Dangerous Crocs

And no, I’m not referring to the sharp-toothed creature in the Order Crocodylia, but instead, to the soft-sided clog that has taken feet by storm. Everyone in my family owns a pair, with the exception of our youngest, 8, who has enough motor-skill issues without adding flopping shoes to the mix. After reading about severe injuries suffered by a 3-year-old Croc-wearing-girl, when her foot became entrapped by an escalator, I’m thinking all our Crocs are best worn only at home.

Was the awful incident, which I imagine terrified the poor little girl, a fluke? Not according to the U.S. Product Safety Commissioner’s May 13, 2008 report which claims,

Each year the ride between floors is made easier when an estimated 90 billion riders use an escalator. Although most of those rides are without incident, the CPSC estimates there were approximately 11,000 escalator related injuries in 2007. The majority of these injuries are from falls but 10 percent occur when hands, feet or shoes are trapped in escalators.

The most common entrapment is to the foot. Soft-sided shoes are the most likely to get stuck and pose the possibility of injury to the rider. CPSC is aware of 77 entrapment incidents since January 2006, with about half resulting in injury. All but two of the incidents involved popular soft-sided flexible clogs and slides.

WSBT, Louisville, KY had this report:

Girl, 3, Injured On Airport Escalator
Mother: Airport Could Have Prevented Accident

POSTED: 6:16 pm EDT June 5, 2008
UPDATED: 10:45 pm EDT June 5, 2008

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A young Louisville girl suffered injuries after getting her foot caught in an escalator at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Lexi Pregliasco, 3, was on her way to Disney World but had to be taken to the hospital with injuries sustained on the escalator. Her mother is upset and believes the airport could have helped prevent this accident, local station WLKY reported.

“There’s no reason this should have happened to my daughter,” said Alison Pregliasco, Lexi’s mother. “She was holding onto the rail…I heard her screaming and tried to pull her foot out and it wouldn’t come out and the escalator just kept going down. And, I just started screaming at the top of my lungs, ‘Somebody stop this thing, somebody stop this thing. We have to make it stop.’”

Pregliasco said it took 15 minutes to get her daughter’s right foot out of the escalator. EMTs took the child to the hospital, where doctors put pins in her foot and performed surgery to clean bones and remove contaminated skin.

“Three broken toes, two pretty severely broken, the other is just a hairline fracture,” said Pregliasco. “The toe was severed down to the bone and they called it a ‘dirty wound’ because they had escalator grease in there.”

At the time of the accident, Lexi was wearing a pair of Crocs, which have become known for comfort and controversy.

Last year, a Virginia child’s Crocs were caught in a mall escalator. And a New York man filed a $7 million suit after claiming his daughter was permanently injured in a similar accident.

Pregliasco said airport and medical personnel told her a similar incident happened in the same part of the airport just a few days ago, and the Associated Press reported several escalator accidents at Hartsfield-Jackson last year.

Pregliasco hopes her daughter’s accident may serve as a warning for other families.

“Right now, I just want my daughter to get better and I want other parents to know this is going on and the airport’s not warning people,” she said.

Doctors released Lexi from the hospital Thursday. She’s been instructed to stay off her feet for three weeks.

Calls to the airport’s spokesperson by WLKY were not returned.

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