Paintball: Safety and Health Tips
A common social activity that has become popular nowadays is paintball. However, it comes with risks when you play it. And just like the risks of any other sport, they should be taken seriously, not ignored.
Getting hit with paintballs can hurt, but don't take the "no pain, no gain" saying to the extreme. In football, we see tackles that make us cringe, but believe it or not, the players take steps to avoid unnecessary injuries during their plays. Why get hurt when you don't have to? This is also true for paintball.
Here are some paintball safety and health tips:
1. Never take off your face mask when inside the arena. Even when things seem quiet, don't let anything happen to your face by exposing it.
2. Put on your barrel plugs when not using your gun. Nobody wants to get accidentally shot. Every gun has a plug, so be careful not to lose it. During games, put your plug in a tight pocket.
3. Always aim your gun downward when not playing. This means less chance that you or someone else will accidentally get shot.
4. Never look in your gun's barrel. Accidents happen, and being hit in the face or eyes hurts.
5. Wear proper clothing that you don't mind getting dirty, and that is layered (for example, two t-shirts on top of the other) to help soften the impacts of hits. You can also wear CHEST/NECK PROTECTION GEAR. It limits movement, but helps prevent more bruises.
6. Always drink water during breaks. Like all sports, it's best to avoid dehydration.
7. Stretch before playing. Warm-ups are good for all sports, and in paintball, it's most likely that everyone will be running around a lot.
8. Make sure your gear isn't damaged before entering a game. For example, your air tank shouldn’t be cracked, nor should the mask’s goggles lens be either.
9. Raise your gun up high if you get hit in a game, and are trying to walk out. Otherwise, the other team might not know you are out and keep shooting at you.
10. Paintball can't be played just anywhere: it's best to play in a real paintball field run by legitimate staff. The referees especially make a big difference in regulating the games.
A message to kids: You've probably heard the above steps many times, and though it can be boring to hear again, they're very important. Anyone working at a paintball field or store would agree that safety comes first. Pay attention during the orientations, and remember that paintball is a social activity with other people.
A message to parents: If your child goes playing paintball, be sure that they know the above safety tips beforehand. Keep reminding them of these steps, and reiterate the fact that paintball is a social activity with friendly competition and teamwork.
If you're present at the paintball area but not playing, then you can watch your child to make sure they follow safety rules. The two most important ones are putting in the gun's plug when off the field, and putting on the mask goggles when in the field.
Depending on the paintball location, parent/guardian signatures for players 18 years old or younger may be required for waiver/release forms. The location may also require that children participating must be at least 10 years old.
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Safety Gear for Paintballing