Paintball is somewhat dangerous, just by virtue of its nature. After all, you’re shooting pellets of paint at each other in an activity which you’d never allow in your own house. But it can be a fun and rewarding game, even for children, if the proper safety protocol is followed. It’s also a good idea to go beyond the basic requirements of the paintball course.
Making It Safer
Here are some tips for how you can make paintball a safer experience for your kids, and how and why safety on the paintball course matters.
This is probably the most important piece of paintball gear your child will wear. Eye injuries are said to be the most common injury incurred during a paintball game, and a good-quality mask is essential. And sources agree that it should be high-quality – shop goggles won’t do. It’s important to use masks made specifically for paintball, and they should be worn every time there is a loaded paintball gun in your hands or in the hands of those nearby.
2. Barrel plugs
Required at some courses, barrel plugs fit on the end of the paintball gun, preventing it from firing accidentally. These are a must, sources say, along with a general rule that you should never point your paintball gun at anything or anyone you do not intend to shoot.
3. Not (really) a toy
Don’t let your children brandish the paintball gun like it’s a toy. Yes, paintball is a game, but shooting someone who is unprotected can be detrimental. It should be noted that a paintball gun should never be pointed at anyone’s face, ever, regardless of safety mask.
Some sources point out the importance of wearing the right shoes. It makes sense – you don’t want your child wearing shoes that could come untied, or that have slick soles. Good-fitting running shoes with treads are a good choice; Velcro fasteners are a good idea as well. You might consider boots, too, to prevent your child’s foot from bending or rolling to the side.
5. Torso protection
There are paintball vests available as well, and you can also provide some torso protection with a thick jacket. Getting hit with a paintball does hurt, and torso protection can help prevent bruises and welts.
6. Paintball courses
Playing on a regulated paintball course is the safest route. Turning kids loose to play paintball in the woods could be disastrous. Make sure the course you choose has a good reputation and that a referee/adult is present for the whole game.