When you think about backyard games you normally relate words like fun, good time, and party to them. One word you probably never relate to them when it comes to backyard games is dangerous.
You read that right, and we are about to talk about the two most dangerous backyard games that have been created. One of them was even banned in the United States, twice.
For anyone not familiar with the game of Lawn Darts, it takes the exact same concept of traditional darts and simplifies it, recreating it for backyard use with larger darts that are about a foot in length. These darts are thrown at targets resting on the ground that are roughly 30 to 35 feet away.
When the game was first created it was marketed towards kids. It seems kind of silly to make a game that is catered towards kids where the main piece is a foot-long dart with a metal point. As crazy as it sounds, that is exactly what happened. In the United States, this caused the game to be banned for many years, but in the late 1970’s the ban was challenged.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission agreed to allow the sale of Lawn Darts as long as it was not marketed as a toy. It seemed everything was okay, but then tragedy struck in the late 1980’s. A seven-year-old boy from Riverside, California was killed playing Lawn Darts. This tragic incident forced another ban to be implemented in 1988.
It even became illegal to sell second hand Lawn Darts. Canada followed suit banning the sale of Lawn Darts in 1989.
You might say to yourself, “I have seen Lawn Darts for sale in stores”. This is probably true, but they are not like the original. The new versions of Lawn Darts that are sold do not have the metal spike, and are instead plastic darts with rounded ends that resemble something closer to a football. They have sand inside them to weigh them down and so they land upright.
Even before the death of the young California boy, several hundred people were heading to hospitals due to injuries from the game. It was the right move to ban it because the last thing anyone wants is to get injured playing a game in their backyard. Lawn Darts is still around, just a little different than it was before, and a lot safer.
Slip N Slide:
Who would have ever thought that a Slip N Slide would be one of the most dangerous things to play with in your backyard? The problem here isn’t he actual Slip N Slide itself. The problem is that it is so much fun that people tend to ignore the rules.
The whole cause of injuries when using a Slip N Slide are because adults try to use it and it is not created for adults. This was made for kids in the 1960’s. It is a very genius idea; a piece of plastic has several small holes throughout. You insert a water hose in one end and the water come out through those holes and makes it easy to slide across. You put it on your grass in your yard and before you know it you are sliding across your lawn having the time of your life.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission highly recommends only children use it. The reason being is that since adults weigh more they can come to sudden stops and injure their necks or spine. From the mid 1970’s to the early 1990’s eight people suffered injuries with some of them leaving the person paralyzed.
Despite the warning, people seem to not care and you constantly see adults playing on Slip N Slides. That doesn’t just include the brand name either. Make shift ones are put together all the time. Recently a video went viral of two police officers joining in on the fun while responding to a call. It was on a make shift Slip N Slide that looked to be made from trash bags. If cops are throwing caution to the wind, how can you not expect others to not follow suit.
There have been several updates to more modern versions of the Slip N Slide. They have become inflatable, which gives it more cushion. Despite these changes it doesn’t fix the one issue which can lead to injuries, and that is size. Another reason injuries occur is because of the placement of the Slip N Slide. When you are larger you can stop suddenly when jumping, but if that doesn’t happen then the next biggest danger is not being able to stop. If this thing is set up near a fence and you pick up some serious speed there is a good chance you are going to be kissing that fence. Not to mention what could happen if someone gets in your way.
It doesn’t seem to matter as people will continue to throw caution to the wind and play with the Slip N Slide despite the recommendations. They are too much fun.
It is rare to see backyard games that can get dangerous, but there you have it. The dangers can also be minimized. With Lawn Darts, it doesn’t seem that anyone should be getting injured anymore unless they do something illegal like getting their hands on an old metal set and playing with it. As dumb as it sounds I am sure someone out there is doing it. As for Slip N Slide you can only blame the people. The warning and caution signs have been thrown up, but people keep choosing to ignore them. Hopefully it doesn’t take something as serious as a death, like it did with Lawn Darts for people to wise up. Yes, it is a fun game, but it is meant for kids not adults!