Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Crocs are Dangerous!

Warning: There is no need to read the following post. It is merely my latest rant against poor risk assessment and the "nanny state" mindset.

Here's a quote from Dave Lacosse, whose job it is to oversee the escalators on DC's Metro system (there are 588 of them, by the way, more than any other US transit system): "Would I wear them? No. And I tell my children not to wear them either."

Lacosse is referring to Crocs, the rubber clogs that everyone seems to be traipsing around in these days. (I even have a pair, I am more than slightly embarrassed to admit...)

What's so bad about Crocs? It turns out that there have been incidents all over the world, including here in DC, where small children have gotten their feet caught in escalators. The common thread in these incidents? The kids were wearing Crocs, which are popular in part because of their flexibility and grip. (It certainly isn't their fashion sense!) Crocs, it seems, are particularly susceptible to wedging in and getting caught in the teeth at the tops and bottoms of escalators, as well as in between escalator steps and sides. These entrapments have resulted in toe nails, and at least in one case in Singapore an entire toe, being ripped off.

Now, don't get me wrong...I am pro-kid! I just want to argue against an overreaction here, which of course is understandable when coming from loving parents and lawsuit-wary public officials. The notion of letting our Crocs gather dust because of these escalator incidents is implicitly based on the following two-step process: (1) Identify a risk. (2) Eliminate that risk completely from our lives.

Here's my question to those tempted to jump on the "ditch the Crocs" bandwagon. Where is the wisdom in letting your children, say, play organized sports at a young age? There is, after all, the not-so-trivial risk of blunt trauma and muscular-skeletal injury. I say if Crocs go, then cleats ought to go as well...and wouldn't that be a blow to childhood...



At 12:21 PM, Blogger The Balla Family said...

Dear Steve,
It's funny that you should write about that today. Yesterday when I took Z to the doctor's office a man in the waiting room (who resembled "the Dawg") noticed Z's shoes and asked me if they were "those Crocs." When I said "yes" he shook his head seemingly in disapproval. Just for fun I mentioned to him that Z also has Heely's. I think I ruined his day!
Love, Desi
PS For the record, I am the only one in our house who doesn't have Crocs...although I do have fake ones that I bought for five bucks at Five Below!

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Macefamily said...

You should have told him you let him run with scissors and he is learning to juggle flaming knives. lol ~Donna

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Steve Balla said...

Oh, didn't I tell you...?


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