgds
    monty
    Excellent!! I had forgotten Dr Harris. I have his PP pres also. I have always had a little problem with divers who seem to take the advice of professionals and agencies as 'for everyone but me or mine' attitude.'

    That said the mini-adult should be encouraged to dive well within her range of training and not to the limits of it. There is a lot to see very shallow in a lot of places.

    If this seem a little hypocrtitical, it really isn't. There isn't anything magical about 10-12-15-18-21 years old. In diving there are too many variables, physiology is of course paramount, then there is maturity, which young people acquire at differing rates. The limits on diving age differ between individual agencies based on what their underwriters deem prudent, which is driven by trends in society as a whole.

    We have all seen the changes in coming of age in different sectors of our society. i. e. driving, drinking alcohol, voting, position of women in military service, and now diving. The list goes on.

    I am not saying there isn't anything different between a 10 year old and a 21 year old as there certainly is. But our attitude that 18 today enables me to do x isn't hardfast except in a court of law. I have seen 12 year olds with the maturity of 15 or more and 21 year olds with the maturity of a 10 year old, (the more common)

    Dale

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    Nicholas Smith Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo has a reputation beyond repute Abbo's Avatar
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    Re: How deep should a child go?

    There are certainly some interesting discussions here. In our hyper-litigious society my fear is that schools are wrapping children up in cotton wool, mollycoddling them, without enough exposure to controlled risks. At 13, every new student at my school was required to climb an iron ladder up the side of a 100+ foot building and abseil off the top. By 15 I was doing snow & ice climbing with the school. Increasingly, I see kids being deprived of even ball sports at school because of the litigation risks. Of course, in order for children to benefit from adventure activities, the quality of training has to be high.

    I am interested that there are accusations that PADI and BSAC are bringing down the age for certification for evil capitalist reasons, and none that say that the insurance companies are making it harder for children to benefit from adventure training because of risks to their bottom lines.

    Physiologically, my greatest concern was PFOs. If the margin for error on prevalence in the adult population is 5 percentage points, it suggests to me that the sample population is not very large. I am not aware of any evidence that the ratio is higher among, say, 12-year-olds, though I believe there is evidence that it it rises with age. My understanding is that PFO testing is not as invasive as it used to be, so perhaps we can be hopeful of some data here.

    As for the arguments about children not being able to get their minds around abstract concepts, my wife, poor dear, is an arts graduate. I would have thought that the limit to her understanding of Boyle is that they are things that hurt when you sit on them.
    Last edited by Abbo; 15th August 2007 at 16:13.

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