Friday, June 29, 2007

Paintball - fun or danger?

Hi folks. I took a break yesterday, was quite busy with some writing projects that are due next week.

There’s been quite a bit of interesting news lately; one item coming from here in Montreal. Another boy has sustained a severe eye injury during a paintball game. The Montreal Children’s Hospital is calling for a ban on the popular past-time for children under the age of 16.

I’m torn on the subject. I completely understand the concern and I understand the stand that the MCH is taking. In fact, I was in the ER with one of my kids a few years ago when a boy was brought in with one of these eye injuries. My heart went out to him and his parents. The way I understand it, these injuries usually happen when the goggles get fogged up or as the player leaves the area – they lift the goggles to clear them and that is when the eye injuries happen.

Many paintball places don’t allow children under 12 years, others say that it’s up to the parents’ discretion. I agree with the under 12 ban. I’ve seen the bruises that those paintballs can leave it they make a direct hit on a vulnerable spot. But under 16? I’m really not sure. Then, there’s the issue of kids playing with adults. I do agree that this shouldn’t be the case. There are grown men playing paintball with 13-year-olds – I can see how this could cause problems.

I know that my boys have both gone paintballing, I’ve even provided transportation sometimes. My 20-year-old went many times when he was a young teen, my 15-year-old has gone a few times. I am not thrilled with “sport.” I can see a lot of things wrong with it, but I also know that boys have always wanted to play with guns, be they sticks, their fingers, or toys. I remember that toy guns were banned when I was growing up, for my youngest brother. He still made them out of anything he had handy. So, does paintball allow boys the chance to play within a controlled environment? Or is it just another way that they can be hurt?

As I said, I’m torn on the topic. Severe injuries can happen doing many activities. But, we can drill our teens with rules until we’re blue in the face. Many are still very impulsive and don’t think all decisions through. I just hope the boy who was hurt just recently recovers completely.

Today's News:
Doctors say paintball too dangerous for kids
Birth defect risk low from antidepressants
Brain stimulation may help ward off Alzheimer's: study
Exercise legs on long journeys, WHO advises

2 comments:

David said...

Hi,

It's my opinion that when paintball is played properly with proper safety equipment and when proper rules are followed it can be as safe as other sports. The problem is when lax rules are in place or rules are broken.

I'm not sure if there should be a ban for players under 16 because I'm sure many players under the age of 16 can play the game responsibility. Problems arise when rules/instructions are not followed or the game is played with lax rules. The problems can arise with players of any age if they are not responsible.

David

Anonymous said...

hi i think that paintball can be fun if rules are followed. paintball is a fun sport but protection is needed like goggles , body armor , and thick clothes. i think whoever gets injured did it to themselves. im pretty sure that one of the rules is never take your mask off