The traditional pichkaris have given way to foreign water guns. Brass cylinder and leather washers were used in traditional pichkaris and they were mainly handicraft products. There was a limit to the size of these water guns. The amount of force exerted through these pichkaris was minimal and the chances of children or adults getting injured were limited.
The modern water guns are made of plastic or tin and use nylon washers. They are available in different sizes and designs. They have less weight, larger stroke length and larger diameter. The net result is that large amount of fluid can be delivered in one stroke at a very high speed and pressure. The chances of children and adults getting injured are very high. Especially, if the water gun is used from a close range. Fluid directed towards face from such pichkaris can damage skin, ear, nose and eyes.
Most of the pichkaris made out of plastic or tin are meant for agricultural and industrial purposes. The pichkaris made in other countries follow industrial and agricultural specifications. Due to the lightweight, children find it easy to use. Sadly, these pichkaris sold as Holi Water Guns are not checked by any government agencies. And there are also no standard specifications.
Safe Holi Water Guns
The traditional pichkaris are the safest. But children are no longer interested in them. If you are opting for a fancy water gun this Holi, then make sure that the pichkari is a toy not an industrial implement.
An ideal pichkari is the one which is less than an inch in diameter and less than 12 inches in barrel length.
An adult should always accompany a child while buying Holi water guns. You should test the pressure and the speed of the fluid released. And make sure that it won’t damage sensitive parts like ear, eye and nose.