Three dangers of kite flying and how to prevent them

Kite flying has been around for centuries, and to this day, it is unclear when kites were invented. Many scholars believe that they developed in China. Other evidence suggests that kites were used as fishing tools by cultures in Malaysia, Indonesia and the South Pacific, and were made from natural materials such as leaves and reeds. Anthropological evidence suggests that kites  may have developed independently in other regions, but these claims are not well documented.

Many children and adults still enjoy kite flying. Some countries host annual kite-flying events in which local communities around the world take part in their festivities. Like any other sport, it can be dangerous if you don't follow the recommended guidelines to keep you safe. Kite flying has been incorporated into many extreme sports, which adds to the reasons why kite flying can be dangerous. In this article, we'll discuss some of the dangers of kite flying and how to avoid or correct them.

Remember: When flying a kite, the situation changes rapidly, always pay attention to ensure not only your own safety, but also the safety of those around you.


Three reasons for danger:

  1. Failure to follow general safety guidelines.
  2. Fly a kite in unsuitable weather conditions.
  3. A Manja line is used inakite competition.

When people think of flying a kite, they tend to envision a beautiful, lightweight structure that flies in the wind and is controlled by a single cotton thread. Kite flying has evolved, so flying a kite in the air requires observing and following specific safety guidelines. This can be a dangerous sport when participating in some of the more aggressive forms of kite flying. Injuries can and do happen sometimes.


1) Failure to observe general safety guidelines

There are some important safety guidelines you can follow to keep yourself safe when out and about kite flying. In the worst cases, failure to comply with them could result in injury or even death. Kite flying should always be done in an open and safe area.

Some general safety guidelines are:

Never fly near power lines. Strings are made from a variety of materials, and in recent years kite string has evolved from simple cotton thread to stronger, more durable materials such as Kevlar or Spectra. However, that doesn't mean you and your kite aren't conductors of electricity. Although kite string is not an electrical conductor, it is also easily contaminated with dust and sweat, and can become damp. Either way, it will conduct the current from the power line along the kite line.

When we talk about electricity, keep in mind that electricity is always trying to find the shortest distance from the ground. Electricity isn't picky about the paths it uses, which could mean passing your kite and your path to the ground. In this scenario, if your kite gets tangled up in these lines, never pick it up yourself; give it up and buy another one. In addition, kites are prone to cause short circuits when tangled in wires, causing large-scale power outages. In some cases, people have been electrocuted while trying to retrieve kites from the aforementioned power lines.

Power lines often have more than 7000 volts flowing through them, no matter what kind of line you use, the current can flow down the line, and you won't survive a surge of this magnitude.


  • Never fly near airports

Kites can reach great heights, depending on the length of the line, so flying near airports can be dangerous for small planes or helicopters that use these facilities. Anything that can attach to a kite in mid-air poses some form of danger to you, the person flying the kite, and the moving objects that fly over it.


  • Never fly next to a busy road

When your child is flying a kite, it is best to do so in an open and safe place. Children are so engrossed in their kite flying that they lose awareness when it comes to what's going on around them.

Numerous injuries have occurred when people fly kites next to busy roads and wander across the street trying to restore the kite's flight path. Even worse is if the kite distracts a driver, which can lead to serious accidents. A kite landing on a busy highway can cause all kinds of mayhem

  • Never fly the kite over or near people

Some kites can travel at speeds in excess of 80 mph, and hitting a person with the kite can cause serious injury. Never fly the kite over or near people; instead, instruct the audience to move behind you (opposite the wind). When operating a kite, the rope is usually taut, and any rope that is under pressure and moving quickly can cause bruises, cuts and burns when it comes into contact with human skin. Choose a colored kite string, and it is best to tie a brightly colored rope on the line as a reminder to prevent passers-by from hitting the line and being scratched.

Traffic accidents caused by kite strings have occurred in many countries. If you see someone flying a kite nearby, be sure to slow down and hold your child so they don't run. Because the kite string is very thin, it is generally difficult to see from a distance of 2 meters. If you are riding a bicycle, it is too late to slow down when you are close. The faster the speed, the more serious the cut caused by the kite string. It is reccomended to wear leather gloves.


  • Never tie kite string to your body

You have no reason to tie your kite string to you. Instead, anchor the line to the ground and control it safely with extra support. When a kite flyer ties himself to a moving kite, serious injury can occur, especially when using larger kites.

Take extra care when powering or towing a kite, making sure to keep your seat belts under control at all times. Make sure you have a quick release system if you connect to a kite and it is in working order.


  • protect your hands

It is always a good idea to wear leather gloves when flying medium to large kites. The larger and more powerful the kite, the stronger the control over the line. Cover your hands to keep them safe from chafing and kite string scratching your hands.


  • protect yourself from the sun

Kite flying is primarily an outdoor sport, and in addition to the obvious precautions mentioned above, people tend to forget to protect themselves from the sun's harmful UV rays. Remember to use sunscreen, wear a hat, and wear sunglasses when you're going out on a flight for a few hours or more, especially with young children.


  • Fully understand your surroundings

It's a good idea to know your surroundings before you start flying kites. Scan and traverse the planned flight area looking for holes, drops, obstacles, open manholes, overhanging rocks, and more. Watch out for other people, animals, and items like coolers, chairs, and kite bags.

A thorough survey of the land can prevent people from falling off objects, falling into holes and falling off cliffs.


  • Prevention and Avoidance Tips

If your kite gets stuck on a wire, don't try to retrieve your kite.

Immediately release the kite string and stay away from the power cord. Call your local utility company and let them know what's going on.

Protect the area - You can do this by marking the area and telling others not to enter it to prevent any accidents.

Do not fly near power lines. Some kids may think it's safe to fly a kite in the front yard, but that's usually not the case. Power lines often line the streets, which is a doubly troublesome situation. As mentioned, do not fly near power lines. Children must also be taught not to chase kites, as they could run into the street and cause accidents.

Buy kite string from a kite store or local kite flying club - they will be able to advise you on the length, thickness and type of kite you need. You can also rest assured of the quality of the kite string.

Never go out to fly a kite in a storm, and be sure to check the weather forecast before going out to fly a kite. Flying a kite in a storm will instantly make you and your kite a lightning rod. If lightning finds you, you can be seriously injured or even killed!

Never use metal kite string. If you don't have cotton thread at home, instead of using wire, check to see if you have butcher's twine or even raffia. In a pinch, you can also use strips of fabric.

If your child is flying a kite and you are concerned about the kite going too far, be sure to limit the length of the line. This helps keep their kites from flying too far.


2) Flying kites in unsuitable weather conditions

Kites all love the wind; that's what keeps them active and dancing in the sky. As kite fliers, it's our job to assess weather conditions and make sure it's safe to let them roam freely. Kite flying can be dangerous when we don't respect nature.


  • dangerous weather conditions

Experienced kite flyers do their homework on weather conditions and the possibility of weather changes before setting out to fly a kite. A seemingly perfect day of flying can change in the blink of an eye, putting you in a dangerous environment quickly. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast and downloading the Weather and Wind app on your phone will help you assess the situation before you're actually in it.


  • Wind speed

Average wind speeds of 4-10 miles per hour are considered ideal for kite flying. More experienced kite fliers can fly in winds of 11-25 miles per hour. When you consider that some kites are built to run with stronger than typical winds, you'll notice that kites play an important role in kite flying.

Ventilated sport kites and low power foils will require winds of 25-31 mph to operate at their peak. Many professional kites perform well in winds of 19-24 miles per hour. Transports pulled by kites and kite carts can handle anything from 41-50+ miles per hour.

The wind speed at which you can fly your kite depends on the specific recommended wind speed for your kite. Flying in stronger winds than recommended may cause your kite to be damaged. Powered and towed kites flying in too strong winds are considered extremely dangerous because they lift you off the ground and the landing is usually not soft. Sports kites and stunt kites are fast flying kites. Getting hit by one of these due to uncontrollable wind speeds will cause damage.

  • Thunderstorms

This one is very simple. Do not fly your kite in a thunderstorm, if your kite is in the air, put it down as soon as you see any signs of a developing thunderstorm. According to research, a lightning strike on a kite transmits an electrical current down the rope to the ground. If people are standing near the place where the current entered the earth, it could seriously injure or kill them.

Thunderstorms are good friends with strong winds and heavy rain. It is never a good idea to fly a kite when it is wet and slippery. This is  recipe for disaster. Flying in dry conditions is inherently challenging. Imagine flying a kite on an ice rink. It's dangerous, so it's best to wait until the storm clears.

A windy day can quickly turn into a stormy day. Gusy wind speeds increase the danger of kites. Staying informed is an easy safety measure.


  • Prevention and Avoidance Tips

Be careful when zooming in on the kite. If you are inexperienced with large kites, consult your local kite flying club or kite shop. They can usually find someone to help you with your studies. You can also email us.

Wear gloves when handling large kites. Larger kites tend to be paired with thicker and stronger kite string, which can result in severe string burns and/or cuts. So, never let kite string wrap around fingers, limbs or other body parts.

If you are using a harness to secure the kite to you (like in kite surfing), be sure to install a quick release system in case of any mishaps. Alternatively, it is also doable to cut the thread with a knife.


3) Using Manja Lines when kite fighting

Kite fighting is a popular sport in countries such as India, Pakistan, Chile, Brazil, Thailand and Vietnam. Traditionally, the kites that are flown during these kite festivals are single-line flat kites. The kite is controlled only by the line tension.

Kite fighters often use Manja thread, which is glass-coated cotton thread connected with rice glue. In recent years, some fighters have begun to use synthetic thread coated with various abrasives; some cultures have even used thread with metal knives to hook and eventually cut the opponent's thread.

In countries such as India, Pakistan, Brazil and Chile, numerous incidents have been reported. Several motorcyclists were killed as they drove into the tight Manja line. It's common to be cut by these frosted wires during these festivals.

Some countries, including Egypt, even banned kite flying in July 2020. The Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a ban on kite-making as early as 2005. Due to kite fights and flying kites from rooftops, police have started using drones to catch criminals.

Since April 2020, two people have died in Kasur city, Punjab province, Pakistan. A 12-year-old boy suffered serious head injuries after slipping while flying a kite on the roof of his home. Father-of-four, Muhammad Asif, was electrocuted when the metal wires of a kite became entangled with high-voltage cables.


  • Prevention and Avoidance Tips

Do not use kite string coated with metal, wax or broken glass unless you are specifically competing in a kite contest.

Always wear gloves when handling such lines.

Make sure to account for all kite lines at the end of the day so you don't leave any junk behind.

If a dangerous situation occurs when the kite is already in the air (usually on the ground), be prepared to cut any affected kite string to ensure the safety of others around you! Damage to the kite is always preferable to the risk of injury to you or others.

Kite flying is a favorite part-time job for adults and children. Kite flying can become dangerous if certain safety guidelines are ignored. Ideally flying a kite takes time and practice. It is recommended that you ensure that you learn this skill in the safest environment. Always stay out of stormy weather, kites themselves are not dangerous - it's the way they are flown or made.

Now that you have a better idea of what can be dangerous and cause harm, be sure to check your kite settings.

Be patient with the audience and children, and explain to them the dangers that will come if they refuse to move to safety. They may be curious and want to see what you're doing, but their safety should also be your top priority. It's always a good idea to mark an area for kites and tell people to stay away.

Remember not only to choose a safe location for you, but also a safe location for your kite. Kite-flying can get very expensive if you're constantly kite-feeding the tree! Safety should be your number one priority and following the tips and advice above will ensure you have a great and safe flight time. You are welcome to order JEKOSEN KITES, if you have any questions about kites, you can contact us.

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