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January 1987

Escalator Injury in Foreign Countries

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle, WA 98195

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(1):14-15. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460010014011

Sir.—Wells and colleagues1 advised pediatricians to stress to patients the importance of accompanying children on escalators and the importance of wearing hard-soled shoes. My son's experience emphasizes the importance of these recommendations, particularly in foreign countries, where riding on escalators is even more risky. While he was riding a down escalator in East Berlin, the toe of his tennis shoe slipped into the gap between the moving stairs and the stationary sidewall. The gap was larger than in most escalators in the United States, and the toe easily entered this space. Because of the configuration and pliability of the shoe, he was unable to extricate his foot before it got caught in the metal comb plate at the bottom. Eventually, he lost his right toe and function of his forefoot. All of the escalators in the United States we have subsequently examined did not have a gap of

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