Another reason to worry about hoverboards
Fires and explosions are only a fraction of the fun associated with hoverboards, one of this holiday season's hottest items.
You can add scrapes, sprains and fractures to the list, as hospital emergency rooms throughout New Jersey cite an uptick in the number of injuries related to the two-wheeled scooters.
A staff member at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank said a 9-year-old boy was being treated for a broken wrist "first thing Christmas morning," thanks to a hoverboard mishap. And according to The Record, 14 patients visited the ER for hoverboard-related injuries on Dec. 25, followed by a handful of cases in the days since.
"It is definitely cause for concern when people are not doing the things they should be doing to protect themselves," said Dr. Adam Fox with the New Jersey Trauma Center at University Hospital in Newark.
Fox noted kids and teenagers, and the parents who watch them, should treat hoverboards as they would bikes, skateboards and rollerblades. That means a helmet should be worn at all times by riders, along with padding for the arms and legs.
According to Fox, the trauma center has not yet had a hoverboard-related case, but everything from neck injuries to concussions to severe brain injuries are possible if one's not protected.
Fox insisted riders use a hoverboard in the area of a soft landing spot like grass so that falling onto concrete or blacktop isn't the only option.
Hoverboards, which don't hover at all, have already received plenty of unwanted attention for catching fire in several cases across the U.S., including New Jersey.
In a December statement from Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye, he said he's directed agency staff to work "non-stop" to find the root cause of the fire hazard.