Ask the Doctor

Question #5:

My teenage son received a paintball gun for his birthday, and I’m reluctant to let him play with it. Are paintball guns safe?


Scott Eichelberger, MD, of CHKD Health System’s Chesapeake Pediatrics, says: “Paintball guns pose a high risk for eye injuries. If you decide to let your child play paintball, make sure he wears an eye protection device that is specifically designed for paintball and meets the ASTMF1776 standard. These masks can be found at sporting goods shops or online. He should NEVER remove his eye protection device during a game, as children have been hit in the eye while removing masks to wipe off paint or clean up fogging. In addition, paintball should be played only at an insured commercial paintball field that voluntarily follows the standards for proper paintball operation (these standards should be posted in a conspicuous spot inside the facility) and has trained referees present who are able to enforce the rules. This means that playing in a neighborhood or other open area is unsafe. Bystanders could be hit and injured, damage could be done to vehicles or homes, and players could be hit by a car if they aren’t paying attention.”

All Questions

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  2. What’s an appropriate amount of television for a toddler to watch each day? I’m worried that my grandson is watching too much TV.
  3. Can weight lifting help overweight kids?
  4. My 8-year-old still sucks his thumb. I hate to pressure him to stop and don’t want to shame him, so what should I do?
  5. My teenage son received a paintball gun for his birthday, and I’m reluctant to let him play with it. Are paintball guns safe?
  6. I’m wondering when my child will be old enough to move from the crib to a single bed. Any guidelines I should know?
  7. Help! My teen keeps talking about getting her tongue pierced. What can I tell her to discourage her?
  8. My grandson was born with jaundice. Can you tell me what causes it and whether it’s serious?
  9. My 2-year-old can’t seem to get into a schedule of meals. She’s hardly ever hungry when it’s time for a meal, but other times she wants to eat all day long. I worry that her eating is too erratic and not healthy.
  10. Is it normal for my baby to hiccup a lot?
  11. What should I know about impetigo if my neighbor’s child has it and frequently plays with my child?
  12. My mother says that my 10-month-old daughter should wear hard-soled shoes to learn to walk. When should I start buying shoes for my baby, and what types are best?
  13. My child complains about sores in her mouth and our doctor says she has canker sores. What causes them?
  14. My teenage daughter thinks she’s fat, but she’s normal height and weight for her age. Should I be concerned she has an eating disorder?
  15. My teenage daughter has been told that cramps and nausea she gets after drinking milk or eating cheese or ice cream are due to lactose intolerance. Can you develop such a problem as you get older?
  16. When should my baby start seeing a dentist?