Hoverboards have been all the rage on the Internet for several years now – especially among children. But as fun as the means of transportation on two wheels is, it also harbors many dangers. Therefore, we explain to you in this blog article about everything around the topic of hoverboard for children and tips and tricks so that your child is not unnecessarily exposed to danger and hurt.
Table of contents
What Actually Is A Hoverboard And How Do You Control It?
Hoverboards are – like the city scooters were back then – a modern way of locomotion, which are particularly suitable for smaller distances. Another name is “mini Segways”. However, they differ from Segways in that they do not have a grab bar.
As shown in the picture, hoverboards consist of two platforms with wheels connected by an axle. This makes them more agile and you steer them intuitively by shifting your weight. Acceleration and braking are also controlled in this way. A gyroscopic stabilizer, also called a gyroscope, prevents the board from tipping over during the ride.
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Hoverboard For Children – How Suitable For Children Are They And What Should Be Considered When Driving?
Where Are Kids Allowed To Ride Hoverboards?
Hoverboards can travel faster than 6 km/h and are therefore only allowed to be moved in “delimited non-public traffic”. This includes, for example, segregated courtyards, patios or gardens. Public streets and roads may not be used because a hoverboard lacks a seat, handlebars, brakes and lights
Before using on segregated, non-public areas, check to see if private liability insurance applies. In most cases this is not the case and possible property damage must be paid for by the user.
Theoretically, there is a driving license requirement if you want to drive a hoverboard. However, the law does not specifically regulate which driving license class a hoverboard is assigned to. The boards could fall under class A, A1, A2, AM or B. If assigned to Class A, only children 16 years of age and older would be allowed to ride them after passing the corresponding test for a moped license
Asa consequence, hoverboards may not be used on public roads, sidewalks and paths. If you nevertheless ride a hoverboard on a public road and are also not in possession of the appropriate driving license class, you are also liable to prosecution under §21 StVG (driving without a license)
Age Recommendation – When Does A Hoverboard For Children Make Sense?
The operation and use of the hoverboard requires a certain development of the individual balance ability and sense of balance. That’s why most manufacturers recommend using a hoverboard from the age of 10.
Apart from that, you should keep in mind that your child should also be able to carry it, for example, if the surface is not suitable or the battery is empty. And since the boards weigh a good 10 – 15 kg, your child should be strong enough to lift this weight.
Another point in favor of the age rating from 10 years is the fact that the child must be able to correctly estimate the achievable speed.
What Are The Dangers Of The Hoverboard For Children?
Most hoverboards are not designed to accommodate different body weights, but rather a maximum weight.
If the rider’s weight deviates significantly from this, unexpected acceleration and lurching can occur, making it difficult to steer accurately. Too much weight also puts a strain on the motor, which can heat up.
You should always make sure that the battery is sufficiently charged! In a test, the almost empty battery switched off and blocked the wheels. A discharged battery can therefore have devastating consequences!
In addition to the risk of your child falling and injuring himself, there have already been recalls in the U.S. because the batteries of the boards have ignited. The U.S. authorities recalled over 500,000 hoverboards at the beginning of July 2016 because there was an acute risk of fire and explosion.
This was due to the fact that the lithium-ion batteries can overheat, develop smoke, catch fire and/ or explode. Several models from ten brands were affected. You can find the list here: List of recalled hoverboards
Now I do not want to demonize the hoverboards, I just want to point out that you should not only pay attention to the manufacturer, but also pay attention to whether the desired model is certified!
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Uneven plots and roads, gravel and paved courtyards are definitely not suitable for hoverboards. Lowered curbs and streetcar tracks can also lead to dangerous situations. Therefore, it is important that you educate your child about this!
You should also not let your darling ride it in the rain or wet, as it can cause rusty connections in the long run, and in the worst case, short circuits.
What Should You Look For When Buying A Hoverboard?
- Pay attention to CE-approved batteries
- Pay attention to testimonials
- The maximum speed should be 10 km/h
- Only buy from reputable online stores
- The weight should not be more than 10 kg
- Do not buy cheap imports from abroad!
If you pay attention to this, you can’t go wrong when buying a hoverboard. In general I recommend to Hoverboard test to be able to compare optimally between the different models.
Hoverboard For Children – Tips & Tricks
Wear Protective Equipment (Helmet & Joint Protectors)
On the Internet there are numerous mishap videos of adults and children who fall down while riding the hoverboard. Some of them you can definitely smile about, but for others you really wonder if everything is okay and if the persons are fine.
That’s why safety is probably the most important thing when using hoverboards. Most of the time, children (and as you can see in the videos, adults as well) can’t properly assess danger and control through weight shifting. Therefore, it is up to us parents to ensure that hoverboard riding becomes a fun experience and does not end up in the hospital.
So a helmet and joint protectors for elbows, knees and wrists are indispensable!
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Even If You Are Only Allowed To Ride It On Private Roads Or Property, As A Parent You Should Also Point Out The Following Points To Your Child:
- Wear light-colored clothing
- Ride in groups
- No distractions (cell phones, music…)
- Ride only in dry weather
- Wear the right shoes (no flip-flops)
Hoverboard For Kids – Advantages & Disadvantages At A Glance
- Fun means of transportation
- Children spend their free time outdoors
- Stress is reduced and concentration is promoted
- Coordination and balance are trained
- Social interaction is promoted by riding together with other children
- Risk of injury is not insignificant
Conclusion About The Hoverboard For Children
I hope I could give you an overview about the use of hoverboards by children with this blog article. Hoverboards are per se not bad and more dangerous than other means of transportation. After all, you can also fall with city scooters or bicycles. However, parents should educate their children in detail about all the risk points and make them aware of the dangers.
Once that’s done, there’s nothing standing in the way of having fun with the hoverboard and it’s time to get up on the board, balance it and blast off!