TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Doctors across Texas say they expect to soon see some type of regulations or restrictions on those trendy hoverboards, because they have a lot of riders lining up in emergency rooms.
Dr. Korsh Jafarnia, an orthopedic surgeon at Houston's Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, says the problem is too many people riding the self-balancing scooters don't know what they're doing. "A casual layperson doesn't know anything about it, but their brother, sister, son or daughter got the gift and ya know they get on there and think that they can do what their brother, sister, son or daughter does…. [people] who've been riding these things."
Dr. Jafarnia says hoverboards, which are actually battery-powered skateboards, are keeping him and other physicians very busy.
"I've seen some patients who have had wrist fractures and concussions at the same time. And you also get a lot of contusions and abrasions, especially around the knees and elbows when they fall."
Dr. Jafarnia says purchasers and riders need to be clear that hoverboards are new technology and people, especially older people, might overestimate their capacity to control the boards.
Another problem is the lithium ion batteries in the boards have been known to catch fire. A hoverboard is blamed for a fire at a San Antonio River Walk hotel last week and at a Houston-area shopping mall last month.
Dozens of colleges and universities across the country, none in Texas so far, along with the three largest U.S. airlines have banned or restricted hoverboard use, because of potential fire dangers.
"There are a lot of injuries and potential accidents that can happen with these things, as they have been untested basically in the market," Jafarnia said.
Health experts recommend anyone operating a hoverboard wear the same type of safety gear as you would when on a regular skateboard or scooter.
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