Way back in November 2006, the makers of Crocs shoes claimed that their shoes are “completely safe”. This bold statement was made due to raising criticism that the shoes are not safe for small children on escalators. A simple online search turned up numerous accounts of children being injured while wearing Crocs and other soft rubbery shoes.
Reina has been wearing Crocs since she was about two years old. They are durable, easy to clean, and easy for tiny tots to slip on without any help. However, when it comes to being worn by toddlers, they are the least safe shoes I have seen. When Reina was between two and three, she was always more prone to slips, trips, and accidents while wearing her Crocs. The grip of the shoes tended to make them practically stick to some surfaces like tile floors, which would cause Reina to lose her balance. Now that she is older, and has better coordination, this is not much of a problem anymore.
Still, when it comes to escalators, I don’t trust her on her own in a pair of Crocs. Last spring, while riding up an escalator in a shopping mall, I didn’t notice that Reina had put her foot near the edge of the escalator stair we were standing on while ascending. Suddenly, Reina called me in alarm as her shoe was being crushed between the escalator and the wall. Fortunately, when I grabbed her, the shoe popped out, still on her foot. When we reached the top of the escalator and inspected her shoe, it had slices on the top of the toe area and the underside was ripped in two places. Miraculously, Reina’s foot was not harmed at all.
That summer, while talking to my brother who is a regional manager for Schindler Elevator (the world’s leading manufacturer of escalators) he mentioned to me that I should not let Reina ride on escalators while she is wearing her Crocs. “It would be best to carry her for her own safety as those shoes are a hazard on escalators.” When I related what had happened to her several months earlier, he said she was lucky as he knew of numerous accidents on escalators involving children wearing Crocs that ended in lost toes and mangled feet. Yikes.
Reina still has a pair of Crocs that she wears as her indoor shoes in the winter and will no doubt wear outside when the weather is warmer, but when going out to places with escalators, we will leave the Crocs at home or take the elevator.