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Hospital Workers Warn Of Rise In Hoverboard Injuries

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Hospital workers are warning those with hoverboards to be mindful after the number of reported injuries has soared since the holidays.

Nicklaus Children's Hospital's Emergency Department says they have treated about 54 children with injuries related to hoverboards from December 15 to January 9th.

Of those, they say, 42 of them were treated for fractures with some needing surgery.

"The number of fractures since last year during Christmas  holiday  doubled since last year," said said Dr.Barbara Pena with the Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

Fourteen year old Aaliyah Williams said she laughs now when she watches the video of herself hitting the floor, falling off of the hoverboard her cousin got for Christmas.

"Pain. All I felt was pain," said Williams. "It hurt really bad and I couldn't talk."

That was several weeks ago. Aaliyah is now recovering after multiple painful visits to the emergency room.  She suffered a spinal fracture from the fall.

"I thought like I had control of it but it's kind of hard to ride it, like to stay stable, because there's nothing to hold onto," said Williams.

"I was so upset when I say that video...I knew she was in pain when she hit that floor," said her aunt Norma Stiles.

Doctors say these injuries are no joke.

"They see the videos of kids falling but don't see the kids in the operating room," said Dr. Pena. "They wouldn't be laughing if they saw that."

Other injuries they treated, related to hoverboards, include facial laceration and head trauma with concussion and contusions.

Back in December, the Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said they would  investigate the safety of hoverboards.

"CPSC has received dozens of reports of injuries from hospital ERs that we have contracts with and they continue to feed us real-time data. Some of these injuries have been serious, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries.  Always wear a proper helmet and padding while using this product," said Chairman Elliot Kaye in a statement.

He also said they would continue to investigate what would cause some of the hoverboards to reportedly catch fire.  As of December 16th, CPSC engineers were testing various brands to find the root cause.

As for those who have a hoverboard, the commission says you can follow a few safety tips to prevent any issues.

  • Do not charge a hoverboard overnight or when you are not able to observe the board.
  • Charge and store in an open dry area away from combustibles (meaning items that can catch fire).
  • Do not charge directly after riding.  Let the device cool for an hour before charging.
  • Do not ride near vehicular traffic.
  • Wear safety gear when using a hoverboard.  They recommend the same safety gear that you would wear when riding a skateboard -- a skateboard helmet, and knee and elbow pads and wrist guards for protection from falls.

Those wanting to report incidents regarding a hoverboard can do so by clicking here.

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