Hoverboards have been a hit on the Internet for several years – especially among children. electric scooters for kids as fun as the means of transport on two wheels is, it also holds so many dangers. That’s why in this blog article we explain everything about hoverboarding for children and tips and tricks so that your child does not expose himself to unnecessary dangers and hurts.
What is a hoverboard and how do you control it?
Hoverboards are – like the city scooters back then – a modern way of getting around, which are particularly suitable for smaller distances. Another name is “Mini Segways”. However, they differed from Segways in that they do not have a handrail.
hoverboards consist of two platforms with wheels connected by an axis. As a result, they are more agile and you steer them intuitively by shifting weight. Acceleration and braking are also controlled in this way. A gyro stabilizer, also known as a gyroscope, prevents the board from tilting while driving.
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Hoverboard for children – How child-friendly are they and what should you consider when driving?
Where are children allowed to ride the hoverboards?
Hoverboards can travel faster than 6 km/h and may therefore only be moved in a “demarcated non-public traffic”. These include, for example, separate courtyards, terraces or gardens. Public roads and paths may not be used, as a hoverboard lacks the seat, handlebars, brakes and lighting.
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Before use on demarcated, non-public sites, it should be checked whether the private liability insurance applies. In most cases, this is not the case and possible property damage must be paid for yourself.
Theoretically, there is a driver’s 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. In the case of classification in class A, only children from the age of 16 are allowed to ride with them after they have passed the corresponding test for the moped driver’s license.
The consequence: Hoverboards may not be used on public roads, sidewalks, and paths. If you still drive a hoverboard on a public road and are also not in possession of the corresponding 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 require a certain development of the individual balance and the 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 ground 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 that speaks for 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 for different body weights, but rather for maximum weight.
If the weight of the driver deviates significantly from this, unexpected accelerations and swaying movements can occur and the exact steering is made more difficult. Too much weight also puts a strain on the engine and can heat up.
You should always pay attention to sufficient charge of the battery! In one test, the almost empty battery shut down 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 USA because the batteries of the boards have ignited. The US agency recalled over 500,000 hoverboards at the beginning of July 2016 because of an acute risk of fire and explosion.
This was because the lithium-ion batteries can overheat, develop smoke, catch fire and/or explode. Several models from ten brands were affected. The list can be found here: List of recalled hoverboards
With this 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 have to pay attention to whether the desired model is certified!
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Uneven plots and roads, gravel and paved courtyards are by no means suitable for hoverboards. Lowered curbs and tram tracks can also lead to dangerous situations. That’s why it’s important that you educate your child about it!
In the rain or wet, you should also not let your darling drive with it, as it can provide rusty connections in the long run and in the worst case can cause short circuits.
What should you consider when buying hoverboards?
Pay attention to CE-tested batteries
Pay attention to testimonials
The top speed should be 10 km/h
Only buy from reputable online shops
The weight should not be more than 10 kg
Do not buy cheap imports from abroad!
If you keep this in mind, nothing can go wrong when buying a hoverboard. In general, I recommend taking a look at a hoverboard test in order to be able to compare optimally between the different models.
Hoverboard for Kids – Tips & Tricks
Wear protective equipment (helmet & joint protector)
On the Internet, there are numerous breakdown videos of adults and children who fall while riding hoverboards. Some of them you can certainly smile at, others you really wonder if everything is okay and if the people are doing well.
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, even adults) can not properly assess dangers and control weight shifting. That’s why it’s up to us parents to make sure that hoverboarding becomes a fun experience and doesn’t end up in the hospital.
A helmet and joint protectors for elbows, knees, and wrists are therefore indispensable!
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Even if you are only allowed to drive on private roads or properties, as a parent you should also point out the following points to your child:
Wear light-colored clothing
Ride in groups
No distractions (mobile phones, music)
Only drive in dry weather
Wear the right shoes (no flip-flops)
Hoverboard for children – advantages & disadvantages at a glance
Fun means of transport
Children spend their free time outdoors
Stress is reduced and concentration is promoted
Coordination and balance are trained
By driving together with other children, social interaction is promoted
Risk of injury is not insignificant
Conclusion on the hoverboard for children
I hope I was able to give you an overview of the use of cheap electric hoverboards by children with this blog article. Hoverboards are not bad per se and more dangerous than other means of transport. Finally, you can also fall with city scooters or bicycles. However, you should inform your children as parents about all risk points and point out the dangers.
When that’s done, nothing stands in the way of driving fun with the hoverboard and it’s time to get on the board, balance and jet off!