Alon Sarig, after operation for broken hand from hoverboard incident.
(photo credit: KAPLAN MEDICAL CENTER)
Parents should not buy hoverboards -- rechargeable, self-balancing, electric-powered, wheeled objects -- for their children if they are under the age of 16, plan to use them in the streets or refuse to wear suitable helmets while riding them. So say doctors at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot who have in recent months treated many children who have been hurt while riding them.
Some of the victims have had to undergo surgery to repair the damage when they fall or collide with another object, said Dr. Shai Mendler, a senior orthopedist at the hospital.
During Passover especially there were numerous reports of hoverboard accidents. Five children and teens in the Rehovot area alone fell and suffered fractures and some needed surgery. Nine-year-old Alon Sarig of Kibbutz Brenner was one of the children who took a bad fall during the holiday.
He rode over a small bump, fell and broke his hand. His parents had just bought him an expensive hoverboard (they cost a couple of thousand shekels each). During the surgery, metal rods had to be inserted to strengthen the bone at the base of the hand. Alon will have to wear a plaster cast for four weeks after the rods are removed after 14 days.
Mendler said a growing number of children and adults are turning up in the emergency room with hoverboard injuries, especially to the upper limbs. Such devices can even be deadly, especially if ridden in traffic.
According to the law, one may use a hoverboard only from age 16 and up, at a maximum speed of 13 miles per hour, and while wearing a helmet and remaining on sidewalks. It's much healthier to walk.
Liran Sarig, Alon’s father, said the hoverboard looks “innocent and user friendly,” but they must be ridden carefully and properly. Teens need training in a safe place and must wear protective gear, he added.