Got Crocs? Be careful on the escalator


    Got Crocs? Be careful on the escalator

    By SARAH KARUSH, Associated Press WriterMon Sep 17, 7:47 PM ET

    At rail stations and shopping malls around the world, reports are popping up of people, particularly young children, getting their toes caught in escalators. The one common theme seems to be the clunky soft-soled clogs known by the name of the most popular brand, Crocs.
    One of the nation's largest subway systems — the Washington Metro — has even posted ads warning riders about wearing such shoes on its moving stairways. The ads feature a photo of a crocodile, though they don't mention Crocs by name.
    Four-year-old Rory McDermott got a Croc-clad foot caught in an escalator last month at a mall in northern Virginia. His mother managed to yank him free, but the nail on his big toe was almost completely ripped off, causing heavy bleeding.
    At first, Rory's mother had no idea what caused the boy's foot to get caught. It was only later, when someone at the hospital remarked on Rory's shoes, that she began to suspect the Crocs and did an Internet search.
    "I came home and typed in 'Croc' and 'escalator,' and all these stories came up," said Jodi McDermott, of Vienna, Va. "If I had known, those would never have been worn."
    According to reports appearing across the United States and as far away as Singapore and Japan, entrapments occur because of two of the biggest selling points of shoes like Crocs: their flexibility and grip. Some report the shoes get caught in the "teeth" at the bottom or top of the escalator, or in the crack between the steps and the side of the escalator.
    The reports of serious injuries have all involved young children. Crocs are commonly worn by children as young as 2. The company introduced shoes in its smallest size, 4/5, this past spring.
    Niwot, Colo.-based Crocs Inc. said it does not keep records of the reasons for customer-service calls. But the company said it is aware of "very few" problems relating to accidents involving the shoes, which are made of a soft, synthetic resin.
    "Thankfully, escalator accidents like the one in Virginia are rare," the company said in a statement.
    In Japan, the government warned consumers last week that it has received 39 reports of sandals — mostly Crocs or similar products — getting stuck in escalators from late August through early September. Most of the reports appear to have involved small children, some as young as two years old.
    Kazuo Motoya of Japan's National Institute of Technology and Evaluation said children may have more escalator accidents in part because they "bounce around when they stand on escalators, instead of watching where they place their feet."
    In Singapore, a 2-year-old girl wearing rubber clogs — it's unclear what brand — had her big toe completely ripped off in an escalator accident last year, according to local media reports.
    And at the Atlanta airport, a 3-year-old boy wearing Crocs suffered a deep gash across the top of his toes in June. That was one of seven shoe entrapments at the airport since May 1, and all but two of them involved Crocs, said Roy Springer, operations manager for the company that runs the airport terminal.
    One U.S. retailer that caters to children, Mattel subsidiary American Girl, has posted signs in three locations directing customers wearing Crocs or flip-flop sandals to use elevators instead of escalators.
    During the past two years, so-called "shoe entrapments" in the Washington subway have gone from being relatively rare to happening four or five times a week in the summer, though none has caused serious injuries, said Dave Lacosse, who oversees the subway's 588 escalators, the most of any U.S. transit system.
    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said escalator accidents caused more than 10,000 injuries last year, but the agency has few records of specific shoe problems. Only two shoe entrapments have been reported by consumers since the beginning of 2006. One reported in May involved "rubber footwear."
    Agency spokesman Ed Kang urged people who have had problems to report them on the commission's Web site.
    Crocs officials said they were working with the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation on public education initiatives. But the group's executive director, Barbara Allen, said that's not true.
    Allen said a Crocs official called her in September 2006 about possible cooperation, even suggesting the company might put a tag in its shoes with the foundation's Web address. But since that first contact, Crocs has not called, and nobody from the company will return Allen's calls, she said.
    Washington Metro's Lacosse and other escalator experts say the best way to prevent shoe entrapments is to face the direction the stairs are moving, keep feet away from the sides and step over the teeth at the end.
    Lacosse, of the Washington subway system, said he is personally skittish of Crocs and other soft-soled shoes.
    "Would I wear them? No," he said. "And I tell my children not to wear them either."
    Associated Press Writer Carl Freire in Tokyo contributed to this report.
    On the Net:
    Crocs Inc.:
    Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation:
    Consumer Product Safety Commission:
  2. Yeah, I heard about this story on the radio this morning...yikes! I'd personally never wear crocs...they are hideous!
  3. THis should convince the gouvernment to ban these hideous plasic fuming things clinging to people's feet! YUCK!:tdown:
  4. (who i believe is a tpfer as well) blogged about something similar. I think it was a friend's daughter who got her foot stuck in the railings of an escalator because of her crocs.
  5. See...not only are they ugly, they're dangerous. No good can come from wearing Crocs!
  6. Children, Crocs And Escalators Combine To Produce Mangled Feet

    [​IMG]Crocs are both extremely popular and extremely good at gripping surfaces, which can become a problem when they are combined with small children and moving escalators.
    According to a discussion going on over at Wise Bread, more and than a few children have been seriously injured when their Crocs or other rubber clogs stuck to a moving elevator. A few children have actually had toes ripped off by the escalator.
    That this was even possible would not have occurred to us, so we thought we'd pass the information along to those of you who have kids. It's probably not a good idea to allow your children to wear these shoes on escalators. The parent of a recently injured child wrote to Wise Bread:

    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. ​
    No Crocs or other rubber clogs on escalators. Got it! Wise Bread also linked this news video about the issue. It offers Croc's official response:
    "Crocs shoes are completely safe. The popularity of our shoes has helped draw attention to a long-existing issue that we think is very important--escalator safety"
  7. I know! They only belong in a place where you're running around, yelling "I need 3 cc's of saline! Stat!"

    Or maybe at a cottege.

    I read about that a while back, and sent the article to my cousins, whose kids have Crocs.
  8. Crocs are the biggest fashion NO- NO in my book(If I saw someone wearing them....i'd be tempted to nominate them for WHAT NOT TO WEAR!!!)...LMAO.....Not to mention they r freakin dangerous..hehe.OY!
  9. My kid was asking me for crocs to wear to camp (lots of kids wore them, apparently). I didn't like the looks because they seemed flimsy and got him Keens instead. I'm glad I did!
  10. ^ so not only are they ugly and can get caught in an escalator, but they also generate static?

    I hope parents of kids that wear crocs become aware of this, for their child's safety.
  11. I woke up this morning, turned on the computer, and saw only a headline something to the effect of "Crocs causing more escalator accidents" or some such, and without bothering to click the link, stumbled downstairs to make coffee, idly wondering how in the world so many crocodiles were getting into shopping malls and office buildings...
  12. This is terrible! I know so many people (little & big) who wear these shoes everywhere. I will be passing this along. Thanks for the post.
  13. I don't even get why people buy those shoes for their children. They can't possibly be good for their developing feet since they have very little support...and they're ugly.
  14. ^^kids like them because they are colorful.