Soft-soled rubber clogs: A hazard to children

Reports are surfacing that young people wearing soft-soled clogs are getting their toes caught in escalators. A popular brand of these clogs known as Crocs appears to be often implicated in these reports.
In 2007, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) received a complaint from a mother who informed us that her 4-year-old son’s Crocs shoe was swallowed up into an escalator after slipping from his foot. She dreaded to think what would have happened if the shoe had become trapped while her son’s foot was still in it.

The shoe cost RM150 and was a present to the complainant’s son from a relative. The complainant was displeased that the shoes which are so expensive can pose a potentially serious safety hazard.

In the US, it has been reported that a 4-year-old child wearing this type of clogs had his foot caught in an escalator at a mall in August this year. His mother managed to pull him free but his big toenail was almost completely ripped off, resulting in heavy bleeding. In another incident this year, also in the US, a 3-year-old boy wearing Crocs suffered a deep cut across his toes.

In Japan, the government has just warned consumers that it has received 39 reports of sandals, mostly Crocs or similar products, getting stuck in escalators over a short period from late August till early September.

In Singapore, it was reported that a 2-year-old girl wearing rubber clogs had her big toe completely ripped off in an escalator accident.

CAP called on the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to initiate an immediate recall of Crocs rubber clogs as well as other brands of similar products.

Those who have purchased such shoes should be refunded. The onus should also be placed on the manufacturers and distributors of affected brands to pay damages to those who have been injured in accidents involving their products.

The whole situation is a potential disaster waiting to happen, and it should not take a serious accident for action to be taken.