FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - When it comes to one of the hottest gifts of the 2015 holiday season, Forsyth County mom Nicole Millsaps really wasn’t feeling it.
"I'm not a big fan," Millsaps says.
After hearing the Consumer Product Safety Commission was looking into a rash of fires linked to the popular two-wheeled balance board, Millsaps and her husband told their 14-year old son Andrew he couldn’t have one.
"We always joke that we're Mr. and Mrs. Safety,” Nicole Millsaps says. “So we're always the ones that don't let our kids get that stuff.”
So, young Andrew took another approach.
"I was a New Year’s Eve party and someone there brought a hoverboard,” Andrew says.
"I went to try it and got on it,” he says. “And my friend was telling me how to go forwards and backwards."
He was fine, for a few minutes.
"But then when I tried to get off, it came out from under me,” Millsaps says. “Because it kept going even though I was trying to get off."
Andrew fell backwards, hard, onto his tailbone. At first, he says, he was okay.
"The next day when I woke up, it hurt really bad,” He says. “And then after that it got really, really bad."
Andrew ended up at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Forsyth Urgent Care, where Dr. DeeDee Stewart has seen a lot of kids hurt in hoverboarding gone wrong.
"We started seeing it Christmas Day,” says Dr. Stewart. “And, then the 26th, and ever since then. It has become something we see regularly."
"In one shift, I had five,” Dr. Stewart says. “In one shift. That's a whole lot."
Stewart says most of the kids they're treating are being injured by falling forward off the balance boards.
"We've seen everything from broken bones to joint injuries to wounds that have needed stitches to concussions,” she says."
Dr. Stewart says what happened to Andrew is pretty typical in her experience.
"Most commonly, we hear that it's when they're getting off the hoverboard, is when the injury is most likely to happen or when they're first using it,” she says. "Some of it is a balance issue, and there's a learning curve for being able to use it, and being competent to use it."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging children and adults to wear proper safety equipment when riding a hoverboard. That means wearing a skateboard helmet, elbow and knee pads and wrist guards.
The CPSC says never ride the boards anywhere near traffic.
Andrew Millsaps mom says he’s stopped asking for a hoverboard. The ride is over.
"He says he'll never get on one again,” she says.