"In a recent policy change the St Cloud Hospital banned Crocs for all employees. Flip flops, sandals and Open toed Shoes have been banned for some time. The concern raised was open skin exposure to blood-borne pathogens. It seems to make sense that the patients and customers should also take heed of the warning.
I personally have never worn the things. But have seen the rise in their sales across the nation. I'll leave the fashion issues to those far more qualified. For Health issues, Crocs are certified by the U.S. Ergonomics Council and the American Podiatric Medical Association and there has been indications that they are helpful for people with circulation problems due to diabetes. At the same time it does seem that there are safety concerns with them.
Young children have been exposed to dangers when wearing Crocs and taking escalators. The US had 77 escalator trapping incidents in 2006 and the Trade Ministry of Japan received 65 complaints in the last 6 months. The concern was heightened enough that the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry issued a warning about the use of Crocs by children and had meeting with representatives of Crocs.
In issuing the warning the helpful suggestions were made:
•Before riding an escalator, find out where emergency shutoff buttons are in case there is a need to stop the escalator. The buttons are usually at the top and bottom of an escalator and can be used to stop it in case of an emergency.
• To avoid the sides of steps where entrapments usually occur, stand in the middle of the step. Always face forward and hold on to a handrail.
• Step over the comb plate. Always pick up your feet and step carefully on or off the escalator. Never drag or slide your feet off the edge.
• Stay clear of moving parts. Keep your hands, feet and clothing clear of the side panels of the escalator. Remember: Loose shoelaces, rubber boots and baggy clothes can get caught in the moving parts of the escalator. Make sure you have no dangling clothing or loose shoelaces that could get caught.
• Always hold children’s hands on escalators and do not let children sit or play on the steps.
• Do not bring children onto escalators in strollers, walkers or carts.
• Stand upright. Never lean on the side of the escalator, sit on the stairs or ride on handrails.
• Exit promptly from the escalator. Never stop, stand or play at the landing, as doing so can cause a dangerous pile-up of riders." (Continued via InjuryBoard St. Cloud) [Ergonomics Resources]