One of the most popular activities/ among children/ in the United States/ this summer/ involves a costly pair of shoes. But adults/ are warning/ about the possible dangers/ of the shoes/ with wheels/ known as Heelys.
Heelys are shoes/ that can roll. They are sports shoes/ with a wheel/ in the heel. The wheels/ can be easily removed/ from the shoes. So a person/ wearing them/ can either walk/ or ride! Heelys/ are sold/ in at least fifty countries/ around the world. They cost/ between fifty and one hundred dollars. They were first sold/ in the United States/ in two thousand.
Heelys Incorporated/ is one of the fastest growing businesses/ in the United States. Reports say/ the company/ has produced more than ten million pairs of shoes. And it had almost two hundred million dollars/ in sales/ last year.
Roger Adams/ invented Heelys/ because he wanted to be able to roller skate/ without changing his shoes. He invented a shoe/ that could roll/ if the wearer/ moved the weight/ of his body/ toward the back.
Doctors, however, say/ wearing Heelys/ can be dangerous. One doctor/ told a newspaper/ in the state of Iowa/ that the shoes/ would be safer/ if the wheels/ were in the front of the shoe/ instead of the back. He said/ a person’s natural balance/ is to the front of the foot, not the back.
One medical study/ last month/ in the journal Pediatrics/ warned of the possible dangers/ of wearing Heelys. It said/ doctors/ at a hospital/ in Dublin, Ireland/ reported treating sixty-seven children/ for injuries/ over a ten-week period/ last summer.
Doctors/ in Singapore/ reported/ that thirty-seven children/ were treated/ for injuries/ during seven months/ in two thousand four. Most of the injuries/ reported/ involved broken hands, arms and ankles/ and cracked heads. The children/ were not wearing any kind of protective equipment/ when they fell.
The Heelys company/ recently released the result of a study/ it had requested. The study found/ that rolling on Heelys/ is safer than roller skating, skateboarding/ or riding scooters.
Still, the company and many doctors suggest/ that children/ wear protective equipment/ on their heads, arms and legs. But children say/ they do not like to do this. Many say/ they expect to fall/ while learning to use Heelys/ and they just get up/ and try again.