Forgive me for any humor I use in this post - apparently some readers dislike when I use humor when referencing children getting hurt. But in all fairness, who didn't see this one coming?
Whether you have children, or have encountered them within the past year or so, you may have noticed their odd foot-positions as they glide by. No, they're not hovering. It's also not some form of magick or a curse by the devil. It's called "Heelys" - shoes with a built-in skate wheel which allows children to spare themselves of the common exercise known as "walking" - as long as a downhill slope is present or nearby.
That's right, these shoes provide the gliding ease of skating with the appearance of everyday shoes. Since they look like ordinary shoes, parents think twice about making their children wear safety gear while using them. To them, it's just a shoe. After all - in THEIR day, if you wanted to skate, you put on your skates and were then forced to wear the safety gear. But TODAY, children can go from skating to walking in the blink of an eye - the wheel itself is also removable, which is good for schools that rightfully make sure the children REMOVE the skate wheel before entering the classroom.
So where's the harm? Sounds like the best of both worlds!
It certainly is - until kids fall down. Then the worlds of parent and children come crashing down, mostly in disbelief, and also in outrage.
"How could this have happened? We trusted you, Heelys!" I can hear them exclaim.
Well guess what, parents? You knew the risk. Children knew the risk, too. They chose not to wear safety gear. They skated. Skating can lead to falling down. Falling down can lead to getting hurt.
Why are you all so surprised?
Am I the only sane one left who can make these logical connections? If you can use them to skate, it can lead to them falling and getting hurt. I am in no way trying to make an argument that you should need to wear protective safety gear to operate a pair of shoes, like a child with "special needs". I'm just saying that parents and kids need a dose of reality every now and then.
Since Christmas, more than a dozen kids have turned up at Palmetto Pediatrics of the Lowcountry with various injuries related to wearing the shoes, said Dr. Lance Lowe, a pediatrician. At least four children broke their forearms in Heelys-related falls. "Yes, they're fun, and they're good for exercise," Lowe said. "But they're also very dangerous."
Well, Dr. Lowe - where's the exercise? I mean, I can understand a kid using a pair of roller skates and seeing that as a form of exercise. If the child wants to move, there's an exercise-like motion to get going and build up speed. But these shoes? The only way they function as "skates" is with that toe-to-heel, toe-to-sky gliding position.
And glidin' ain't never been no exercise.
These are not exercise equipment. These are not toys. These are just a creepy-looking extra convenience for children to convey themselves around in a more-lazy fashion than full-on walking. They're disturbing to watch, apparently as dangerous as real skates that make you actually do exercise, and cost twice as much as regular walking shoes.
You know what? I change my mind. I think every child who wears a pair of Heelys should be in full protectional safety gear, helmets and pads and all.
Maybe that will discourage them from wearing Heelys in the first place and stop this incessant non-exercise gliding eyesore.
Of course, that's just my opinion - what's yours?
Crossposted at WritingUp