Snorkeling is a vacation activity or hobby that can be done with the whole family. Kids will love to explore and discover new and exciting creatures, rocks, and coral under the surface of the water while snorkeling.
It’s kind of simple to buy snorkel gear for adults, but when it comes to kids snorkel set then it’s a whole different ballgame. Kids are small but growing. That means that they’re snorkel gear fits differently, almost from month to month. That also means that kids snorkeling gear has to be smaller but also offer a bit of versatility so that you’re not buying new snorkel gear every beach weekend.
The most important factor, though, will always be safety. You want to make sure that not only is your child’s snorkel gear operational and fitting but that it also is provides the greatest safety. That means that it can’t fail. A panicking child is a splashing, struggling child in the water.
One word of note: The most expensive gear that is on the market may not be the best snorkel gear for your child. Remember, they’ll outgrow it quickly. Also, like we said before, kids fit into snorkel gear differently than adults. You may to have a fitting session for snorkel gear when it comes to kids. At the end of this article we’ll be sure to recommend some safe, quality and affordable snorkel gear for kids.
It can’t be stressed enough by the Snorkel Store that the most important thing about getting a kids snorkel mask is the fit. It doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles or a cool design (though, you’re kids will want that). You just need to make sure that the mask fit and that it is going to be operational and dependable in the water.
A proper fit will ensure that the snorkel mask seals correctly to your child’s face and that will prevent water from getting into the eyes and the nose. Also, remember that while kids snorkel gear will often have age guidelines (e.g. “for ages 6-10), those guidelines won’t apply to all children…they all have different shaped faces just like adults.
Also, don’t be afraid to order kids snorkel gear online as long as you can return it and that you do it all in time for the trip, vacation, or snorkel adventure that you’re buying the gear for.
Fitting a Snorkel Mask for Your Kid’s Face
Eye Check: Hold the snorkel mask very close to your child’s face and stop just a centimeter or two from actually touching the face. You should be able to see that the mask will touch all around the area at the same time. Now, gently place it on the face (do not push it against the face) and ensure that the mask skirt (rubber like piece that seals the mask to the face) is actually touching at all points.
Face movements: With just a little pressure added, have the child smile and grimace so that you can see if the skirt continues to touch the face. This is especially important around the upper lip, temples, corners of the mouth and nose.
Breath Test: Have your child inhale slightly (through their nose) and not to panic when they stop breathing in. Ask them to hold their breath for a moment. Then release the mask. The mask should then stay in place without your hand, or straps holding it there. Then have your child exhale so that the mask releases.
Again, design and looks are not important at this point. Fit and operability are. Kudos if you can find a snorkel mask that fits and that your kid thinks is cool, too.
Snorkel tubes, as well, are different fitting for children than adults. You may think that a snorkel tube is a snorkel tube is a snorkel tube. Not quite. It needs to fit correctly and to be comfortable in your child’s mouth.
Sometimes snorkel tube mouthpieces are too large for a child to properly close their mouth around it. The rubber knobs on either end of the mouth piece can get in the way in their little mouths. Make sure that that the snorkel tube fits well, then you can consider whether you can find one that fits and has extras such as a purge valve or dry snorkel top. This can help a child become very comfortable in the water while snorkeling because they’ll know their equipment and that it is not going to let water in and/or stay in when it gets there.
Adjustable fins are the way to go when it comes to kids snorkel gear. They are growing still and this will allow the longest time frame of use for them. Just as long as they are well-fitting; not too loose or too tight. Also, rigid fins are more difficult to swim with than flexible fins. Buy or rent the most flexible snorkel fin that you can find for your child.
Kid’s Snorkel Vest
A snorkel vest is good for anyone that is just starting out snorkeling and that is not a strong swimmer. However, many experienced snorkelers still opt for a vest because it is easier to float, less exhausting, and provides stability for the best snorkeling experience. Buoyancy adds confidence in anyone who is just learning to swim and snorkel, adults included.
Keep in mind that if you go on a snorkel tour, particularly on a boat, then it may be required by the operators that all people wear a vest while snorkeling.
Snorkel vests comes in bright, hi-viz (high visibility colors) for your peace of mind and everyone’s safety. Learn how to buy a snorkel vest!
This isn’t paramount to snorkeling but it can be important. Children will stay in the water longer, in most cases, and there body’s will get cold faster. A child’s wet suit not only protects from the shivers but it is also a good way to screen the skin from the sun. Make sure that the wetsuit fits your child properly and snugly. This will keep water trapped and in the suit so that it is warmer for them.
The Snorkel Store’s Top 5 Choices for Kids Snorkel Sets and Gear