Hoverboards Were This Year's Hottest Christmas Gift – Literally: Popular Toy Responsible for 21 Fires and Dozens of ER Visits
Federal officials are investigating hoverboards after receiving reports of the crafts catching fire
People are falling for their new hoverboards – literally.
Swagways and hoverboards have become one of this season’s hottest gifts, but safety concerns surrounding the popular two-wheeled motorized skateboards are putting a damper on some customers’ holidays.
“We’ve seen a lot of falls over the holidays,” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesperson Patty Davis tells PEOPLE. “We’ve seen at least 39 emergency room treated injuries associated with hoverboards: concussions, fractures, contusions, abrasions.”
Since Christmas (and even before) social media have been riddled with videos of people falling off of the crafts.
“Cousin got a hover board for xmas, my aunt tried it, fell, broke her wrist and is now at the hospital and needs surgery. # MerryChristmas,” one person tweeted.
Another Twitter user wrote: “My sister is already in the hospital bc she was going too fast on her hoverboard and might have broken her wrist.”
There is even now a Twitter account solely devoted to the hoverboard “fails” – aptly named @HoverBoardFail_.
Davis said the best way to combat falls – and subsequent emergency room visits – is to wear a skateboard helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards.
“Make sure that you’re wearing protective, safety gear and don’t ride in traffic,” she adds. “It’s important to stay off the road.”
Falls aren’t the only safety concern plaguing hoverboarders across the nation. This year, the CPSC launched an investigation into the two-wheeled motorized skateboards after receiving several reports of fires and explosions.
“[We are] aware of 21 fires in at least 13 states,” Davis tells PEOPLE. “We continue to investigate each new incident and we’re continuing to test boards at our lab in the Washington D.C. area.”
Davis offered a few safety tips for hoverboard users:
• Do not charge your hoverboard over night or when you are not present, “you want to be able to observe the board being charged,” she said.
• Charge it and store it in an open, dry area away from combustibles.
• Do not charge it directly after riding it, “let the device cool for an hour or so,” Davis warns.
Amazon has pulled some hoverboards from its site amid the safety concerns and many major airlines have banned the motorized skateboards from on board planes, the New York Times reports.