OBJECTIVES. Our goals were to highlight an increasing trend in orthopedic injuries in children as a result of “heeling” or “street gliding,” to describe injuries sustained by children using Heelys (HSL, Carrollton, TX) and Street Gliders (Glowgadgets Ltd, Bristol, United Kingdom), and to increase public awareness and prevent such injuries.

PATIENTS AND METHODS. We prospectively recorded the data of all roller shoes injuries referred to our department during the summer school holiday. Using a data-collection sheet, we recorded demographic data, type of injury, mechanism and place of injury, heeling or street-gliding experience, use of safety equipment, methods of treatment, and intention to continue heeling or street gliding after recovery from injury.

RESULTS. Over a 10-week period, 67 children suffered orthopedic injuries while using Heelys or Street Gliders. There were 56 girls and 11 boys with a mean age of 9.6 years. Upper limbs were the most common location of injury. Distal radius fractures were the most prevalent, followed by supracondylar fractures, elbow dislocations, and hand fractures. The majority of children suffered the injury while heeling or street gliding outdoors. Interestingly, 20% of the injuries happened while trying Heelys or Street Gliders for the first time, and 36% of the injuries occurred while learning (using 1–5 times) how to use them. None of the children used any sort of protective gear at the time of the injury. The majority of the injured children expressed their intention to continue heeling or street gliding after complete recovery from their injury.

CONCLUSIONS. Our study shows that the majority of children with injuries from heeling or street gliding are girls. We recommend close supervision of children using Heelys or Street Gliders during the steep learning curve and usage of protective gear at all times. These new types of injuries have a serious impact on child health and constitute a burden for the pediatric orthopedic service.

You do not currently have access to this content.