Wheeled shoes more harmful than previously thought


The Associated press has reported that accidents from roller shoes are far more common than previously thought, contributing to roughly 1,600 emergency-room visits last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.

The target market for the wheeled shoes is mostly children and they are the ones being injured.

Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said last week that the agency knew of at least 64 roller-shoe-related injuries and one death between September 2005 through December 2006.

New safety advice was posted online Tuesday by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which recommends helmets, wrist protectors and knee and elbow pads for kids who wear wheeled shoes.

A report in June’s Pediatrics said 67 children were treated for roller-shoe injuries at a Dublin, Ireland, hospital during a 10-week period last summer.

“Heelys”, the most popular brand, are sold in 70 countries. They’re made by Carrollton, Texas-based Heelys Inc., which maintains that the shoes have a safer injury rate than skateboarding, in-line skating and even swimming.

The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the new injury data.

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