Laser Tag Safety: Separating Fact from Fiction

By Tavish Archer
Edited On

“It’s neither Chernobyl nor Russian roulette!” — I blast into laughter.

Jeremy and I were on a long drive in the afternoon after an exhausting session of parent-teacher meetings. We were also planning a laser tag party for next week’s Halloween. I was not sure whether the Halloween horror struck in Jeremy’s mind deeply; the afternoon looked like Warner Brother’s horror world— the Sun surrendered to clouds.

Actually, he faced the laser tag safety question a few hours ago in the meeting, where some parents mostly doubted whether the laser beams could hurt the eyes. Jeremy assured them about the safety of school events, but maybe he didn’t sound confident.

So, I dug deeper into the matter to find out some reasonable solutions. I will also provide you tips on how to play laser tag safely, so that you can enjoy the game without any worry or risk to your health.

Laser Tag Safety

Is Laser Tag Dangerous? Does It Hurt?

NO! It’s mostly safe. The sensors used in many high-quality laser tag guns have been tested and regulated to ensure their safety, especially for children.

Key Note

The lasers employed in laser tag guns are not true lasers but rather a type of infrared light similar to those found in many remote controls for televisions and other appliances — that is harmless. Having said that, pointing and shooting a laser tag gun at someone is as harmless as pointing and using a remote control at someone.

But you may have genius kids who have an wild level of creativity to transform a harmless toy into a fatal one. They have a record of self-injury in a street fight or during a paintball fight. Parents should allow them to play under their supervision to avoid physical injury in darkness or on forest slopes.

Is It Wrong To Shine The Light Emitted By Laser Tag In One’s Eye?

Yes and No- both.

This is because of the same theoretical reason- certified laser tag guns don’t use real lasers. The infrared photons released by laser weapons have a low frequency and energy, making them incapable of causing any damage. It feels nothing like a remote control device.

Laser tag guns have to undergo multiple safety clearances before commercial use. A laser tag system functions similarly to a flashlight, with the beam being straight, narrow, and within the infrared wavelength. Not only for safety concerns to use infrared light beams but real laser rays also create a distraction in dark places.

However, not all laser tag guns are certified, and some even use low-intensity lasers/ near-infrared beams, which can be a problem if you shine the light in one’s eyes. Also, according to the EHS department, United States:

Prolonged exposure to IR radiation causes a gradual but irreversible opacity of the lens. Other forms of damage to the eye from IR exposure include scotoma, which is a loss of vision due to the damage to the retina.

So, ensure that the equipment is properly certified- it does not use real laser or strong infrared beams, and avoid focusing the light on others’ faces/eyes to be on the safer side. After all, laser tagging is a game of fun!

Do You Need An Eye Protection For Laser Tag?

To the best of my knowledge, most laser tag systems use low-intensity IR beams to shoot, send and receive the signal rather than lasers. You don’t usually need to protect your eyes from harmless infrared.

I’d recommend a helmet with eye protection only if you collide with a wall or your teammate’s gun. Some laser tag helmets have the facility with glass protection (from external injury). Most of the arenas restrict running in the dark, so you have less chance of getting hurt in the eyes.

Violence is not allowed- even any physical contact is against the rules, and laser tag gun has the rarest chance of body contact or mishaps.

Related: Is It Safe To Play Laser Tag While Pregnant?

Infrared light emitted by laser tag guns

Safety Precautions & Tips For Playing Laser Tag

Players should maintain a disciplined attitude and follow the rule strictly. Even during the warm-up trial, teams should practice laser tag by following the rules and regulations — they help to get the actual field-like experience. After that, rules become their integral part, and it helps to maintain safety on the battlefield.

As a newbie, as long as you pay attention to the following safety guidelines, precautions and tips, they help you to play securely and enjoy the game.

Don’t try to take advantage of an object or wall by climbing or jumping on it, and control your tendency to run. The objects can’t sustain your weight also. The environment has full provocation to run. Maximum arenas don’t allow running. It helps to reduce the possibility of injury.

Players should keep their feet on the ground, and they are not allowed to crawl in darkness. It helps players to avoid any serious injury in the face of other team members.

For safety, the fundamental rule says to avoid physical contact. So, practice no-contact communication. Stay away from beating or shoving other players and maintain a minimum distance (5 feet) from each other, as mentioned by the arena’s board. Without practice, you can’t do it on the battlefield, and it will increase your disqualification only.

People with prolonged illness, joint replacement, or heart disease should avoid it.

Avoid any kind of verbal diarrhea or bullying of others. Arenas or organizers have a zero-tolerance policy. It helps them to ensure the safety of all team members.

Wear a dark dress as per your comfort zone, season, or as per directions. Choose camouflage cloaks, sportswear, combat shoes, and tracking boots as per indoor, outdoor, or slope of the area.

Unlocking the Truth: The Conclusion

Laser tag guns use infrared technology with sensors rather than actual laser beams to make them completely safe for adults and children. Lasers might be harmful to our eyesight and even burn our flesh if they were used- but this is not the case with laser tags.

For other laser toys (laser pointer, laser pen) that emit low-intensity laser beams, FDA has some regulations to restrict the level of light emission to Class 1. Else it could harm eyes temporarily or permanently. Please not that laser tag guns do not fall under this category.

The Truth

Laser tag guns are safer because they do not actually emit laser light- it is not much of a problem for adults. But ensure that your child is playing under your supervision, even if they emit infrared. Also, check the labels and instructions on the toys to verify their safety.

Some laser tag arenas have separate rules for using protective gear; follow them carefully and get ready for your next adventure without worrying too much- laser tag is beneficial for numerous reasons.

Have fun and enjoy laser tag!

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer is a Recreational Gamer, Author, and Co-Founder of ThrilloGaming. He holds a degree in Sports Management from Mississippi College (MC), Unites States. His experience and proficiency in the field allow him to provide winning strategies, creative ideas, and expert advice.

We Value Your Experience

How Useful Is This Article?

Click On A Star To Rate It!

Rating: 4.6 , Votes: 7

We're Glad To Help You!

Follow Us On Social Media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Join The Conversation

  1. Haha! You remembered the incident! It was really a tensed time, but as always, you helped me to clear out the confusions. Let’s meet and go to laser tag this weekend!


Leave a Comment