Adults also susceptible to hoverboard injuries

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- Hundreds of people are taking a fall after jumping on one of the holiday's hottest gifts - the hoverboard.

A parent taking their child's board for a ride has caused many of the injuries, which is what happened to Shamika Warren-Gooch. The Joliet resident tried her 8-year-old daughter's new hoverboard and ended up with a shattered elbow, surgery and two months of recovery ahead.

"She absolutely had to have this hoverboard and we just wanted to make her happy," Warren-Gooch said. "I thought of it as a toy, but it's definitely not a toy."

Hoverboards may be a hot gift, but the device drew attention when many caught fire, sparking many airlines to bad them on board. The U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission has initiated 28 fire-related investigations in 19 states. However, they say, falls are becoming a problem as well.

There are currently no safety standards in place for hoverboards and already about a dozen college campuses nationwide, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have banned their use.

As for Warren-Gooch, she fell backwards, directly onto her elbow.

"People are trying to balance on these small boards, they fall forward, put their hands out and that's how you break your wrist or they fall back and onto their rear and back of their elbow," said Dr. Mark Cohen, at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush Hospital, who operated on Warren-Gooch.

Cohen said last week, his office saw three hoverboard-related fractures in one day.

"They're mostly bought for the children and the adolescents, but we're seeing the adults come in with fractures," Cohen said.

The reason? Adults are further away from the ground, heavier and have bones that are more brittle.

However, that doesn't mean children shouldn't be careful as well.

Warren-Gooch said she still lets her daughter use her hoverboard, but she must be supervised, wear a helmet and proper padding --- and that is exactly what the experts recommend.

"I don't want anything like this to happen to her," Warren-Gooch said. "I don't know that we wouldn't haven't have gone through going to get head protection and all that, if this hadn't happened to me."
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