Rollerskating in a china shop accidentally on purpose
A sign reading "Absolutely No Heeleys" on the door of the Big Lots store in Dunmore, Pennsylvania
For those who haven't been slammed into by a kid on "Heelys" yet, and haven't learned about what they are... They're half rollerskate half sneaker shoes, a fashion trend, where kids wearing them can roll around everywhere on wheels in their heels. They look like shoes, so you may have no warning that the kid is going to start wheeling about around you.
I noticed the huge blatant sign on the door of the Big Lots store today, prohibiting heelys, and I'm actually surprised a sign like this isn't hung in more places. Like the grocery store, for example.
They're not just dangerous for reckless kids wearing them, but anyone around them. Nothing like awkward uncoordinated pre-teens with burgeoning hormones, hopped up on soda, or heaven knows what, rolling haphazardly around shopping carts, store displays, & elderly women.
I suppose the sign on the Big Lots store is an indication that they've had an incident there involving 'heelys', if you subscribe to "It must've happened once".
The most assinine place I've seen kids on 'heelys' was a few months ago, when some little girls from a church group were at the Just Paint It ceramic pottery painting studio in Clarks Summit, PA, scooting around in the small room between the painting tables. Yep, not only was one girl whizzing around people trying to paint breakable items, but the girl let her friend try them on for the first time, and they probably weren't even her correct size. There were a couple of falls, naturally, and it was just dumb luck nothing was broken, be it bone or ceramic.
I don't get this, I really don't. I would think it should be obvious that rollerskating, without protective gear, in a confined area full of moving obstacles, would involve risk. And it is rollerskating. The shoes have wheels and the kid wearing them is rolling. Furthermore, I find shopping malls to be somewhat hazardous in sturdy sensible orthopedic shoes. You really ought to have combat boots during the holiday season.
Beyond the dangers of physical injury to themselves & others because of mishaps... I wonder about the orthopedics of these shoes.
I took figure skating lessons in the past, and my sister Marie is an amateur adult competition figure skater, so I know very well that there are proper postures and positions for ice skating on figure skates. Those positions, I believe, apply also to ice hockey skates, rollerskates, rollerblades, inline skates, etc. And unlike ice skates & rollerskates, 'heelys' only have wheels in the heel, which would make it impossible to roll in proper form.
So I can't help thinking that frequently wheeling around on heels would constantly force a growing body into odd postures, and might have some detrimental effect on the physiology somehow.
I'm not trying to single out 'heelys' as uniquely dangerous or bad, or more detrimental than drug addiction, or anything crazy like that.
According to my physical therapist friend, ideally, we should all be wearing orthopedic shoes regularly. So of course things running around on pavement & tile all day on high heels is bad for your body, and the sport of ice skating can be risky. But in the proper setting, in sensible circumstances, or in moderation, those detriments can be mitigated.
What makes 'heelys' unique is that they're specifically designed, made, and marketed for kids to slyly wear wheels when & where they shouldn't be rollerskating.
But mostly, I just find it bloody annoying to have to dodge these kids for my own safety. It's bad enough when unsupervised children accidentally ram shopping carts into me at the grocery store. Call me stodgy, but I just don't see the point to adding unnecessary hazards to shopping, what's to me, an already annoying errand.
Wow, you're updating again!
When I was in PA I saw a similar sign at the new, big Salvation Army store by the mall in W-B. I agree with your points, but also I wonder, do they make 'em in adult sizes? I want some! ;)
Posted by Alison | Saturday 05 May 2007 3:19AM
Yes, I do think they come in adult sizes.
In my opinion, they should only come in adult sizes, and people should have to take a stupidity test to get a license to wear them. haha!
Posted by Chloe | Saturday 05 May 2007 9:36AM
I think Ollie's has one of those signs, as well. Those kids, zipping around like hellcats. what's this world coming to!
Seriously, a little fast and reckless in the wrong places.
Posted by OtherMichael | Sunday 06 May 2007 7:11PM
haha! Hellcats! :D
Maybe I am "showing my age". haha.
But that's my point... in the wrong places. The shoes are marketed specifically for kids to wear them in the wrong places.
Their slogan is "Freedom is a wheel in your sole".
Of course, I blame the parents who aren't supervising their children in the grocery store.
I haven't been to Ollies in awhile.
I must say, when I first read that there was one at Ollies, I immediately thought of Ollies Restaurant in Edwardsville. haha.
The thought of 'heelys' in either establishment is pretty scary. haha.
Posted by Chloe | Sunday 06 May 2007 9:18PM
Isn't it wonderful that the latest fad for kids is something designed to reduce their level of physical activity? It's not like roller skates, which kids might put on to engage in activity that they would otherwise not engage in, but these things are designed as a substitute for walking.
Then again, Segways are intended as a substitute for walking, too. Those haven't caught on like some people thought they would, though...We'll see how soon this fad passes. A few lawsuits against the manufacturer by parents whose children are tragically injured by, say, rolling into the path of oncoming vehicles , or rolling right down an escalator, should do the trick. (Of course, the drivers and/or facilities that own the escalators would get sued, too.)
Posted by Harold | Tuesday 08 May 2007 1:50PM
Right, they're not intended for sport, they're a fashion statement. Kind of like Hacky Sacks were a fashion statement at one time. Jumping rope went out of fashion, and then there was those around the ankle jump ropes. Then hacky sacks.
Except heely shoes are more toward the fashion end of things. "Look cool wheeling around."
I think this accounts for the difference between 'heelys' and Segway scooters. Segway scooters are the ultimate in practicality, both in form & function. I don't think there's any fashion to them at all. It's recommended to wear protective gear, first off. And it's not meant to look cool wheeling around. It was designed and marketed deliberately toward people who walk a great deal more than the average person (those living in cities), or those who can't walk as much as the average person (those with physical limitations), but don't necessarily need a medical scooter or a motorized wheelchair.
There have already been numerous accidents with kids wearing heelys. The concussion at the shopping mall in the linked article is just one of many. I heard of an accident on stairs in a school somewhere in NEPA within the past 2 years. There was at least one boy knocked down by a car while wheeling across the street outside his house in Britain, and he wound up in hospital with permanent brain injuries.
This is why I'm actually shocked that more stores haven't posted signs like this. I think more heelys accidents will lead to more signs posted. So that business/shop owners are not responsible for accidents that happen on their premesis because of heelys.
I think it will be revealed to people that heelys are no different than rollerskates when it comes to culpability under the law. Sort of like how employers are not responsible to pay workman's compensation to employees injured while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if they're not wearing the proper provided safety gear.
I know if I owned a business, I would prohibit heelys on the premisis!
Your mention of "elderly women" is right. I think it is hugely disrespectful for kids to be allowed to skate around stores where senior citizens are, not to mention every other adult and mature minded person. A fall for a child can mean a bruised ego and behind but for our older citizens, it can be a life altering and even life threatening injury. What it comes down to is courtesy; parents have to teach their children right behavior from wrong and THEY, not immature kids, have to say no to this practice.
Posted by Georjean | Sunday 10 June 2007 12:22PM
I was at the Viewmont Mall in Dickson City last week, and saw 3 boys, accompanied by their parents, zooming along on the wheeled shoes.
And then the one boy started walking, and he had to walk all funny. He kind of reminded me of Nathan Lane in The Birdcage actually, which was kind of strange. That can't be good for someone to have to walk all awkward like that.
And don't even get me started about how they had gone past an elderly woman with a cane in one hand and another person assisting her.
Point being, yes, they were with 2 adults, presumably the parents. So it's not like it wasn't sanctioned by them. And it's not like we should expect children to behave well on their own. (I mean if children were capable of good judgement, etc., they could just move out on their own at the age of 8.) So I do blame the parents.
Posted by Chloe | Sunday 01 July 2007 3:19PM
I was injured by a pair of Heelys when I tried to remove the wheel using the "wheel removal tool". The wheel shot out of the wheel well and struck me in the eye. A very traumatic couple of days while I waited for my vision to return in the injured eye. Has anyone else experienced something like this?
Posted by Kate G | Wednesday 19 September 2007 12:34PM
Wow, that's awful! Glad your vision did return though!
I haven't heard of this one before, but chances are, you're not the only one, Kate.
Comment Avatar icons by Gravatar.
E-mail addresses are required, but not displayed nor shared.
Please post comments relevant to this page only. For off-topic comments, questions, and discussion, please use this site's Message Board Forum. All comments posted that are spam, abusive, use phoney e-mail, or that do not relate directly to the page, will be removed.
Thank you for respecting this site, author & readers, and for helping stem the flow of ridiculously inaccurate hits from search engines.
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexeplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. --The Book in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"