More children hurt in Crocs-related accidents.
Some of you may recall my recent article on the inherent dangers of wearing Crocs on escalators. Well, the misery, pain and nasty injuries continue to happen. Since writing the article I have heard more horror stories, including one sent to us by Wisebread reader Dindin. His daughter’s foot was inside the mangled Croc pictured above, and she was lucky to come away from the accident in one piece.
With Dindin’s kind permission I am reprinting his letter to us, along with the pictures that accompanied it. Please, take the time to read it, the story is one that could easily happen to your child or a child you know.
“Crocs are Unsafe for Riding Escalators!
This is not the first time an accident involving children, escalators and
rubber clogs has happened.
14,200 search results turned out when I typed "crocs,escalator,injury" on
Google. My three-year-old daughter's toe injury caused by her right Croc
getting caught in the side of an escalator is not an isolated case, and many
more injuries could follow unless substantial solutions are delivered at the
soonest possible time.
Parents, mall operators, and the company or companies behind the manufacture
and sale of Crocs footwear should act immediately to put an end to the
disturbing number of accidents involving Crocs and escalator mechanisms.
What happens is that the slip-resistant quality of the footwear, ironically
the same quality that ranks among its unique selling points, causes it to
adhere to the side of a moving escalator upon contact. Resulting injuries
have ranged from simple scratches to toes being actually ripped off. (I
found a collection of news stories on http://crocsaccidents.blogspot.com.
That there is such a site should speak for the gravity of the situation.)
There is no point in raising arguments along the lines of escalators being
inherently dangerous for children, or of the possibility of similar
accidents with every other kind of footwear, or of parents being solely
responsible for the safety of their children when under their care. The fact
is that so many children have been hurt because the traction of their clogs
is unsuitable for escalators. This danger had come to our attention prior to
the accident involving my very own daughter, which is why we are always very
careful when making her ride the escalator with her Crocs on. She even
constantly recites the line "stay on the center," as we always remind her to
do so. But it just took a millisecond for us to fall victim to an already
familiar mishap. Being careful just wasn't enough.
Parents, stop making your children wear Crocs in malls. Believe me when I
say that you can never be too careful when it comes to the nasty combination
of Crocs and escalators.
Mall operators, adopt more child-friendly measures. Post visible notices on
the dangers of wearing rubber clogs on escalators. Make known the presence
of emergency stop buttons. Make your security guards aware of the alarming
number of escalator accidents and train them to render urgent responses.
This is not just token advocacy; this actually makes good business sense.
To the company or companies manufacturing and selling Crocs, mark your
products accordingly. Indicate that they are not safe for riding escalators
because, really, they aren't. Stop saying that they are completely safe. You
owe this to the children who love your shoes. My daughter owns three pairs
of Crocs- a pair of Caymans, a pair of Athens and a pair of Mary Janes. That's
how she likes wearing those clogs. Even the first words that came out of her
mouth after her tiny scream of pain were, "My Crocs! My Crocs!".
Andie is fine now. After the accident, which happened in Megamall at around
9pm of August 19, we rushed her to the Medical City where she got the proper
treatment for her wounds (no quick first aid response in the mall, we had to
run from building B to building A where we were parked. but that's another
issue), x-rays of both her feet, and a tetanus shot. All her toes are intact
and the wounds she got were merely superficial, thank God. With the way her
right foot bled and with the hideous torn and deformed state of her Crocs
right after the accident, we thought the injury would be much worse.
But will she ride the escalator again with as much self-confidence as she's
always had before the accident? We pray that she does. Trauma is not healed
with a simple wound dressing and tetanus shot.”
The story was even covered on the news in the Philippines. You don't need to speak the language to get the clear message.
It’s good to know that little Andie came out of it ok, although I suspect the psychological damage could be worse than the injury itself. But why are so many kids getting involved in accidents? I did a little digging of my own.
I typed in “Crocs” and “injury” and over 309,000 hits were returned. When I added “escalator” it was still almost 37,000 results. Is this acceptable? Not to me. However, when I replaced the word “Crocs” with “Sneaker” the results went up. So, does this mean all shoes pose a hazard on escalators? Well, use your common sense. Crocs have been on the market for just a fraction of the time that sneakers have, and yet the injuries with Crocs are snowballing.
What causes the injuries? Time after time the message I’m getting is that the very design of the Croc is magnifying the chance of an accident. As Dindin points out, the rubber material that the Croc is made of helps with traction, but it also grabs on to other materials (such as those of a moving escalator). And the loose-fitting, pliable quality of a Croc means it’s more likely to be sucked down the edge of the escalator.
Should Crocs be banned? For adults, no, of course not. I’ve heard many positive things about them, especially in the medical industry. And my dad swears by them for things like gardening. But the question of them being suitable for children outside of the home is definitely one for serious debate. And until we can figure out how to keep our children safe when they’re in a mall or other area involving escalators, I personally believe that you should keep your kids away from Crocs, at least when your children are outside of the safety of your home.
Andie is going to be fine, thankfully. But how much longer will it be before I’m writing a third article with a far more serious and tragic outcome? I hope it never happens.