‘Must-have’ holiday gift raising safety concerns
New Jersey parents considering buying a hoverboard this holiday season should be aware the must-have holiday gift is raising safety concerns.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has received more than 20 incident reports involving hoverboards, according to spokesperson Patty Davis.
"The majority of those are related to falls. We have had about 20 reports of emergency room-treated injuries all since September involving falls. In addition, there's been one report of the product catching on fire, but there was no injury with that," said Davis. That incident was reported in Ohio, according to Davis.
In another recent incident in Louisiana, a hoverboard plugged in to charge allegedly sparked a house fire.
"We're looking at the entire product line. We're also looking into the incident that happened just a few days ago in Louisiana," Davis said.
The ER-treated injuries included fractures, sprains, contusions and abrasions, a laceration, a head injury and a wrist injury, according to Davis. She did not have information on which states those incidents were reported.
Balancing a hoverboard isn't easy, especially when traveling at high speeds. Davis recommended all riders wear safety gear.
"And that means a skateboard helmet, because it protects the back of your head, knee and elbow pads and wrist guards," she said.
Davis also advised hoverboard owners not to charge their devices overnight.
"Any type of product that has a battery in it, you should be able to keep your eye on at all times," she said, adding that it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
"There's not a mandatory standard regarding hoverboards."
Davis said if consumers have an incident with one of these hoverboard-type products, "make sure you let us know about it. You can let us know at www.saferproducts.gov. That's the best way to let us know, so we can keep an eye on incidents."