2016 brought consumers a nifty new toy with which to play, the self-balancing scooter - aka, the hoverboard. This jump into the Jetsons age has been met with a great deal of excitement and interest, judging by the popularity of this product amongst gift-givers this past year.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a concern about hoverboards catching fire (21 incidents have been reported). However, the more obvious concern that is related to the use of this wonderfully entertaining product is the risk of injury.
Dozens of injury incidents have been reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the organization expects these reports to just keep rolling on in. Does that mean you need to go back to the drawing board to restructure your holiday gift-giving list? Not necessarily. Consider including a few tips on how to prevent injuries while using this space-age product. These come straight from the CEO of Glitek, a company which makes hoverboards:
- Always wear proper protective gear. A helmet can prevent head injury, while knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards, may reduce the risk of sprains and fractures.
- Learn how to stand on the hoverboard. Weight should be centered on the middle of the foot, not the heel nor the toe. Stand in a wide stance.
- Maintain proper posture by looking ahead, not down. Looking down can change your center of gravity, creating a fall risk.
- Step back to get off the hoverboard. Intuitively, we want to step forward. This is where many falls happen.
- Make sure the transportation device is accurately calibrated in between riders. Variations in weight can cause the scooter to lurch unexpectedly. Learning how to calibrate your particular board can go a long way in preventing injury.
- Know your limits! Just because a hoverboard can tackle a steep incline or reach a certain speed does not mean you need to push it to the limits. Steeper inclines mean greater tilt, and faster speed means less opportunity to avoid obstacles.
If your new hoverboard takes you for a ride that ends in injury to the hand, elbow, or shoulder, call your New Jersey orthopedic specialist at (973) 942-1315.