Hurting from Hoverboards: What You Need to Know

Posted at 5:30 PM, Dec 29, 2015

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WTXL) -- Gifts during the holidays are meant to be fun and something you can enjoy, but that's not always the case with the new "hoverboards."

Officials have seen an increase in injuries from those who have attempted to try them out, and some hoverboards have even caught on fire.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is now investigating 21 fire incidents across the country.

A Bainbridge doctor is warning of the potential injuries you could get from using hoverboards.

"Injuries from hoverboards are similar to slipping on the ice," said Dr. Winston Price with Memorial Pediatrics. "It's an unexpected fall, and so people are caught unaware and end up hitting the concrete or other hard surfaces."

You'll find video after video online of people taking nasty spills while trying to navigate the boards. And while they might seem funny to those watching, falling off a hoverboard could result in real pain.

"Injuries to the head are one of the more common and serious injuries that kids get," Price said, "and the adults are finding out it's a major problem for them as well."

A problem that could send them to a place like Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge.

So far, the hospital says they haven't received any emergency room visits related to hoverboard injuries, but doctors say you should ride a hoverboard much like a bicycle, wearing a helmet and all the necessary protection to keep yourself from getting injured.

"These injuries can be quite significant and cause fractures and serious head injuries," Price said.

Price says he wanted to learn more about how hoverboards work, so he got one for himself.

"I've used in the practice to go up and down the corridors," Price said. "We have a fairly long corridor, so I just wanted the nurses and other doctors to see how they can get back and forth without feeling tired at the end of the day."

He says the hoverboard may not seem like it requires much physical activity, but it does.

"You have to lean forward, lean back in a certain way to keep up on the board," Price said. "Also, it's a heavy device, so you're lifting something that's about 20 pounds."

Price says using hoverboards encourages even more physical activity to help burn calories.