Kids and Water Gun Safety

Kids and Water Gun Safety
When it comes to the blazing hot days of summers, many kids and parents reach for water pistols and blasters. The cool streams of water are fun and can provide some much needed respite from the heat. This is especially true for kids who are reluctant to take a break out of the sun. That said, water gun safety is something parents should take seriously.

Understanding Water Gun Safety

For people who grew up using water pistols, this may seem like a silly issue. That said, there are several serious issues to consider. First of all, slips and falls are common when playing with these toys. According to the CDC, a child is treated for an injury in an emergency department every four seconds. Besides that, about one in every five child injuries can result in a death. Now, obviously the causes for these injuries can vary greatly. That said, roughhousing or irresponsibly chasing after one another with water guns can easily lead to slipping, broken bones or concussions.

Lay Down the Law With Water Gun Safety Guidelines

Much like water and pool safety, it is up to parents and guardians to lay down the law. Water gun safety should always start with some ground rules. To begin with, make sure to watch the kids as they play. Water gun safety should include active supervision. When things get out of hand, fights could break out or injuries can occur.

To help here, parents should set up some basic water gun safety rules. For example:

  • No headshots. Kids shouldn’t aim above the neck. Some water guns can hit surprisingly hard.
  • Permission Granted. No one should shoot anyone without first getting consent. Besides being polite, this can also help to prevent hurt feelings.
  • No roughhousing. Keep the battle to a brisk walk on the grass. Running on a slippery surface is a major hazard. Wearing water shoes can help to add traction, but this should not be considered a replacement for careful play.

Bacteria Blasters

Beyond setting ground rules, there are several other water gun safety rules to consider. One that is heavily recommended is to drain old water and rinse out the blasters between each use. Water that sits over time can become stagnant and contain harmful bacteria. No one wants to be sprayed with dirty water. For more information on harmful bacteria in water, read our guide to public pool safety.

The “Gun” Issue

As always, this blog tends to avoid political topics. That said, it would be a misstep to avoid the elephant in the room when it comes to water gun safety: Is it advisable for kids to play with water guns?

Truth be told, that will always be a personal question for families to discuss amongst themselves. Of course, there is a lot of talk about gun violence these days. Even though the water guns shoot harmless water, there have been incidents where law enforcement has mistaken water pistols for an actual weapon.

Above all, kids should be aware of the potential dangers of pointing a “weapon” at others or at authority figures. To repeat a water gun safety rule listed earlier, never point a blaster at someone without permission. It is always possible that a simple mistake could lead to tragic results.