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Will Crocs Be Banned?

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A mom says she's suing Crocs to keep kids safe.

When 3-year-old Lexi's foot was severely injured on an escalator, mom Alison Pregliasco blamed the Crocs she was wearing. According to Pregliasco, her daughter had three broken toes, including one that was severed to the bone and was contaminated with escalator grease. Unfortunately, Lexi's injury is not rare; according to pediatrician Dr. Gwenn, stories of children's Croc-soled feet literally being sucked into escalators have been reported as early as 2006. Now in a lawsuit with the famed shoe company, Alison is determined to stop this tragic trend. Momlogic got an exclusive statement from Alison and her attorney:

"From the moment my twins were born, I have read the warnings which accompanied the toys my children play with, the cribs they sleep in, the child car seats they ride in. I bought my daughter her Crocs and let my daughter wear them because she loved them and because she never wanted to take them off. I did not know, before she was injured, that this had happened to so many other moms and their children. Had I known--had Crocs put a simple warning tag on their shoes--my daughter would have worn them by the pool or on the beach, but not as an everyday shoe, and certainly not on an escalator.

There is no sound more awful than the painful scream of one's child. When I learned just how many moms had heard that same type of scream from their child, when I saw how many times this had happened before and how many times Crocs has refused to accept responsibility, I knew something had to be done.

What should have been that perfect trip to Disneyworld turned into an absolute nightmare of ambulances, hospitals, surgery and my daughter confined to a wheelchair. There are no doubt hundreds of thousands of children out there who still wear their Crocs day and night unaware of what we now know.

I just hope the warning gets out there to the parents of those children before another child screams and before another case makes the headlines."

Said Attorney Andrew M. Laskin:

"Over the past several months, I have heard the same horrifying tale again and again. Intelligent and responsible moms, all of whom bought Crocs for their kids mistakenly believing, as Crocs contends, they were ideal shoes for everyday use. Tragically, when they heard their child scream, all of these parents learned the hard way, the painful way, that Crocs are inherently dangerous on escalators.

In every case, the mom or dad was watching the child and the child was holding on to handrail of the escalator. The kids were not playing around; they were just moving from one floor to another when their Croc made contact with the side of the escalator. Crocs are not flip-flops--they are shoes which are strapped onto the child's foot. They are designed and marketed as having great traction yet they are soft enough to crush in your hand. That combination of characteristics makes Crocs very dangerous when they make contact with the side of a moving escalator. The shoe sticks and the sheer force of the escalator and the friction of the caught Croc sucks the child's strapped and trapped foot down into the mechanism of the escalator.

That is why we see, time and time again, many children (in the US, Canada, worldwide) suffering the same type of injury and the same ripping of their Crocs. For those who believe these incidents are comparable to loose shoelace injuries, nothing could be further from the truth.

Crocs has, for years, sought to deflect blame by stating these incidents were the fault of the mothers and fathers, escalator companies, airports and others, none of whom are to blame. It is yet another classic case of a corporation putting profits over people, and those people are young children.

The Trade Ministry of Japan, one of the most technologically advanced nations on earth, has specifically ordered Crocs to do something about their shoes because of children being injured on escalators. Our lawsuit will expose what Crocs has known yet long sought to conceal--that its shoes are dangerous on escalators, that these injuries to children could and should have been prevented by a simple warning tag, and that Crocs' blame-game "defense" is an offense to responsible parents everywhere."

Crocs spokesperson Tia Mattson had this to say, "Consumer satisfaction, including consumer safety, is a top priority for us at Crocs. Escalator safety is an issue we take very seriously. Safety experts say several factors can contribute to accidents, including escalator design and maintenance, loose clothing or untied shoelaces, footwear and improper use. The most important safety factor is safe riding behavior. Parents should supervise and assist children. Riders of all ages should step on and off escalators and moving walkways with caution, stand only in the middle of the steps, hold on to the handrail, and ensure shoelaces are tied and loose clothing is clear of steps and sides.More information on escalator safety is available from the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation."

Will this lawsuit stop you from buying Crocs for your kids?

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39 comments so far | Post a comment now
smith July 10, 2008, 7:55 AM

If i had known this i never would have purchased CROCS. shame on them.

Joe Amaya July 10, 2008, 9:45 AM

I have a 8 yr old,and i will not purchase this shoe any time soon.I also have another daughter who is 18yrs now,that had an escalator incident when she was like 3 or 4yrs.The shoes she was wearing were not CROC’S,but instead they were the children keds.They are like the canvas Converse.No serious damage to her foot,but it could of.I might still have the shoe.

mama_chita July 10, 2008, 9:53 AM

I think Crocs are ugly, I plan to never own them, and I hope they are out of style by the time my daughter is old enough to choose her shoes :)

And while I’m writing: I ‘hate’ escalators, and avoid using them, even if it means carrying kids up several flights of stairs, or walking to the other end of the mall to use the elevator. If I HAVE to use an escalator, I always do what a knowledgeable friend once told me: Stand with one foot on one stair, and the other foot on another stair. That ‘posture’ forces me to be more aware of things when riding the escalator, and I think it is more safe, if you had to quickly exit the escalator, in case of an emergency.

Anonymous July 10, 2008, 10:19 AM

My kids love their crocs. However, they don’t wear them around town — they’re more beach/pool shoes. They end up tripping over themselves when they wear them to the playground, etc.

Anonymous July 10, 2008, 12:22 PM

Where is the common sense of the parents?! Quit blaming companies on accidents like these and expecting them to issue warnings for every thing that could possibley happen. I wear high heals but don’t expect shoe manufacturers to put a warning on them advising me of all the problems and accidents that could happen from wearing them.
Crocs are loose fitting, soft shoes and in no way meant to protect feet. They are beach/pool shoes and not everyday shoes.

momof9 July 10, 2008, 12:32 PM

Escalators are dangerous for children and sometimes adults too. In a general way and it is not just the crocs. I worked in a department store and hardly a day went by without an injury, fall or near miss of some kind. Childrens and adults loose sided shoes, shoe laces, edges of baggy pants or dresses, ribbons and belts that hang down etc. can all get caught in the mechanism of the escalators. Not to mention the frequent pile ups at the bottom when people are standing too closely together and the first person in line falls getting off the escalator. I never put my small children next to the rail on an escalator they always stand in the center holding my hand. I constantly remind my older children to keep away from the edge as well. I wish the message that escalators are dangerous and that children should never stand near the edge and hold the rail would be the message that gets out because just changing shoes is not going to stop the injuries caused by these people movers.

Anonymous July 10, 2008, 12:40 PM

You could say the same thing about some sandels. Kids should be taught to keep their feet away from the edge of the escalator. Take some resonspiblity people!

SugarPlumFairy July 10, 2008, 1:33 PM

Yes, of course parents should take responsibility, but the bottom line is that the shoe itself is a hazard.

Julia P July 10, 2008, 1:33 PM

I just googled the issue and it lit up with countless hits! If this has been happening for years, all over the world, why would CROCS fail to put a warning on the shoe? What did they do everytime they heard about another hurt kid——-bury their heads and shoes in the sand?? shame!

Vic Portilla July 10, 2008, 2:20 PM

Same thing happened to my two year old daughter at the mall on Mothers day. About half way down the escalator her foot was sucked into the side panel. It was about twenty five minutes until the Fire Dept. was able to release her foot. She received a deep gash on the bottom of her foot, extending from mid foot to around her great toe, requiring several stitches. The question is, why are there so many exact scenarios involving Crocs, little children, and escalators? How come I have never heard about this on the news, Oprah, etc.? I am saddened by those who accuse the victims parents of negiligence. May God forgive them for they know not what they are doing. Myself, like many other parents of these little victims are educated, professional, and God fearing. My wife was holding our child with both hands. I see mothers at dept. stores excited to buy cute crocs for their toddlers, and oh don’t forget the disney character pins, they are so cute. I cringe and am compelled to tell them my story, but I cannot the store clerk is there helping them. This has got to stop, if I can prevent one toddler from suffering, I think it is priceless.

Anonymous July 10, 2008, 4:44 PM

News flash…flip flops cause the same types of injuries and those have been around for ages. What’s next a clash action against any company that has ever manufactured flip flops?! Seriously people.

stevencharles July 10, 2008, 8:05 PM

If a parent is informed, and then lets their kid wear them and they get stuck that is one thing, but isnt it the duty of the maker of CROCS, in the first instance, to at least let moms know of the risk, even if CROCS thinks it is small? How many more kids must this happen to? I think CROCS wont warn parents because if they warn parents, responsible parents will either not buy CROCS or not let their kids werar them 24 hours a day which means less new pairs of CROCS purchased..pretty simple to understand when you give it more than a moments thought—Think how much CROCS makes per shoe—its a piece of rubber and theyve sold millions—if a kid only wears it 2 hours a day three times a week by the pool as opposed to 13 hours a day, seven days a week, a lot less CROCS will be bought

Linda July 11, 2008, 6:50 AM

My grandaughter injured her foot wearing crocs when she was playing on a playground a piece of the bark like material they put down to keep kids safe if they fall,went through her croc and into her foot,cutting it wide open.She is now banned from wearing crocs.

Sharon L. Rozansky July 11, 2008, 7:36 AM

I finally broke down and got a pair for my 5year old. Turns out my daughter doesn’t even like wearing them. I only let her wear them in the sprinkler but when she starts to run I have to remind her the Crocs aren’t for running. She also gets marks on her foot from the add on decorations. I just got rid of them.

Simone July 11, 2008, 7:41 AM

I and my 2 daughters wear croc’s i think its a comfort to wear i notice when lifting and packing this shoe asorbed the shock off my knees and lower back and when i droped something and it hit my foot i didnt get hurt. otherwise i would have been in alot of pain i am a dieabetic and a tap on the foot would be painfull for me but i love thease shoes there ugly but i can jump and play in thease like a kid and not worry about the pain my kids rather not wear any shoe’s but i can get them to wear their croc’s.

ps.things happend just be carefull you can rest when you go to bed.

meredith lessard July 11, 2008, 10:48 AM

How Stupid! What mother doesn’t watch her child while on an Escalator! Iam a mother of 4 children all under the tender ages of 13 and under.I would remember that this form of human transportation & remember she is “3”!!
You should teach your child about these transportations before going on it.This was most likely very scary to the little girl and should have been explained what happens when children do not listen or unwatched while on something that yes could hurt you but again there’s warning signs posted right on the Escalator them selfs.These Escalators are available to us for a form of transportation needs for all ages.Also think about how scary this means of tranportation was to a “3”year old first and for most.YOu should of had your child in hand and quit trying to a free ride.You were not being a good parent when you child is unattended.You will see warning about keeping your child on the same step and in hand with you on the Escalator. it was the shoe that didn’t,it was proper parenting that needed to be in effect!

deb jenner July 11, 2008, 11:13 AM

I will never give up my crocs! People -use your head and be careful! They are better then flip flops!

Chris July 11, 2008, 11:47 AM

Did anyone ever tach this kid to ride the escalator?
I am sure that anyone ever working in a store with an escalator has seen a variety of shoes mangled.
Crocs did not exixt, when I witnessed plenty of tennis shoes eaten by an escalator. A bare foot that is to close to the edge of the escalator will catch and feed into the stair tracks.
Oh yes, let me mention shoe laces. They can cause a most crippling effect. It would be great if escalators had a protection bumper @ each side, forcing riders to ride in the middle.
Accidents do happen.
To bad the lady had to blame those ugly shoes.

Brandy July 11, 2008, 12:39 PM

I sold shoes for 4 years, and there is no reason to blame them for people not thinking. Way before Crocs came out there were just as many escalator accidents. Do stiletto heels have warning labels about avoiding holes, sidewalks and other peoples feet? I think not. It is not the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide common sense with a shoe sale. But I see a label in the future, something akin to the iron label ‘don’t iron clothes while wearing them’, ‘don’t use a curling iron on your eyelashes’ or other such nonsense. And who knew coffee was hot?? Idiots…

Anonymous July 11, 2008, 6:04 PM

Why would you want your kid to wear Crocs on an escalator? The parent should of researched on it if she says she reads the warning signs on everything. Its common sense, Crocs are not made for everyday wear! And if you decide to wear them for that purpose, you have to be very cautious! I was never a Crocs fan and never plan to buy them but they don’t even look like “real” shoes. I believe Crocs should put a warning sign saying this shoe is not meant for everyday wear, suggested for beach/pool wear only. And the mom was at fault for not doing research and have common sense!

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