by D&DH Editor Daniel E. Schmidt
As the father of two young girls, I have seen it firsthand: It is becoming increasingly more difficult to persuade kids to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. It’s one thing to say “no” to TV, videos and Internet, it’s another thing to do it without being demonized as “Mean Daddy who makes us go outside.”
But in all seriousness, archery is one of the activities both of my kids enjoy and will readily race outside to partake in when given the opportunity. It’s all possible because of youth bows. I can’t put my finger on it, but I think it has something to do with the challenge of flinging what they call “sharp sticks” at the targets and actually hitting remotely close to where they were aiming. As anyone who has shot a bow-and-arrow can attest, it isn’t easy to do once, and it certainly isn’t easy to master (unlike most video games) with any consistency.
What I like best, however, is the mere fact that shooting our bows and arrows is something we can do as a family … OUTSIDE. Yes, I would like them to become hunters someday, but that’s beside the point. The mere fact that I can get them up and moving outside is all that really matters at this point. A few of my friends have questioned the activity; they are under the false assumption that shooting youth bows is an “adult” hobby … something that is “too dangerous” for children to be involved with. Of course, I know that is pure nonsense. Today’s youth bows are built with very high safety standards. In fact, several national studies have concluded that archery programs in elementary schools are among the safest activities for children.
According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, archery shooting among school-aged children have an injury rate of less than one incident per 1,000 participants. Other activities like soccer and basketball have injury rates that are up to 25 times that of archery.
Even better, it is not that expensive to get your child set up and shooting top-notch youth bows. For less than the price of a couple of video games, you can outfit your child with everything they will need to enjoy the sport for years to come. If you are thinking of doing so, check out the deals going on right now in our online store. Just in time for Christmas, we have acquired an exceptional deal on a limited supply of youth bow starter sets from Barnett Archery. These kits will start shipping later this week, and they qualify for free standard shipping in the U.S.