Last Updated on June 17, 2020 by Micky Paul
Hoverboards are far better and more fun to run than skateboards, which you can say “skateboards II” that move by rolling the wheels across the road. Also known as “self-balancing scooters” that works very smoothly like Segway having forward and backward options. If you bend forward, it will move onward, and when you lean backward, it will move back, inbuilt with a brake option. The footpads are pressure sensors that possess the control of steer and speed, which is controlled through your feet. Your core is balanced, but calf and all above body is move, although, it looks tough to ride for the first time but quite easy to learn and enjoy. When you become master, there’ s no need to start it like a scooter or bikes, just ride on, feel the moments around, and easily get off through the turn or jump.
In late 2014 and early 2015, we came to know about hoverboards or self-balancing scooters, which everyone wanted. This toy became popular personal fun means of transportation for kids and adults in 2015, and many people bought them worldwide. The Hongkong and Chinese companies started making them in 2014 using cheap quality material, risky and inferior batteries, and even no regulations on them. Soon after that, complaints about these spread like a fire in jungle and hoverboards got banned on online retail stores that pose a question; are hoverboards safe?
Many news reports revealed that showed these two-wheels boards are causing burns and fire because of overheating batteries, which leads to 300 cases. Later in 2016, hoverboards companies look dead; on the consumer product safety commission’s (CPSC) advice, buyers are asked to seek a refund from sellers, but sellers have disappeared, which seemed impossible to get.
At that moment, those who bought previous models feel so bad because their money has wasted. To bring the good out of evil, Underwriter Laboratories (UL) started working on bringing new hoverboards with UL certification that provides safe rides. UL 2271 and UL 2272 certification has to be obtained by manufacturers and has to 150+ list of hard tests, including; drop test, crash test, mold stress test, short circuit test, motor overload, unbalancing test, and many more to certify the protection of customers.
Are Hoverboards Safe to Ride for Kids?
Hoverboards have become one of the most cherishable rides for kids, and they love to take a trip on it while going to school or going to the park to play in the evening. However, their wish to buy hoverboards has worried the parents after the historical mishaps and prompt a question; are hoverboards safe?
Factors to keep in mind for Kids’ Safe Ride
For this purpose, parents have to peek their nose into the features, specs, pros, and cons of different hoverboards before opting for them for their kids. Here are a few factors which should be kept in mind:
The most imperative factor to keep in mind, check for the hoverboards with age specifications as many of the manufacturers design the hoverboards as per the age of children. Those hoverboards are easy to ride with less velocity on the road, causing no harm to children, even if they tried to go faster, they wouldn’t be able to because of their limited speed. Don’t ever try to fulfill your child’s wish and, in turn, buying them the fastest hoverboards that cause injuries in the future. Moreover, some of the hoverboards are all-purpose for the age of 8-10 years old child, and few are tank-like boards with more durability and can be connected with smartphones.
Child’s Maturity & Size of Hoverboard
Besides, calculate the height and weight of your child, look through the weight and height specific boards as neither too big nor too small hoverboard is best. Now, ask yourself a question is your child athletic or does he/she have balancing problems? Does he/she have appropriate eye-coordination and can listen adequately? If yes, buy safe hoverboards as per their maturity, and If no, try to avoid them for riding. While estimating the right size, check that the length of your shoulder should be parallel to the deck of hoverboards and have enough dimension that your feet fit in.
Footpads and LED Lights
The crucial thing is footpads; slippery footpads can disturb the balance of ride or make your child fall off. Instead of ignoring this feature, buy non-slip foot pads hoverboards with bright LED lights and headlights that make all-around visible in evening and night. Don’t forget to buy the ones that have turning reflectors that work with footpads automatically.
Kids love to take a drive on new objects extremely fast without caring about the harm they could get, and others could have, because of an accident. In this regard, parents’ anxiety is considerable, which can be lessened if you buy hoverboards with less speed limit for your kids. The velocity can range from 5-7mph to 10mph to 13-15mph, choosing as per the ability of riding of the kid would be best.
Learning Mode and Safety
Make sure to buy the self-balancing scooter having multiple ways that are fun to ride and easy to handle; those will help the child to learn the riding by giving a chance of balancing and slow speed. Also, ensure that your child wears a safety kit, including helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads, to have a safe and sound ride that will boost his confidence. In the start, you can turn off the self-balancing mode and turn the hoverboard to ‘turtle mode’ or ‘slow mode’ to make children learn, then it can be converted to self-balancing mode.
Analyze Wheel Size
Most of the hoverboards in the market have average wheel size to ride on sidewalks and pavement s as 6.5 to 7 inches that are perfect for smooth surfaces. If you want to have a ride on unsmooth surfaces or grass, then buy 8.5 to 12 inches size of wheels that are taller and better to move on even places. However, they are a bit costly but are suitable for bumpy rides with control and stability.
Rubber Tires Grip
Whenever kids start taking a ride, they can’t be away from doing maneuvers, so you need to check which hoverboards have rubber tires with a firm grip on the surface. Those with good grip and tread have excellent traction on the road, which makes the whole time enjoyable for kids and release the parent’s stress. Through rubber treaded tires child will have complete grip on the hoverboards and can play tricks of turns like terrain.
Keep the thing in mind that to choose a reputable brand that owns its liability instead of small or unknown brands because well-known companies have better quality materials, intense capital, and reliable connections with the manufacturers. While small companies don’t hold these, often go beyond the laws, and make unsafe hoverboards.
Consider Product Reviews
Check Amazon and other online sites that sell hoverboards and see which products have maximum and positive reviews because those are real ones, which would help you in choosing the right model. Don’t buy the product with less, no, or negative reviews because those are lousy quality hoverboards.
Signs of Unsafe Hoverboards
Don’t take the risk of buying hoverboards without looking into their electrical safety capacity; keep the checklist below with you and ensure all the facts.
- The cover leaf plugs with no fuse having incorrect marking or non-compliant plugs. (Plug should have three pins, made to BS 1363, and also a fuse inside them – otherwise lead to explosion and fire burn)
- None of the details about the company and manufacturer
- Limited packaging instructions with many mistakes and no user manual kit
- Charger neither having compliancy details related to voltages nor producers’ details
- Never pay significant amounts to reputable brands before checking correctly, they’re the most providing unsafe hoverboards
- The plain box packaging, no warranty cards, no authentic certifications, and no instructions are faulty hoverboards and companies
Underwrite Laboratories have developed safety precautions for all hoverboards and two-wheeled scooters that you must know before purchasing. After their inception, no room left to ask are hoverboards safe? Any model of hoverboards should have at least one certification, and if both, it would be best. These are two:
UL 2271: This certification presents the safety standards for all hoverboard batteries and uses in LEV (light electric vehicle) applications.
UL 2272: These certifications meet the safety standards of all hoverboard electrical parts like lights and LEDs and use for e-mobility devices.
Safety Precaution by Pediatrics
- Don’t ride the boards in rush or traffic areas, not even near to them to avoid collision with the crossing cycles, motorbikes, and cars. Hoverboards have a maximum speed of 15mph, and when it strikes with any vehicle, substantial loss occurs.
- Always read the instructions on the manual provided with hoverboards that has all the information related to height & weight of child or adult, speed limit, and battery efficiency, etc. Never opt for the underweight or overweight board, which leads to severe injuries and tearing out of the device.
- Only use the charging cord provided with the hoverboards; don’t buy usual cables from the market that either have very less voltage capacity or extremely high that damage the batteries.
- Don’t overcharge your hoverboard or left it on charging while sleeping, always buys those hoverboards that have an in-built switch of battery full and lithium-ion batteries.
- No helmet, no ride policy, needs to impose on the kids, make it mandatory for the children and adults to wear a complete safety kit. That ASTM certified safety kits with helmet, knee, elbow pads, and other accessories will save you from sprains, fractures, and severe injuries.
- Make children indulge in learning lessons on how to take a ride? If hoverboard suddenly stopped what to do? How to avoid serious injury if you are near to fall off? This would create a healthy riding activity. Check these fastest hoverboards and avoid to get these to your children.
- Keep the difference between hoverboards and skateboards in mind, the later are light in weight and in-built with puff push to ramp up in the air, fly, and land beautiful, but the former has bigger sized wheels that are meant to be moved along the road. So, use them the way they are and should be used instead of adopting wrong maneuvers leading to severe accidents.
- Always use those motor hoverboards that have safe battery options with no over-heating so that it couldn’t run into the catching fire. Also, few hoverboards can go up to the height of 30 degrees and few not, so don’t try to go above if hoverboards have no specifications that would lead to more battery usage leading to fire burst.
- Plus, keep the hoverboard clean free of any dust and debris, never take a ride on worn-out board that will be dangerous for you and nearby too, then why there will be a need to think are hoverboards safe?
- If your child falls and bears dangerous vomiting, headache, loss of consciousness, and changed behavior abruptly, consult the physicians.
To comes up with the final thoughts, hoverboards are all in all a fun-making, enjoyable, and safe ride if you have taken all the factors in the account and followed the precautions given by medical personnel. After that, there is no room left to question are hoverboards safe? Most of the companies have taken the safety of the environment under consideration and make the reflectors built hoverboards that brighten up the lights in the night so that other vehicles can see.
These are the cool way to move around with a little athletic touch to have recreational activity, especially in summer evenings. Additionally, all factors of safe model, practice before taking a ride, safety kits, and winter precautions need to be followed to have days full of amusement.
You can also read: Best Hoverboards For Beginners