Lasers are found in CD and DVD players, computer CD ROM drives and laser printers. Some toys are marketed as having lasers but these have generally been found to contain light emitting diodes (LEDs). However, these LEDs may also be subject to the requirements of the current British Standard on laser safety, BS EN 60825-1:1994. Laser pointers or pens have also found their way into the home. Some of these laser pointers have been found to be more powerful than is acceptable for unrestricted use. (Laser pointers information sheet)
Many laser tag games are well supervised and risk assessments have been carried out by the venues taking account of the age of many of the players. Most of the “guns” used in these games consist of a low power laser for effect and a light emitting diode (LED) which is similar to that used in a television remote control. It is this LED which sends signals to the receivers. It is necessary to consider the same safety issues as for any activity that may involve boisterous children. Many of the games are played in subdued lighting with fog effects and loud music. There are also a number of physical obstacles. Played sensibly and under reasonable supervision, the risks are probably acceptable.
Last reviewed: 4 September 2008