The Dangers of Flip Flops

By Neil Bekker

Flip flops, the standard beachwear, are now the hottest form of footwear worn throughout the long hot summer days. They may be stylish, comfortable and cool, but wearing them all the time is a recipe for foot pain.

Since they offer no arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) they should not be used for extensive walking or for playing sports. Wearers can suffer foot pain, tendinitis, and even sprained ankles if they trip, and are also at greater risk for stubbed toes, glass cuts, puncture wounds, or having a heavy object smash their foot due to their exposed toes.

People with diabetes should choose their footwear with care since any foot injury can become serious, even leading to amputation. They should be vigilant to have a protective covering on their toes and they should stay away from flip-flops and sandals.

Orthopedic surgeons  have treated many people who ran or jumped in flip-flops and suffered sprained ankles, fractures, and severe ligament injuries that required surgery. If you use your flip-flops to play Frisbee or backyard football you’re asking for trouble.

Insect and snake bites are another danger. Emergency room physicians on both sides of the country report seeing adults and children with snake bites to the feet while wearing flip-flops or sandals.

Flip flops are also a driving hazard. If they are loose enough to pop off your feet, you’re in trouble since they get stuck under the brake and gas pedal.

One more thing, when you do wear them – don’t forget to smear sunscreen on your exposed toes.

29. July 2008 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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