When hoverboards hit the market in 2015, they were an instant success. These toys are also known as self-balancing or two-wheeled boards.
It's a fun way to explore the area, but are they safe for children?
Even if your child has one of the latest models, which have more and more safety measures built in, that doesn't automatically mean it is safe.
After all, boards on two wheels can be difficult to balance, and children can fall resulting in injuries and not at all uncommon.
What we discuss in this comprehensive post:
Are Hoverboards Dangerous?
A Hoverboard is not dangerous, but you should think of a Hoverboard like any other extreme sport, such as skating and skateboarding or stunt scooters. Not every child will do dangerous tricks, but it is possible on them and the right measures and education can certainly help.
Read also: the 5 top rated hoverboards you can buy
A look at the statistics of the Hoverboard
How often do these falls lead to serious injuries? A recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that about 26.854 children visited the emergency room with a hoverboard injury in 2015 and 2016.
The mean age of an injured child was 11. Boys were slightly more susceptible to injury than girls (52 percent of the children we saw were boys).
Children were most likely to injure their wrists, forearms and heads. The most common injuries were:
- Fractions (40 percent)
- Bruises (17 percent)
- Scratches / sprains (13 percent)
While hoverboards may be one of the newest toy types, many other wheeled toys also lead to trips to the emergency department.
During the same time period from 2015 to 2016, skateboards almost caused 121.400 injured.
Safety with Hoverboards
How can you protect your kids if they use some kind of toy on wheels? Here are some tips:
- Require children to wear protective clothing, such as a helmet and wrist guards. “Parents should have a simple 'no helmet, no driving policy' for children using these types of wheeled toys. Many other sports have good helmets, like these stunt scooter helmets.
- Do not let them drive in or near traffic.
- Enroll your child in classes, if applicable for the activity. Learning how to fall properly while skateboarding, for example, can help kids avoid serious injury.
- Read all manufacturer's directions, including age or weight restrictions.
- Do not use motorized toys that overheat.
- Only use the charging cord supplied with the product.
- Make sure the hoverboard your child is using is free of debris and is not worn out.
- If your child has a fall that results in loss of consciousness, change in behavior, seizure, severe headache, vomiting or swelling on the head, you should always seek immediate medical attention.
Wrist and ankle sprains can generally be treated with rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen.
If there is severe pain or swelling in the limbs after a fall, or if the pain does not improve, it is time to see a doctor.
Are hoverboards good or bad for your health?
Hoverboards have been touted as the hottest new trend in technology, transportation and even fitness. They are seen everywhere from shopping centers to city streets.
But are they also good for your health?
It's hard to even look at a hoverboard without evoking visions of overweight people, seated people in the Disney Pixar movie Wall-E moving along, closing out excessive sodas and staring at screens.
But you may be wondering, what are the risks versus the benefits of these fast little electric scooters?
There may be a more subtle health threat surrounding exercise deprivation. “When you hear 'hoverboard' you can imagine everyone flying around instead of using the legs they got.
One thing that caught your eye is that you see more and more youngsters riding around on hoverboards. Is it better or worse for you to drive around with any of these things instead of walking? How much exercise would you miss because of that?
As far as we know, no one has studied this scientifically yet. There are websites that talk about “training your core muscles” by balancing on a hoverboard, but this has not been substantiated by study.
Lees meer: how should you ride a hoverboard?
Can you make yourself fit with a Hoverboard training?
I couldn't find any measurable data to support the use of hoverboards as exercise equipment. Aside from people making and selling the boards, there is hardly any evidence.
There's a 'hoverboard workout video' on YouTube claiming you can get 'a six pack' in 5 minutes, but… it's not serious.
Best case for fitness was an article found in The Sun, where Jacob Lewis tried hoverboarding in London claiming he was exhausted after 15 minutes and adding that his muscles "burned like I was in the gym" and said keeping his balance gave his abs "an unexpected workout."
Perhaps it is a case of the newness of the technology as a way out of the research. But if hoverboards are calorie-burning machines or core amps, the evidence remains to be seen.
And so far, no certified hoverboard workout instructors have turned up at the local Fit4Free.
So, thumbs up or down to this super hover skateboard?
If you want to keep fit, old-fashioned walking over hoverboards wins. An average person weighing 80 pounds can burn 204 calories per hour at a reasonable rate, and you can boost that up to 340 calories per hour if you run a little faster.
Plus, walking is legal on all city streets, it has been proven to be very safe (your legs certainly won't get a lot of muscle pain) and can keep the doctor (and bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, and excess fat) at bay.
And as for that six-pack? No device will replace crunches. Didn't we learn that lesson in the 80s with the Abdominizer (no one sees you wearing it under your clothes)?
Read also: are Hoverboard chargers universal?
What about the rumors about Hoverboards that spontaneously ignited?
Shortly after they debuted, several manufacturers began selling hoverboards that had not been inspected for quality or safety.
You've seen the reports and accompanying apocalyptic videos of fires that come from some boards' lithium-ion batteries.
Add to this the fact that the burn of a threat can take place in the luggage compartment of an airplane overhead, and is reminiscent of terrifying disaster movies from the XNUMXs.
Amazon has announced that they will offer a full refund to people who bought a hoverboard.
WIRED reports that the Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating a number of manufacturers and they are working on safety standards, but in the meantime the CPSC wants all hoverboard retailers to “stop sales and allow consumers to return the gadgets for a refund. ”
News reports began circulating of the motorized boards spontaneously catching fire and causing burns. To date, more than 300 incidents of these devices overheating or catching fire have been reported in America and some in the Netherlands.
New hoverboards don't carry the same fire hazard as they used to. If you have an older model it might be worth checking to see if it is a reputable brand. All hoverboards must meet the UL 2272 safety standard.
Still, there are a number of makes and models, even now, to watch out for.
The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority conducted an investigation into the boards in 2018 because still catch fire a lot and the results don't lie. There are still a lot of Hoverboards unsafe.
Most of it happens when charging, we also have some tips on charging even with Hoverboards considered safe. For example, never do it all night and make sure you stick with it.
There are a number of brands and models that you should definitely avoid, according to the research. We also do not recommend buying these models (and are now also prohibited).
These are the unsafe Hoverboards:
- Alfa Smart Wave ASW-605
- CELECT CELLS6-0-RED
- Cool & Fun BG-P001 / 6.5
- Cool & Fun EL-ES01 (JD-6.5)
- DENVER DBO-6501 white MK2
- Doc Green Hoverboard HB8000
- GoClever CityBoard SUV
- HAKAL Glideboard
- I'm not a robot R2, purple model
- I'm not a robot R2, white model
- IO Hawk 925-IO-HAWK 1
- LENV Hoverboard
- Lucas Electronics Hoverboard APP function
- MP male Gyropode G1
- Ali Impex Hoverboard 6.5 inch
- Wuyi Sanli Tools Co. HT-NNC-V20
- unknown Smart Balance Wheel
- Trendfield P10
- unknown S6 Basic
- Allstock Hoverboard FCA131 - 4215
- unknown Hoverboard Chrome red
- TheBalancewheel Hoverboard Spiderman LED
- OXBOARD Go (Item No.020B)
- Ridd Hoverboard Urban, RDD HB65BU
- Smarty Casablanca Offroad, CHIC-D07
- SWEELS (s) 78500.01
- The Scootershop unknown
- Vinz Hoverboards Type BIS213 - 217
- YUBIX K5 7.5 inches
Sale of these models is now prohibited and many of the brands no longer have Hoverboards on the market. But the cheaper versions of renowned brands such as Denver, OXBOARD and SwheelS are also very striking.
For all these models, the opinion of the NVWA is:
“There is no overcharge protection for the battery pack. This can cause a fire and / or explosion. ”
This means that there is no brake on charging. So when the battery is full, the device can continue to charge and overheat.
The NVWA's advice on this is:
“For hoverboards that have not been examined by the NVWA, the NVWA advises to only charge them when people are in the vicinity and can intervene. For example, not while sleeping or when you are not at home. When the hoverboard is charged, it is wise to disconnect it from the charger so that it is not connected to the electricity grid for an unnecessarily long time. ”
Other common defects with the Hoverboards are:
- the protection circuit does not meet the set safety requirements
- the wiring is not free from sharp edges and can therefore be cut open and exposed
- the manual is not available in Dutch
Read also: can you go through water with Hoverboards?