Topping many lists of the hottest holiday toys of 2015 is a hoverboard, but after a handful of accidents — including one in which the brand-new gadget caught fire, exploded, and burned down a house in Louisiana — it's now one of the season's most dangerous.
Jessica Horne bought her 12-year-old son a hoverboard, an enviable toy ever since the idea was first conceived in Back to the Future Part II, from a company called Fit Turbo off of Amazon for $300, and within one day, it caught fire inside the boy's bedroom shortly after he plugged it in to charge.
"It was like fireworks," Horne told ABC News. "I could see sparks just flying. And before I could yell 'the house is on fire,' the middle part of the board that was going between your feet . . . just 'poof' into flames."
Disturbingly, this wasn't the first allegation of a newly purchased hoverboard setting fire, despite the fact that several companies manufacture different models. An Alabama man filmed his board sparking before becoming engulfed in flames.
If the potential to explode isn't enough to cross these battery-operated boards off your Christmas shopping list, consider this: the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received eight reports of emergency-room-related injuries caused by hoverboard accidents in the past three months alone, including a woman who severely tore ligaments in her ankle simply trying to get off of one.
Hoverboard makers have advised wearing helmets as well as wrist and knee pads, but even those precautions only go so far in preventing serious accidents.
What's more, considering that these hoverboards don't actually do the one thing they are intended to do — hover — we hope parents will look elsewhere in their search for the season's hot new toy.