- Associated Press - Saturday, January 2, 2016

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - The hoverboard was one of the most popular gifts this holiday season - and for some people, a ticket to an emergency room.

One Houston-area hospital reported treating 14 hoverboard injuries between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Doctors at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital started keeping count after they started seeing patients who had hurt themselves, according to the Houston Chronicle (https://bit.ly/1mWwRpk ).

The hoverboard is a two-wheeled, self-balancing machine that became the gadget to have over the last few months. Athletes and celebrities have been seen riding them. In one video, retired boxer Mike Tyson can be seen falling off one.

But doctors say hoverboard riders should wear the same gear and take the same precautions as rollerbladers or skateboarders.

“They get on these hoverboards without any protective gear whatsoever,” said Dr. David Wong of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, an emergency room doctor who also has his own hoverboard. “They should wear wrist guards, helmets, elbow guards and knee pads.”

Spokesmen for Houston Methodist hospitals and Ben Taub Hospital in Houston also reported a handful of injuries, the Chronicle said.

Hoverboards are also being investigated for their potential to ignite in flames in a small number of instances. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has counted 22 hoverboard fires in 17 states, according to an agency spokeswoman. One fire occurred last week at a kiosk at a Houston-area mall, temporarily closing the shopping center.


Information from: Houston Chronicle, https://www.houstonchronicle.com

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