One of my Grandmothers was the type to promote fear in children by telling them worst-case-scenario stories about children getting hurt on electronic coin-operated rides, escalators, etc. My mother passed down some of these stories half-heartedly, slightly giggling as she’d say, “Oh, this is what my Mom would say….[insert crazy story here].”

Since my grandmother was the queen of clipping odd articles out of newspapers and committing them to heart, I figured there must be some truth to some of the stories.

My grandmother’s story about escalators was more along the line of saying she heard of a child’s stomach being sucked into the bottom step of an escalator…so I’m always sure that my kids are nowhere near that induction spot when they jump off!

And indeed…on our way to Vietnam for our two-week Christmas vacation, a run-in with the escalator made me realize that there is a reason to have a healthy fear of escalators!

This time I was holding Ethan’s hand, and took that last step off the escalator. He did not come with me. Jared yelled, and I turned around to realize that Ethan’s foot was STUCK IN the escalator. STUCK!  At this point the escalator had already come to a halt, but I wasn’t sure if it that was only because his shoe’s toe was wedged, and perhaps it was still putting pressure on his foot. I quickly loosened the velcro on his shoe and whisked his poor toes out as soon as I could…relieved that I didn’t see any blood on his socks. I took off his sock and found no evidence of skin breakage or trauma!

Hallelujah!  I then pulled the shoe out, which took quite a bit of force. This photo was taken after the fact, simply to show you WHERE the shoe got caught (right where the last step came down flat…right in the corner)…although it was sticking out at a 45 degree angle when it got stuck!1-PC197086

His shoe has seen better days!  I’m so grateful this did not happen in an open-toe shoe!


So, while I’ve always laughed at my grandmother’s crazy warnings…perhaps there is a little truth in them, and it doesn’t hurt to be cautious with a few gigantic pieces of equipment that we usually wouldn’t think twice about!

7 Responses to “The Escalator almost ate my Son”

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I thought it was one of Don’s kids that had their stomach sucked out, not even a Meme story but an authentic mom story. Mom…any comments?

    • No way–I had no idea! But really, ANY Soft shoe could be a “risk.” It seems unfair to point at Crocs specifically, and say they should shut down their production or have better ways of warning customers (better than writing it on their tags?!). I’m thankful he was wearing tennis shoes with a fairly firm toe. Really, the fault is not in the shoes…but the escalator design. It just goes to show that kids should ride in the CENTER of an escalator, and be watched carefully!! Okay…adults, too. Thanks for sharing, Michele!

  2. I’m once again reminded that there is a reason for jumping over that last part! I have a fear of getting sucked in from that story we heard as kids!

  3. my brother’s shoe got sucked thru the gap of the step and wall. he was letting his foot slide along the wall and next thing you know he’s screaming. my mom started pulling him, then i pulled her and we all fell when we got to the bottom – jumping to our feet for fear of being sucked in again! it shredded his shoe, but luckily he curled his toes and had no injuries. 20+yrs ago and it still feels like it was yesterday.

    • That’s terrifying, Nikki! I now understand why they have those yellow warning strips painted on the outer part of the escalator and on the ends and insides of each step. It definitely has given me a healthy fear of carefully placing my feet on that! So glad that your brother’s toes weren’t hurt! Wowzers!


  1. Our Christmas in Saigon | Living Outside of the Box - [...] got a new shirt, much-needed shoes (since his others were eaten in the escalator), and a bilingual Vietnamese picture…

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