Thursday, June 07, 2007

Heelin' USA

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 1,600 kids went to the emergency room last year as a result of injuries sustained while wearing Heelys. As I like to put it, there isn't a kid in America under the age of 13 who walks anymore. OK, I exaggerate, but you get the point....Heelys are everywhere...and some kids are ending up worse for wear.

That said, I really hope that we are not on the front end of what turns out to be a strong backlash against Heelys. Yes, there are risks involved, but helmets, wrist protectors, knee and elbow pads all seem to be excessive reactions to the heeling in question. Am I just too accepting of this kind of risk?

One thing I am not accepting of is poor Heelys etiquette. School bans on the use of Heelys make absolute sense to me, as does the idea that kids should not be heeling in crowded places like shopping malls. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I say let Julie and Z heel to their hearts' content up and down the sidewalk on our street and in other wide open places.

Is there a chance they might get injured? Of course there is. But I think it's a childhood chance well worth taking...



At 3:34 AM, Blogger Donna said...

Hi Guys, okay I couldn't resist this one. Celia heard this on CNN and immediately told me she now needs to wear her helmet. I'm thinking she needs a helmet 24 hours a day, forget just when she wears her Heelys. I'm curious, did they compare overall ER visits by kids not including the Heelys. Is it really that much of an increase. As example, Celia has had stitches on the back of her heard (she fell backwards and hit her head on the corner of her brothers' VCR), stitches on her forehead (she dove off grandma's sofa head first into the coffee table.) Oh, and let us not forget the recent pulled hamstring during a front flip, All of which she was barefoot. I think as long as they are not skating in rush hour traffic (my kids prefer our wood floors anyway) and a little common sense, this is another phase our kids will survive. Let's face it we all survived childhood riding our bikes and rollerskating without a helmet.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger The Balla Family said...

After I posted this, I did a Google blog search for the word "Heelys." Turns out that most people blogging about this come at Heelys from the perspective of they are (a) unsafe and (b) a public nuisance. I don't doubt that kids get injured or that some kids need to show better manners. That said, the same applies for bikes, skateboards, you name it.

By the way, Donna, don't forget about riding in the front seat of the car and jumping up and down on the bench seat right next to mom and dad!



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