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Children and Diving – A Physician’s Evaluation

Doug Carlson   Aug 28, 2021

For any diving parent or guardian who is looking into or been asked by a child when they can start diving there are always many factors involved in the decision. Doctor David Charash reviews many elements that he incorporates in this decision process when a parent brings a child to him for evaluation.

Periodically it is nice to go back and reread or watch an interesting article or discussion on diving. Several years ago a physician was giving a lecture to colleagues regarding Children and Diving. His presentation was really succinct and to the point. At the time of this lecture Dr. David Charash, a diver himself, was serving as the medical director for the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine division of the Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. He is Board certified in Emergency Medicine and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. Dr. Charash has completed both the UHMS/NOAA Dive Medicine Physician, and UHMS Medical Evaluation of Diver programs. Dr. Charash is a DAN Referral Physician, DAN Instructor, and PADI Diver. He lectures locally and nationally on topics of dive safety and dive medicine.

“There is insufficient information available to make any evidence based medical judgement for or against children in scuba diving” – Kinsella 1Q 2001 (Printed in the PADI Undersea Journal)

Dr. David Charash highlights important considerations for making informed decisions regarding children and diving and what steps he takes when evaluating both children and adults. His criteria stem from five basic questions; Loss of Consciousness, Loss of Orientation, Panic Reactions, Risk from Barotrauma, Psychological Fitness