Banned Lawn Games

a group of young men playing a game of frisbee

As they say, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, and that’s how we no longer have these games that were fun … until somebody got hurt. Take a trip with us down memory lane at what your kids, and maybe you if you’re young enough, are missing out on these days:

Lawn Darts - Recalled 1988.

Lawn darts came to abrupt end in December of 1988, and backyard games changed forever. This horseshoes-style game was in many American backyards at the time and players had fun throwing those foot-long darts toward a circle, watching those steel missiles sailing through the air then watch as the metal skewers stuck in the dirt.

But injury after injury was reported, then 3 died while playing lawn darts and the Consumer Product Safety Commission saw it necessary to ban lawn darts in America. Parents were encouraged and urged to destroy and toss out any of the metal darts they may have at the time.

Marketing gurus doing what they do found a solution in 2010 with "Soft Tip Sky Dart," bringing the old fashion fun back, safely. These darts have a weighted tip that ensures the darts land and stay upright.

"Gun Fighter" Toy Cork Gun - Recalled 1979 

Remember the line in A Christmas Story, "You'll shoot your eye out" when Ralphie wanted a BB gun? Well, the toy cork gun could do just that apparently. The toy that sold for less than $2 back in the mid-70s was recalled after one child did just that, and put their eye out, with the statement supporting that decision as saying "serious injury could occur if a child abuses the toy by removing the muzzle end of the gun barrel, exposing the ends of two metal rods covered with plastic plunger caps. These caps can be removed by a force of three or four pounds, leaving the ends of the metal rods completely exposed. If the toy gun is cocked and discharged, the exposed ends of the metal rods could then be propelled forward into a child's face or eyes." 

An upscale version of this gun was introduced later that year, a bit more expensive but still under $2.00. Even though there were no reports of blindness or injury, it too was recalled due to suspicious "pushrods". Today, our kids have the Nerf type of guns to play in the backyard.

The Slip 'N Slide Collection - Recalled 1993 

If you’re over the age of 21, you probably played on a Slip ‘N Slide either in your own backyard or a friend’s. And if the yard had a hill, even better! While those headfirst dives sliding down the slick polyethylene strips were fun, there were injuries to be had, like broken arms. And while this toy was designed with kids in mind, teens and adults can’t resist a good time either. But because they are heavier and taller, the injuries were more severe, such as permanent spinal cord injury.


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