Recent hoverboard injuries in the Chicago area are prompting safety warnings from health experts.
“It’s a pretty traumatic event when you fall off of these so you have to be careful,” said Dr. Adam Bennett with the Northshore Orthopaedic Institute.
Bennett said he saw three hoverboard injuries just in the past weekend and had two others in his clinic Wednesday morning.
“People are taking these out of the box and not getting proper training or understanding how tricky these can be,” he said.
Over the weekend, the hashtag #hoverboardfail was trending on social media, showing people falling, crashing and colliding on the popular devices. Even former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson shared a video of himself falling from a hoverboard Tuesday.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been reports of 70 emergency room visits due to hoverboards since August. The injuries were primarily from falls and collisions.
While no injuries have been reported for hoverboards igniting in flames, U.S. customs has seized more than 400 devices in recent months, citing cheaply made counterfeit batteries that could overheat or catch fire. The Consumer Safety Product Commission is now investigation 22 reports of hoverboard fires in 17 states.
For most cases, Bennett says the key to safety is proper training and appropriate gear.
“Helmet elbow pads wrist pads knee pads i know that’s a lot but that can be the difference between the trip to the ER and you continuing to play on your scooter,” he said. “I’m not saying these are not fun and not worthwhile gifts, I’m saying take your time and be careful when learning how to use it.”
Anyone who has issues with their hoverboard -- specifically overheating or a fire -- is encouraged to report incidents to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Additionally, anyone whose hoverboard is stuck in U.S. Customs pending approval is encouraged to to visit the following link.