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Injury. 2017 Jun;48(6):1110-1114. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2017.03.028. Epub 2017 Mar 27.

Hoverboards: A new cause of pediatric morbidity.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Orthopaedics, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.



The hoverboard, a self-balancing powered scooter, was introduced to the market in 2015 and quickly became one of the most popular purchases of the year. As with similar products, this scooter brought a host of concerns surrounding injuries. The purpose of this study is to determine the incidence of injuries that coincided with the popularity of hoverboard.


The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) was queried from 2011 through 2015 for injuries related to scooters/skateboards, powered (product number, 5042), which includes the hoverboard. Patient data on sex, age, race, diagnosis, most severely injured body part, location where the injury occurred, and narrative of the injury were collected. The estimated injury incidence was calculated and compared on a yearly and monthly basis. Google Trends was used to determine the popularity of the hoverboard over the same time period.


During the 5-year study period, there were an estimated 47,277 injuries associated with the hoverboard. In 2015, there was an average 208% (range, 167-278%; standard deviation (SD), 51.8%) increase in the number of injuries compared to any of the previous 4 years. Further analysis of these injuries revealed a significant increase in the number of forearm (475%; range, 310-662%; SD, 159%), leg (178%; range, 133-206%; SD, 34%), and head and neck (187%; range, 179-197%; SD, 7.6%) injuries in 2015 compared to the previous 4 years. The most common type of injury in 2015 was a fracture (38.9%). Analysis of the sites of these fractures between 2014 and 2015 revealed a 752% increase in forearm fractures, which included over a 4000% increase in the number of wrist fractures.


Given the number of injuries caused by these products, safety equipment, such as wrist guards and helmets, should be worn in an attempt to reduce the number of injuries. Additionally, this study highlights the importance of physicians keeping up to date with current trends to best advise their patients on safe practices.


Epidemiology; Fracture; Hoverboards; Injury prevention

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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