OUR VIEW: Beware of the Orbeez Challenge

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

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It’s hard to keep up with the latest challenge on TikTok, YouTube, or whatever the latest social media outlet kids are using these days.

But it appears the latest involves Orbeez, or small water pellets that expand when put into water, that are fired from toy guns. Just last week the LaGrange Police Department posted a picture of two individuals who had shot people in the head and face at the Granger Park tennis courts.

There are various other reports across the state and country where people have gotten hurt when someone fired one of these water balls in their direction. In many cases, those injured were innocent bystanders who had no idea what was being fired.

Some of these toy guns have been manipulated to look like real guns too. That’s a terrible idea considering someone might take it as a real firearm, especially if it gets pointed in their direction. The “ammo” fired could also cause damage to property.

The LPD has noted that it’s taking a no-nonsense approach as these toy guns grow in popularity.

“The LaGrange Police Department would like to make it known that these kinds of reckless behaviors from anyone intentionally trying to cause harm to others with these plastic guns will not be tolerated,” the police department said in a press release. “These guns, albeit toys, can cause serious bodily harm. They also look like real weapons which could result in deadly encounters and even more serious consequences. Anyone caught intentionally shooting these projectiles at another will be charged accordingly.”

Parents, talk to your kids about what they are doing. A gun that will fire these isn’t that expensive — there are a ton of them on Amazon for less than $100 and Orbeez themselves are around $20. A teenager could easily find a way to obtain one and be using them without your knowledge.

More than anything we just want people to be safe and understand the dangers these could cause.