5 Things More Deadly For Kids Than Those Banned Lawn Darts of the 1980s
The yard sale season has arrived and I can't help but wonder if you can find any of those "dangerous" lawn darts for sale in Grand Junction.
Did You Ever Have Lawn Darts Growing Up?
Years ago, I used to collect lawn darts and look for them at garage sales because you couldn't buy them in stores. In case you don't know, Lawn Darts is an outdoor game we used to play that involved throwing a dart - with plastic wings on one end and a sharp metal point on the other end. Similar to the concept of horseshoes or cornhole, the object is to throw the dart toward a target in an effort to earn points and defeat your opponent. The sharp point sticks into the ground upon landing.
Apparently, I Was One of the Lucky Ones
I played a lot of lawn darts as a kid, and I guess I was one of the lucky ones. I didn't die and I was never injured. Supposedly, thousands of lawn dart injuries had occurred over the years along with no less than 3 deaths - and in 1988, the Consumer Product Safety Commission implemented a ban on Lawn Darts. You could still buy and sell them at yard sales, but you wouldn't find them in stores. Canada went a step further and made the sale of second-hand lawn darts illegal.
Destroy All Lawn Darts Immediately
Notice the part where it says we should "discard or destroy all lawn darts immediately" and they "should not be given away." It seems a little extreme to me, and up until just a few years ago, I had accumulated a couple of dozen sets of lawn darts over the years. The plastic wings would sometimes break - so it was always good to have extra darts on hand. I certainly did not destroy my lawn darts.
Yes, Lawn Darts Can Be Dangerous, But...
Let me just say, I can fully understand why it is not a good idea to play this game with small children around, nor is it a good idea to allow children under the age of 12 to play the game unsupervised. However, let's think about a few other things that are responsible for a far greater number of deaths every year than the backyard game of Lawn Darts.
5 Things More Dangerous For Kids Than Lawn Darts
I had a trampoline as a kid - and I don't think safety nets even existed back then. Somehow, I managed to get through childhood unscathed. Exact statistics are hard to come by, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 11 trampoline deaths between 2000 and 2009, and it's estimated that 100,000 injuries occur on trampolines every year. Bad things are happening, yet, trampoline sales totaled more than $400 million in 2021.
Did you know that on average 40 people die every year in skateboarding accidents? Yet, I've never heard anyone calling for a ban on skateboards.
According to the National Highway Safety Commission, more than 800 bicyclists died in accidents in 2019. That is a huge number. Obviously, we aren't going to ban bicycles, but, perhaps, you are seeing the point that there are plenty of things in everyday life that have the potential for danger - just like Lawn Darts.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average, 390 children die in swimming pools every year. It's far more than the number of children who have ever died playing lawn darts.
Are we going to ban hot dogs? I don't think so, however, many children die every year from choking on hot dogs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, choking on food is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14, and hot dogs are the leading culprit.
Living Is Dangerous
The point of all this is simply the fact that we can't ban and outlaw every little thing that has ever caused death or injury. Most of the time, a little common sense and precaution will allow us to enjoy life's simple pleasures without fearing it's going to kill us. Who knows, you might find a set of lawn darts this weekend at a garage sale in Grand Junction?