#Hoverboardfails raises safety concerns

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CBS News photo

WASHINGTON — The latest must-have gift is now raising some serious safety concerns.

On Twitter, the hashtag #hoverboardfails has gone viral showing hundreds videos and pictures of people falling while trying to use a hoverboard.

CBS News reported finding one video of a woman falling and hitting her head.

One video WREG found online showed a young teen trying to balance on the scooter, but then fall and hit his head on the driveway pavement.

Even Congressman Carlos Curbelo from Florida ended up in a sling after trying to ride his nephew’s present.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission  released an article on the hoverboard’s safety.

“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,” said U.S. CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “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.”

Kaye went  on to say that he was concerned because there currently are not any safety standards in place for those who ride the transportation devices.

That’s a big concern considering just before Christmas, before hundreds received the gift as a present, the agency reported a 35% increase in injuries, reported CBS News.

In addition to the fall risk, there have also been reports the hoverboards themselves catching on fire.

The U.S. CPSC is testing for defects and investigating what led to the fire incidents.

Until a safety report is released, the agency released the following tips to help keep you safe:

  • Avoid buying the product at a location (like a mall kiosk) or on a website that does not have information about who is selling the product and how they can be contacted if there is a problem.  If you do not think you could find the seller again, were a problem to arise with your board, that should be a warning to you not to do business with them.
  • 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.
  • If giving a hoverboard to someone for the holidays, leave it in its partially charged state.  Do not take it out of the package to bring it to a full charge and then wrap it back up. Often, the product comes partially charged.  Leave it in that state until it is ready to be used.
  • Look for the mark of a certified national testing laboratory.  While this does not rule out counterfeits, the absence of such a mark means your safety is likely not a priority for that manufacturer.
  • Do not ride near vehicular traffic.
  • This tip needs to be reiterated: It is important to wear safety gear when using a hoverboard.  We 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

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