I’ve had my fair share of epic battles and adrenaline-fueled victories with gel ball blasters in the past years. But in this recreational sport, fun and excitement can only go so far without safety and responsibility. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the age requirements for gel blasting.
A year back, Daniel, my neighbor and 12-year-old fan, asked for a blaster as his birthday gift. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, were confused about purchasing it for him, but he insisted it was only a harmless toy. So, they came to me seeking advice.
I had to guide them correctly according to the rules and regulations for gel blaster age limits. Whether you’re a parent wondering if your child is old enough to participate or a new player curious about the rules, this article will cover everything you need to know.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Play Gel Blaster?
The age limits for owning and using gel blasters in the United States vary based on state and municipal legislation. There is no country-wide law that particularly governs them at the moment.
However, all reputed manufacturers mention the recommended age requirements for their toy guns. While there is no upper limit, a minimum age of 9-14 years is required to play with gel blaster guns. Most arenas and organizers generally urge participants to be at least 10 years old.
Some states in the United States have age limits for toy guns, such as New York, where it is prohibited for anyone under the age of 16 to possess or use a gel blaster. However, even if there are no particular age restrictions in your location, I highly recommend checking the criteria set for the specific blaster.
For example, if you check the list of gel blasters, you will find that I have mentioned the minimum recommended age for each. It will help you to choose a suitable model according to the maturity level. This is everything I told Daniel’s parents, who were ultimately convinced to buy him a low FPS blaster.
Can Kids Play With Gel Ball Blasters?
The use of gel blasters by children below the above-mentioned age range is a complex issue dependent on various criteria, such as age, maturity, local laws, and ability to follow safety rules. This also applies to Orbeez guns and splatter ball guns that operate similarly.
Gel guns can cause eye injuries without safety spectacles, and children may not have judgment, so coordination is required from parents. As a result, if the local law permits, it is crucial that kids below the recommended age (9-14 years, depending on the specific model) are always required to be supervised by an adult and receive sufficient safety instruction before using blasters.
So, What Type Of Gel Blaster Gun Is Suitable For Them?
Due to the risks involved, I do not suggest high-powered gel blasters for kids. A lower-power blaster that shoot at a velocity of 160 FPS (feet per second) or below is a safer choice for them.
Getting a gel ball blaster with a compact size and lightweight for your youngster is essential, as smaller and lighter models may be easier for them to use and aim. Therefore, choose a gel blaster with features like a safety switch or trigger lock to avoid accidental discharge.
Tips For Playing Gel Ball Blaster Safely With Your Kids
Playing gel blasters, Orbeez blasters or splat guns with children can be a fun and exciting pastime, but ensuring everyone is safe is crucial. Here are ten expert suggestions to help you have a safe and pleasurable experience:
1. Obey All Local Rules And Regulations
When it comes to playing gel blasters, you should follow all local norms and regulations. Various states and localities may have their own rules governing the usage of blasters. To avoid legal difficulties or safety hazards, it is critical to be informed of and abide by these laws. Local police may have revised advisories. I suggest this every time to new players and it is the most important thing to consider.
2. Follow The Manufacturer’s Instruction
When playing with a gel blaster gun, I follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions related to the toy gun and advise you to do the same. This includes any safety precautions or warnings, as well as instructions on how to load and use the blaster. Before allowing their child to use the blaster, parents should read and understand the instructions and then teach them.
3. Always Wear Eye Protection
Gellets fired from gel guns can move at fast speeds and injure the eyes if they strike. Even if the gel pellets are soft, the power of the contact can be problematic. When playing with blasters, I advise everyone, including kids, to use safety glasses or other appropriate eye protection that fulfills safety regulations. I never take off my spectacles as long as I am playing.
Check that the eye protection is fitted correctly and comfortable to use. Always teach children the necessity of wearing safety spectacles and ensure they understand the consequences of not doing so.
4. Employ The Proper Equipment & Apparel
Protective clothing and equipment, such as long-sleeve shirts, slacks, closed-toe shoes, and gloves, are used to avoid skin irritation and impact. This is also crucial to ensure adequate safety for both kids and adults.
5. Teach Kids To Be Safe And Responsible
Educate youngsters about the significance of safe and responsible play without getting hurt, and ensure they understand the potential risks of misusing gel blasters. There are toy guns meant for fun without hurting anyone. In my experience, it saves people outside the play zone too.
6. Never Shoot At A Close Range
While playing with a gel blaster, teach your kids never to shoot at close range and keep a safe distance from others. Please instruct them to keep the blaster pointed away from innocent animals, birds and humans not participating in the game.
7. Never Aim At The Face
Parents should teach their children to aim for the body or other non-vulnerable areas and always to consider the safety of themselves and others when playing with gel ball blasters.
As I have seen, the face is a particularly vulnerable area, and a direct hit with a gel pellet could cause serious injury, especially if it hits the eyes, nose, or mouth. Even if the child is wearing appropriate eye protection, it’s still essential to avoid aiming for the face.
8. Play Only In Designated Places
Only play in safe and appropriate areas for gel blasters- private places and commercial public arenas. For kids, playing indoors or in public parks without permission might raise the possibility of injury. Police call is not a rare event by neighbors.
9. Play Only With Approved Gel Blasters
Only use approved gel guns that are safe to use and meet all relevant safety criteria. All are not the same; some may be more powerful than others. The blaster you are planning to use must look like a toy gun that has a bright color with an orange tip on the barrel-end. A realistic gel blaster should be avoided as it can create confusion whether it is actually a toy gun or a real firearm.
10. Use Only High Quality Ammo
Never use anything other than high-quality gel balls that are particularly made for gel blasters as ammunition. Using unapproved or unsuitable ammo might increase the danger of injury since it may be too hard, too tiny, or manufactured of harmful material. Improper gel beads can even burst before leaving the gun or cause jamming.
Gel blasters are a popular recreational activity that has grown in popularity over the last few years. The minimum age for owning and using a blaster varies in different states, but those who use them must be mature enough to comprehend the potential risks and utilize them safely.
It is also important to note that parents and adult members play a crucial part in ensuring that children who use gel blasters are appropriately monitored and informed on correct usage and safety precautions.