Gift-giving and holiday shopping is already in full swing, and, as a parent, you want to find the best gifts for your children to enjoy during the holidays. But what may appeal the most to children may also be hiding some dangerous safety issues that you need to be aware of before making any purchases.
This year’s ‘must have’ toy, the hoverboard, is raising pretty serious safety concerns after reports have surfaced of the toy catching fire and exploding, even causing the UK’s National Trading Standards to seize more than 15,000 since October. They inspected 17,000 hoverboards, and 88 percent were alarmingly defective with an increased risk of overheating, exploding or catching fire. And it’s not only in the UK where the new toy is catching fire — there’s been reports in the US of explosions, where one home in Louisiana caught fire when the hoverboard was plugged into the wall. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are the main cause of explosions with all hoverboards, whether plugged into the wall to charge, or simply being put to use. Don’t let those cost-effective versions fool you — most explosions are occurring in ‘knock off’ hoverboards — cheaply made copycat versions (with cheap quality lithium ion batteries) of the more expensive, wildly in demand, holiday toy.
The popular toy is not only catching fire, but because the hoverboard is an unregulated product, there are essentially zero safety standards manufacturers have to adhere to when developing the toy. Most companies who produce hoverboards don’t list an age restriction for use, and there’s even this description for a Hoverboard360:
“We guarantee your kid is going to want one of these and you definitely don’t want to be the parent stuck at Christmas without one.”
Hoverboards require a core strength to balance on the toy, and there’s a high risk of serious injury for children if losing balance and falling off of the hoverboard. Hoverboards typically can go up to 10-12 miles an hour, which poses a risk for falls for all children. To ensure all children are protected from harm if a loss of balance or fall occurs, provide appropriate safety gear to children prior to riding a hoverboard like:
- Elbow pads
- Knee pads
- Wrist guards
There’s other major safety concerns to consider before buying into any new toy craze this holiday season. Here’s some items to consider when keeping your child safe:
- Read the label: it should always indicate an age restriction, parts included, and any safety warnings to consider for children of all ages. If it says a specific age and up, then the age restriction is there for a reason. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission does research and testing on a children’s product to determine a safe age range for that specific product or toy.
- Be in the Know! Do your research: Make sure you research the specific toy you are considering purchasing for your child this holiday season. Chances are, there are already reviews online for the specific toy in question posted by other parents.
- Electronic toy? Check for a UL Certification: When purchasing a hoverboard, or any electronic toy for your child, always make sure that the electronic toy is UL certitied. UL certification ensures that the product is safe for your child to use. UL promotes safe living, which includes the electronic toys your child will play with.
We want all parents, guardians and children to stay safe always, and especially during the 2015 holiday season. If your child or loved one has been seriously injured from a defective product, contact the Atlanta child injury law firm today. We’re here to help.