On Black Friday, eBay sold hover boards at the rate of one every 12 seconds-and that’s just one website. The cool new toy that topped every kid’s wish list in 2015 is not without danger, however.
Big chain stores like Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy have not sold the hover boards due to multiple copyright infringement lawsuits alleging that the technology borrows heavily from the popular Segway vehicle.
Whole cities, like London and New York, have banned the toy on city streets and airlines like Delta have banned them from being carried either on board or in cargo. What are the risks to hoverboard riders?
Since August 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received reports of 10 fires in 9 states that have resulted from hover board use. The fire risk comes from the use of Lithium-Ion batteries in the boards, which can become overheated while plugged in. The National Association of State Fire Marshalls says the boards should never be left unattended while charging, and owners should check the boards periodically to make sure they are not becoming overheated.
Injury to Riders
A spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says in order to avoid injury on the boards which, unlike Segways, have no handles and are controlled by a gyroscope between your feet, riders need to have good balance. Riders should be at least 13 years old and wear protective gear like a helmet, knee and elbow pads.
The CPSC says it’s had reports of 29 injuries resulting from hover boards since August, which include fractures, strains, lacerations, head injuries and more. Hover boards can go up to 12 miles per hour without anything for the rider to hold on to.
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