Tips for Snorkeling Safety

Summer is just around the corner, and south Florida families will be spending more time on the water. From the bathtub to the open ocean, kids need to feel comfortable and confident about their in-water skills.

One of the most important lessons to remember is to use the buddy system. It’s one of the first things we teach young snorkelers during Pura Vida Divers’ Snorkel Summer Camp sessions. Campers know to stay within arm’s reach of their in-water buddy. When duck-diving under the surface, they practice one up, one down. This ensures someone is always alert and paying attention to their swimming partner.

At the beach, or when exploring snorkeling spots like the Blue Heron Bridge, show young swimmers where Lifeguard stands are located, and point out swim zones that lifeguards patrol. Flags on the beach alert swimmers of the day’s conditions. It’s important that children understand what these flags mean and how conditions affect their experience in the water.

Another important consideration for in-water activities is identification of potentially harmful wildlife. During Pura Vida Divers’ Snorkel Camp, campers are taught to identify many local species. They know how to spot a camouflaged scorpionfish, and which jellyfish to avoid. The knowledge is essential for a great experience in the water, and it also introduces children to a whole new world of animals.

Many kids get caught up in the excitement of seeing fish, rays, octopus and other interesting animals. The more confident they feel in their swimming skills, the more they can fully engage in enjoying their adventure.

The camp staff has found that the easiest way to introduce kids to snorkeling is to introduce one item at a time. It’s important to choose comfortable-fitting gear, rather than just grabbing a snorkel package off the shelf. Call Pura Vida Divers to set up an appointment for a mask, snorkel and fin fitting, or stop by the shop to chat with staff and learn the basics of choosing the right gear.

At Snorkel Summer Camp, we ensure campers are comfortable wearing their masks and looking underwater in shallow, standing water. Once they know how to put on their mask, where the strap should sit and how to use defog, we attach a snorkel and have them breathe first on land and then in water.

Once kids are comfortable using their mask and snorkel, it’s time to learn how to swim using fins. Even the most experienced kids can learn to be more efficient. It’s amazing to watch skills and comfort in the water blossom as kids conquer each new technique.

This summer, Pura Vida Divers will offer two sessions of Snorkel Summer Camp. We work with kids of all experience levels between the ages of 6 and 10. By the end of the week, even novice snorkelers are swimming alongside their parents during a family snorkeling event at the Blue Heron Bridge.

For more information, contact Pura Vida Divers at 561-840-8750 or stop by the shop at 2513 Beach Court, Singer Island, 33404.

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