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Health & Parenting

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Kids and Crocs Shoes: Trendy or Risky?

Crocs shoes are all the rage, especially among kids. But are Crocs a safe footwear choice for school?

Crocs Shoes in the Summer continued...

"My kids wear Crocs all summer long," says Ornstein. "Instead of having to tell them to tie the laces on their sneakers and worrying about them tripping over untied shoes, Crocs are convenient and they like them -- they're cool."

Fashion aside, when the days start to get shorter and the backpacks come out, some experts say it's time to rethink your kids' Crocs in favor of some tried but true choices.

The manufacturer of Crocs was contacted for comment, but didn't respond.

Crocs at School

Crocs shoes were created for boating in warm weather, and maybe that's for a reason.

"I generally like Crocs for kids for their convenience factor in the summer," says Russell G. Volpe, DPM, a professor of orthopaedics and pediatrics at N.Y. College of Podiatric Medicine. "They make a great beach and pool shoe -- easy on and easy off."

But school is another matter, explains Volpe, with too many physical activities that make kids' Crocs a risky choice.

"I start to have concerns when a child is doing any sort of moderate physical activity," Volpe tells WebMD. "Crocs provide little support and they can easily slip off during recess, gym, or any other activity beyond walking."

Alfieri also is concerned about the risks from wearing Crocs from the morning bell to when school lets out in the afternoon. "Crocs are not the kind of shoe that should be worn all day long," she says. "This is when they cause a danger because they can fall off as kids engage in the activities of the school day."

The Thomson Elementary School principal in Andover, Mass., agrees, having enacted a Crocs ban, along with a ban on flip-flops and sandals, on school premises for both playground safety reasons as well as a precaution in case of a fire emergency.

Short of a Crocs ban at your child's school, parents and kids need to be smart about when Crocs can be worn safely and when sneakers are required, experts say.

"Other than allowing kids to wear Crocs as they walk to and from class, they should be replaced with sneakers," says Volpe.

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