Wheeled Shoes raise safety concerns, say chiropractors

The above headline comes from a March 15, 2007, PRNewswire and USNewswire release. The original release from the American Chiropractic Association expresses safety concerns both for the children who use them and others who must dodge children skating in crowded shopping centers and parks.

These sneakers, commonly known as Heelys® are very popular but have been banned in many public places such as stores and malls.

Dr. Steven Conway a Doctor of Chiropractic in Athens, Wisconsin commented in the release, “Parents should be concerned about Heelys® and other wheeled sneakers because of the potential for head, wrist, elbow and ankle injuries due to falls, as well as the possibility of injuries due to altered gait patterns.” He continued to explain, “When wearing the shoes on a surface that isn’t skatable, children must walk on their toes. This altered gait forces their posture into unnatural positions, and if worn regularly for walking, this could potentially cause strain on growing bodies, especially in the foot, ankle and lower back.”

The release also noted that when children are skating with these shoes they place all their weight on their heels which could potentially create another set of issues.

In the article the American Chiropractic Association offered some safety tips when wearing Heelys® and other brands of wheeled shoes. These recommendations include:

  • Always wear the proper safety equipment including helmets, wrist guards and protective pads.
  • Use the shoes for recreation only — not for regular wear — and always remove the wheels when walking in the sneakers.
  • Do not allow children to wear the shoes in crowded malls, near busy streets or other areas where collisions with other pedestrians — or worse yet, automobiles – could occur. Urge children to be aware of their surroundings and mindful of fellow pedestrians.
  • Remind children to be aware of how their bodies feel. Pain is the first sign of a problem.

Dr. Darryl Roundy

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