Boy Wearing Crocs Is Hurt on Escalator

By Sue Anne Pressley Montes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jodi McDermott and her 4-year-old son, Rory, have a warning for young wearers of a certain popular shoe: Beware of Crocs on the escalator.

McDermott, of Vienna, blames the colorful rubber footwear for an injury Rory received at Tysons Galleria last week. His shoe became caught in one of the mall escalators, nearly ripping the nail from the child's big toe.

"He is a hesitant escalator rider anyway, and I was holding his hand," McDermott said yesterday. "All of a sudden, he screamed, and I felt a jerk. I started pulling him up, and I couldn't pull him loose. I was pulling and pulling -- it felt like an eternity."

Finally, she freed Rory's foot from his shoe. His toe was bleeding heavily. An ambulance took them to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where the toe was X-rayed for possible breaks and then bandaged.

Crocs and other soft-soled shoes have been a safety concern this summer, causing an increased number of problems on Metrorail escalators, an official said in late July. There have been several reported accidents worldwide; in April, a 3-year-old girl had to have two toes partially amputated after her Croc got stuck in an escalator at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

McDermott said she has not figured out how Rory's shoe got trapped. They were about three-quarters down the escalator, standing still, not at the top or bottom, where metal grooves make such accidents more likely, she said. Rory's shoe was "twisted," and the back strap was ripped off.

Concerned, she has been sending out warnings to all her friends.

"I don't have one little friend who doesn't have a pair of Crocs," she said. "I e-mailed everybody I had in my book."

Staff writer Lena H. Sun contributed to this report.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company