Should kids really be allowed to play paintball? #TIWIWF
Well that’s the question I’m asking myself … for the next time my son asks to go and play. Why?
Let’s see ….
- Serious bruises to his ribcage
Well … you know that one? It’s his badge of honor. I’ll ignore that one.
- Total exhaustion at the end of the day
Nope … this one still wins on the positives.
- Absolute fun with his friends.
Always a good thing.
- Doctor’s visit, CT scan and impending bills?
Well … this one negates ALL the rest.
You see … he had TONS of fun. Showed off all his bruises and mentioned that he’d gotten pummeled in the head. “Okay … we’ll keep an eye on you,” I said. What he failed to mention was the fact that he was shot IN THE HEAD at near POINT BLANK RANGE while reloading his paintball gun FOUR times. <– The stuff in caps is the key there.
His friends say an opportunity presented itself and they took it. As an entrepreneur, I should look at this and say ‘Bravo! for the proactive nature of the game.’
But I can’t.
Two days after the game, my son was dizzy, having trouble concentrating and maybe even having a little trouble forming his sentences. He said this. His dad doesn’t necessarily agree … but then again … his dad spent 3 hours carting him to the Urgent Care and to Radiology for a CT scan and back to Urgent Care to have said CT scan read and then home with a diagnosis of ‘Mild Concussion’ — which for his dad to actually proactively do those things means he saw *something* going on.
[Insert Mom's unhappy face here]
What had been a day of fun turned into a day of stress I didn’t need (who does?) and what will be a nightmare of bills for us.
All because his friends took their chance and struck in the SAME spot while my son was ‘vulnerable’. Now he’ll never admit to being vulnerable, that’s probably the Mom in me saying, ‘NO MORE PAINTBALL’ when in reality, it’s stupid that those helmets don’t even cover the back of their heads.
There, that’s the crux of my argument here. WHY don’t paintball helmets cover the whole head? Isn’t that the most important part of your body? Your head? Now, granted, guys might disagree but I don’t think there were cups worn during this fight either. **ouch**
Of course, I digress … so …
Now I’m not going to get on a soapbox or go and sue the paintball people …. (my kid probably did sign a waver — I don’t know because I wasn’t there). But why is it that boys have to pick sports that even when they don’t SEEM dangerous … ARE?
I mean, can’t they play with dolls like my 7 year old girls? Granted, they cut themselves with scissors, but a trip downstairs for a SpongeBob band aid only costs $.50 … not the thousand that comes with a CT scan.
I joke, regularly, that my son is hard headed, but the skull can really only take so much.
Yes, he’s fine.
But I’m not.
Because kids don’t understand the ramifications of their actions before the take them. Four paintballs to the same spot on my son’s head earns him a concussion.
All for having fun.
I don’t think there’s any way to fix this … it is what it is. Kids get hurt. They have to experience life to live and grow. And unfortunately for me, I don’t think he’s going to take kindly to sitting on the couch and crocheting or creating lace doilies.
Bummer for me.
What do you think? Is it the parent’s responsibility to stop the kids from playing altogether? Or is it the kid’s and adults responsibility on-site to explain the rules and live with whatever happens? Or should EVERY paintballer wear helmets? Or maybe we should all live in bubbles to make sure none of us every gets hurt.
As I’ve said before … #TIWIWF …. This Is Why I Write Fiction.
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