With airsoft becoming more and more popular, it’s no surprise that kids also want to play. Still, most parents are concerned about the safety of their children and rightly so.
As a parent, you should know a few things about how these guns work. It’s also crucial you’re informed about what’s the safest way to use the weapon. It’s your responsibility to pass the information to your child, so he/she learns how to use the gun safely.
Airsoft guns from the past
Interestingly, while some parents are concerned about whether these guns are safe for children, others remember they played with them in the past.
Airsoft guns were a thing back in the day and if you’re older than 25, you probably even had one of those spring-loaded pistols.
However, these things were equally as dangerous then as they are now. The main thing we were thought was not to shoot indoors or at any living creature.
Now, we’re talking about cheap, spring-loaded guns. Though even those could cause serious injuries, they weren’t even close to the modern airsoft replica guns we have today. For this reason, measures of safety and precautions must be taken more seriously.
Airsoft gaming fields
If you’ve been researching the topic for a while, you’ve probably heard that there are actual professional gaming fields for airsoft.
These are equipped in different ways but are always far more fun than playing airsoft in your backyard. More importantly, these are safer.
The thing is, kids will fire those BBs everywhere, and any can stray and hit a person that’s just walking by. You might end up with a broken window or an injured dog or cat.
To prevent this, ask around about the gaming field in your area. It’s a good idea especially if it’s illegal to discharge a gun in your state.
These fields usually also have some protective gear for rent so you won’t have to buy any additional equipment. However, do your research because not all fields will allow kids to play.
Continue reading to learn about the ten things you should know before buying an airsoft gun. Regardless of whether you had one before or not, you should pay close attention to these factors to ensure your child is as safe as possible.
10 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Buying an Airsoft Gun
If you’re considering letting your children play airsoft, or buy an airsofting gun here are some things you should know. This is a mixture of tips, warnings and just general knowledge that you might find useful.
1. Safety is the most important thing
As we mentioned, these guns can be dangerous if not handled properly. In general, airsoft is quite safe but only thanks to the strict rules that are enforced.
Yours and other children should be safe depending on how much they follow the rules of the game. If you have the smallest doubt that your kid won’t respect the rules, it’s best you don’t allow them to participate.
Eyes are the most vulnerable parts of the body in airsoft, so it’s usually what parents are mostly concerned about. Luckily, there are such things as full-face masks, and you should buy one right when you buy the gun as well.
Goggles would work too, but they would really only protect the eyes. A full-face mask protects your kid’s neck, forehead and other parts of the face.
Some engagement rules should also exist. Minimum engagement distance varies depending on the field you opt for. Check the airsoft sites in your area to see if they allow children to play and what are the fundamental rules for them.
Also, talk to your kid and explain the dangers of the weapon you’re about to buy. It’s important for a child to understand that though it’s a replica gun, it can still cause severe injuries and real-life tragedies.
2. Low-velocity vs. High velocity
Not all guns are the same as some shoot harder than others. You should keep this in mind when buying the first weapon for your child.
Check out the FPS (feet per second) of the gun. It refers to how fast the gun propels a BB when you pull the trigger.
Those cheap spring-loaded guns we mentioned earlier have quite low FPS and are considered toys rather than real airsoft guns. All safety measures should apply nonetheless. A child could hurt someone even with a toy like that.
If you want to step up the game and get a weapon from a legitimate airsoft retailer, know that those are more serious and can cause greater damage. These usually have higher FPS and will leave a stinging welt on the skin.
None of these guns can actually pierce through your child’s skin but can leave a mark visible enough. Still, both high and low-velocity weapons can hurt the face, so it should be covered regardless of the gun you opt for.
3. Advantages of airsoft
Let’s not look at cons only, but discuss some benefits of the game, too.
Airsoft forces you to run, bend, sprint, jump, flex and do all kinds of crazy stuff. It’s a full-body workout that will cause some sore muscles for sure.
Team playing is another benefit as the game teaches your child to play along with other kids in teams. It teaches your child very early on that it can survive only by sticking to the other team members. This type of teamwork is a great base for school projects and even professional careers later on.
4. It’s fun!
Though there are certain dangers to pay attention to, you shouldn’t forbid your child to play. Airsoft can be beneficial, and it’s a lot of fun for children of different age.
Target shooting on airsoft fields is a great thing to keep your child active. Kids learn about teamwork, accurate shooting, and different techniques.
Even your backyard can do the job if you try and turn it into an outdoor field. You’ll have kids close by so you can keep an eye on them if you wish.
These military simulations are lots of fun as you’ll notice if you watch the kids participate. Even if it happens in someone else’s backyard, your kid will most likely tell you about the great time they’ve had.
Indoor fields might not be the best choice but can serve the purpose if it’s your only option. Make sure the kids are dressed in many layers since they’ll probably shoot at shorter distance.
5. It’s not the same as paintball
People often confuse airsofting and paintballing, and the basics might appear similar, there are some key differences. First of all, there’s no paint involved in airsoft. This has to be the greatest thing that sets the two sports apart.
Second of all, the guns for airsoft are entirely different than those for paintball. Simply, since there’s no paint involved the guns also have to be different.
Airsoft uses BB weapons that are in no way similar to those that shoot paint. However, both types are serious weapons that can actually cause real injuries. Though the children won’t be covered in paint, they might end up with bruises as a result.
6. Talking to your kid is crucial
It’s your responsibility to understand what airsoft is, and pass that knowledge to your children. It’s crucial that you take this seriously because it’s the only way to ensure safety.
It’s up to you to explain to the child what this weapon is and how he/she should use it properly. It’s also important to teach kids how to take care of after the guns and carry them safely to and from the site.
You don’t want your kid to be seen carrying this gun, even though it’s not an actual firearm. These usually look very much like the real pistols and snipers, especially from afar. For this reason, explain to the kids why they should be careful about it.
Make sure the children understand the risks and can fully comprehend the consequences of improper use. Use your best judgment to tell if the kids take this seriously or not.
If you have the slightest doubt your child doesn’t think this is important, it’s best you don’t buy the gun at all.
7. The importance of supervision
Regardless of how old the kids are, there should always be an adult watching over them. So, before you go out and buy an airsoft gun for your child, talk to the parents of other kids that participate.
See what they think about the matter and if they’re willing to cooperate in supervising the airsoft games. It doesn’t always have to be the same person, so you all can take turns in watching them play.
This way, you can notice first hand if someone is not obeying the rules. Some kids tend to be mean and can even hurt others with the weapon if they don’t fully understand the dangers.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to keep a close eye on the children. Some airsoft fields have people supervising minors, but if the kids are playing in backyards, there should be an adult somewhere about.
8. Teaching the child to maintain the gun
Before you buy an airsoft gun, it’s critical that you understand how to use it as well as how to take proper care of it. Sometimes, people think that’s not important since it’s not them who are playing but their children.
However, this is wrong.
If you already want to put a replica gun into your child’s hands, then you might as well learn all you can about this gun. The thing is, kids usually don’t know the seriousness of these games and weapons right off the bat, so it’s up to you as a parent to tell them about it.
It’s up to you to teach your kid how to use the weapon and how to maintain it properly. Many things occur on airsoft fields, and guns get dropped and covered in dirt. All of this leads to build-up that eventually clogs the gun putting your kid in a dangerous situation.
Make sure your little one knows how to clean the gun and that he does it after each game.
9. Airsoft guns are replicas
We’ve said it before; these aren’t real firearms but authentic replicas.
Though it’s highly unlikely that the BBs can pierce through skin and actually hurt your child in that way, other things can occur.
If you buy a quality airsoft rifle, you have to know that it’s going to look just like the real deal. Unless you’re a trained professional, you won’t be able to tell the difference. More so, even professionals who deal with firearms on a regular basis cannot if it’s the real or a replica gun just by looking at it.
This puts your child in danger since other people could mistake his replica gun with a real firearm. There have been reports of actual tragedies occurring for this reason.
It’s true that it’s not a real weapon, but you can’t go wrong by treating it as such. Have a gun case to transport the airsoft weapon, make sure it’s always clean, charged and safe to play with.
10. Checking the laws is a must
Though airsoft is actually a game, some countries are quite strict about it. There are rules to follow that are more than just the rules of the game itself.
Remember the gun case we talked about? Well, in some states you’re required to have one, so your kid cannot just randomly wing the gun around the neighborhood.
Also, some states only allow children’s parents to give them an airsoft weapon. So, if you wanted to gift a replica sniper to your nephew, it’s best you don’t do that. Giving an airsoft gun to a child that’s not yours could get you into trouble.
Some countries forbid you from discharging weapons in public. It doesn’t only apply to real weapons, but to replicas just as well.
This means shooting in the backyard is illegal, but make sure to check what laws apply in your state before you let your kid play.
What seems like harmless fun of shooting in the backyard could end up being an actual crime just because you were misinformed.
What to do next?
If you’re thinking of getting into airsofting or buying your kid/s an airsoft gun, here are some useful posts for you to read:
- How to be a better airsoft player: A guide on becoming a better player and playing within the rules. Read this and let your kids read this, before you turn up and start playing
- The best airsoft rifles: A comparison and explanation of the best airsofting rifles that you can find, along with where to get them online