Crocs are very popular shoes, especially in the summer time. They are made of a synthetic resin, which allows the shoe to be soft-soled, lightweight, and very comfortable and convenient to wear. The brand has become very popular all over the world.
However, there is a hidden danger especially for young children. There have been more and more reports from all over the world about people, but especially young children, whose toes got caught in escalators and moving sidewalks. The Washington Metro system, in an effort to reduce accidents on their moving staircases, even went so far as to post ads warning the riders about the danger, although the ads do not specifically mention the brand. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070917/ap_on_re_us/crocs_escalator_dangers;_ylt=AvFMLLAsiBh3PrGcYZhe95.s0NUE)
While Crocs are lately most often mentioned as the culprit in such accidents, this is mostly due to their great popularity. Any soft and bendable shoe can cause the same kind of accident, including flip-flops. Unfortunately, it seems Crocs have a double-hazard in exactly the feature that makes them so popular. They are not only flexible, but also have good grip, making it harder to lift at the foot, when it gets caught in the ‘teeth’ of the moving staircase, or in the crack at the side or between the steps. Additionally, their bright colors and designs, as well as available personalizing accessories, make Crocs especially attractive to young children. It is particularly this age group, which has more escalator accidents compared to others. And children are already more at danger, just because they often don’t stand still on escalators or moving sidewalks but move around and don’t watch where they step. Furthermore, some children regard escalators and moving sidewalks as play equipment and often use them unsupervised.
Crocs Inc., based in Niwot, Colorado, responded to the reports with a statement released by Tia Mattson, a Crocs spokeswoman. While stating that the “Crocs shoes are completely safe,” Crocs claims that the company is aware of the problem and lauds itself for increasing the public awareness of escalator and moving sidewalk dangers. The company blames poor escalator designs and poor maintenance for the accidents.
Meanwhile, some businesses have posted signs near their elevators to warn customers of the danger. They also maintain, their escalators and moving sidewalks have been properly maintained, even those, where such accidents had occurred.
While parents should generally be careful, when using escalators and moving staircases with young children, they should be even more careful, if the child is wearing such soft and bendable shoes as Crocs. Proper instructions should be given to the child in the use of escalators and moving staircases. This will aid in the reduction of escalator and moving sidewalk accidents involving soft and bendable shoes.