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Business & Media Institute


5/26/2006 10:09:27 PM

Updated 05/24/06
 


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CBS Rolls Out a Tough Look at Skating Sneakers
‘The Early Show’ glides around parental responsibility in look at Heelys.

By Ken Shepherd
Business & Media Institute
March 3, 2006

Send this page to a friend! (click here)     PARENTS BEWARE: If your kids wear roller skates, they may fall and hurt themselves, and you might not be able to sue! That was essentially the alarmist news flash “CBS Early Show” correspondent Mika Brzezinski gave with viewers of the March 3 program.

Brzezinski began by sharing with co-host Hannah Storm that she was inspired to do her story on Heelys – a brand of sneakers for children with a removable roller skate wheel in the heel – because her children have been begging her for a while to buy them some.

After noting that schools and malls often ban children from wearing them out of safety concerns, Brzezinski showed a doctor predicting an alarming rise in childhood injuries. “If sales are booming, we will see more injuries in our emergency departments,” Dr. Steven Krug, a pediatrician, warned the CBS reporter, adding “The injury that we fear the most are head injuries.”

Brzezinski then jumped at the chance to toss in the requisite clueless victim who seemed surprised that children on roller skates might fall down, Valerie Poston of San Diego, California. “It just didn't dawn on me they were so dangerous,” said Poston, whose daughter suffered a concussion from a fall while using Heelys without a helmet. Many parents like Poston, Brzezinski insisted, are duped into thinking Heelys are safer than roller skates because they are sold in shoe stores, not just sporting goods outlets.

At the very end of her report back in studio with Storm, Brzezinski showed how the sole of every Heely shoe is stickered with a yellow warning label. “You peel it off, you can’t sue them,” she lamented. The CBS reporter also complained that she hasn’t “seen one kid” ever wear a helmet and kneepads when using Heelys, even though her report featured video of children hired by the company for “Team Heely” to demonstrate proper safety precautions and skating technique for kids in malls and sporting goods stores across the country.

While Brzezinski didn’t lobby for government regulation, she relayed to viewers that Heelys were one purchase her kids couldn’t skate past her. “I can tell you these shoes are definitely not for one of my kids and I won't name her.”

Last November the Business & Media Institute documented how Brzezinski blamed fast food, not a lack of personal responsibility, for the growing problem of obesity in America.

 


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