Paintball games pose dangerous risks for children, especially children under age 15. These risks can be minimized with proper supervision and appropriate use of safety equipment, but they cannot be fully eliminated.
The most common risk is eye injury, which can result in severe pain and blindness. Protective eye equipment can reduce these risks, but a shot from the right angle can still injure the child. Many children also remove or shift their eye protection during the game, which can reduce its effectiveness. It is best for a child to have parental or other responsible supervision at all times to help prevent this.
Many other paintball injuries are minor, including sprains, strains and broken bones from falls due to running over uneven terrain. Some also occur from the velocity of the ball. Paintballs themselves are made from nontoxic ingredients, but they can travel at high enough speeds to cause severe bruising or other injuries. Modern paintball guns sometimes have chronographs installed to help monitor the velocity. Parents or chaperones can adjust these to make play safer for young children.
Many serious or fatal accidents occur off the field due to accidental discharges, so using barrel blockers is a good idea. Children should also be supervised when handling the compressed air or carbon dioxide canisters that power paintball guns.