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My Toddler Broke His Foot Wearing Flip-Flops

It’s a good thing flip-flop season is over.

Our season ended a little earlier than some of you who may even still be sporting this particular piece of footwear. One member of our family has been placed on flip-flop probation until a to-be-determined future date.

A few weeks ago, we had a day filled with birthday parties. My husband was working, so it was just me and our two kiddos. We were a traveling birthday party train. At 5pm when we had eaten our last piece of cake and my tired, tattooed, goodie bag clutching children walked to the car we noticed the beautiful field in front of our car. When my four year old asked if they could run on it, I told her to go for it. It was gorgeous, empty, perfectly manicured and we were looking at a one hour drive home. Might as well get the wiggles out!

Here they are frolicking, or at least she is frolicking…I actually captured him breaking his foot on camera.  He’s the ball in pain on the right.

Boy, did he freak out. Unfortunately, “I think I broke my foot” hasn’t quite made it into his limited two year old vocabulary quite yet. So he screamed and screamed and wildly screamed, and I thought that he had just about had the longest day of his life, missed his nap, had consumed way too much juice, it was almost dinner time, and let’s just get out of here.

I quieted him down and strapped them in the car and off we went. We ate dinner, they took baths, and I put them in bed. And boy, did he freak out. He screamed and fussed and threw down.  Not totally unusual for our little bedtime prince, so I thought that maybe those two year molars were really hatching their way through his gums.  He still didn’t mention that his foot was broken.

Two days went by. We went to a water park.  I wondered why he was so crabby. I took him shoe shopping. I wondered why he fought back when they tried to grab his foot to measure it. I even wondered when we tried on the shoes why one shoe seemed so much tighter than the other. I thought maybe they were the wrong size.

We had dinner with my parents and they commented that they thought he looked like he was walking a little strangely. Perhaps I’ve been staring at my wobbly toddler for too long, because his sometimes intoxicated style of walking didn’t look off to me. But as he continued to waddle around, it did start to look like he was favoring the edge of his foot. And when I grabbed his puffy little toddler feet and noticed that one did seem definitely a little more fluffy than usual, I thought he should go into the doctor. The next day. Because it still hadn’t occurred to me that he broke his foot. Maybe a bee sting?

Well, we did go to the doctor the next day, and we left with a new accessory.

Boy, did I blow it. Even though my pediatrician promised me that I wasn’t the FIRST mom he had seen who had missed something like this for a few days, I feel terrible. Nothing like your mom taking you shoe shopping with a freshly broken foot. Or to a water park!

The nurse, our pediatrician, the x-ray technician and the pediatric orthopedist all asked me what happened and when I told them that he tripped running in flip-flops (which just to be clear did have a back strap), they all looked at me like every other patient they saw was in there for a flip-flop catastrophe.

Who knew? So I googled “Flip Flop Accident” and learned all about how studies have shown that flip flops cause 1.4 million traffic accidents per year and are considered “deadly” to drive in. They provide no support and cause chronic foot and ankle pain from falls, back injuries and escalator mishaps. And apparently, they’re also a magnet for bacteria.

Don’t do it. My family is going to be talking about this for years. Don’t risk the bacteria and car accident potential. Ditch the flip flops.

DANGER!

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Comments (5)

  1. Jeri 10/05/2013 at 8:11 am

    And I broke my foot walking in a pair of tennis shoes. I trip over my own feet. Should I give up shoes all together? Look, it was an accident. Stop beating yourself up because this will not be that last time something happens that you miss. You can say no to flip flops because of one accident (they are just plain ugly with no support is a better reason) or better yet, say no to the Mommy Guilt. I say this as a mom who has been there/done that….

  2. KatieQ 09/30/2013 at 7:01 pm

    Flip flops aren’t the only footwear villains when it comes to children’s shoes. When I was a nursery school teacher, we had to ban crocs from school because so many young children have injuries from wearing them.
    He looks happy and healthy and you are obviously a good mom. This will be one of stories he reminds you of when he is a teenager. No harm, no foul.

  3. Anastasia @ eco-babyz 09/27/2013 at 1:02 pm

    You know, toddlers can trip in almost any shoe, but I agree flip flops are more dangerous. That’s why we’ve never bought any.

  4. Rachael Herrscher 09/27/2013 at 10:32 am

    Duuuuuude. Flips are my favorite! So bummed at all the bad stats. But seriously – my kids need to stop wearing them to school. I’m surprised we haven’t had an injury at recess yet. :…(

  5. Melanie Johnson 09/27/2013 at 10:00 am

    I cringed when I read the “shoe shopping” part knowing the outcome of the story. It happens, Mama! Don’t beat yourself up.

    My daughter broke her leg at 1.5, right above the ankle. I didn’t realize at first but she made quite a fuss until I took her in later that night. Did I mention it was during a blizzard? I had to shovel six feet of snow outside my door and all the way to the parking lot before I could take her in (and her twin and my other three small children). We came back with a hot pink cast.

    I didn’t know the adult dangers, like driving. I am not sure I would know how to drive in anything else, lol.