CHICAGO – Accidents from trendy roller shoes are far more numerous than previously thought, contributing to roughly 1,600 emergency room visits last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.
Those injuries were mostly in children, the target market for the wheeled shoes that send kids cruising down sidewalks, across playgrounds and through shopping mall crowds.
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.
The new higher estimate is based on a more recent and thorough examination by staff statisticians of data reported to the agency, Wolfson told the AP Wednesday.
The update follows new safety advice 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.
On Monday, 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, inline skating and even swimming.
The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the new injury data.
On the Net:
Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:http://www.aaos.org
Heelys Inc.: http://www.heelys.com