Two of the most popular toys last Christmas also became two of the most infamous as they were recalled for safety issues -- hoverboards and drones.
Scott Fisher, the owner of Gift of Wings in Greendale and Franklin, shared his advice on how to make sure your kids enjoy their hoverboards and drones safely this holiday.
Fisher explained that one reason some of the hoverboards that came into the country started on fire last year was that there were no standards manufacturers had to follow. Your assurance that the hoverboard your child has did have to follow standards is that there is a holographic sticker on the bottom of the board from Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
An extra word of caution -- make sure the UL sticker is on the actual hoverboard. Fisher said, "I have seen some boards on sale this year that have a UL logo on the box and not on the board. That means the batteries and the charger are probably UL tested but not the board."
Also, although we all want to save money at this time of year, Fisher noted that if you see a hoverboard for a lower-than-usual price (around $399), it's probably not certified.
The biggest issue with drones is that they (especially the bigger, more sophisticated ones) can sometimes cause problems with actual manned aviation. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has issued guidelines the people must follow when flying their drones. For example, a drone that weighs more than a half-pound must be registered with the FAA. Although most drones aren't that big, Fisher emphasized that safety considerations are important for even the smallest drones. He said, "Always follow the Drone rules and never fly over 400 feet and be courteous of your neighbors."
A few precautions, some common sense, and you and your child can have lots of fun with their flying toys this holiday season!