A mother has issued a strong warning to parents shopping for summertime footwear for their kids.
Felicia Marie Hillman of Houston, Texas took to Facebook after her daughter, Rosie, developed severe blisters from a pair of jelly sandals purchased from Walmart.
In a Facebook post, Hillman shared graphic photos of the shocking injuries Rosie sustained after just one day of sporting the sandals.
“A few weeks ago I bought Rosie those jelly sandals from Walmart and this is what we have been dealing with since then,” Hillman wrote. “After one day in them she came home from daycare with blisters. ONLY ONE DAY SHE WAS IN THEM. The last picture is today after we spent last night in the emergency room. We have spent other nights in urgent care and the ER.”
Jelly shoes, which were popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s, have recently regained popularity as a colourful footwear option for both women and children.
The main criticism? The shoes, which are made from PVC plastic in a wide variety of playful colours and infused with glitter, also tend to become increasingly uncomfortable warmer temperatures, when feet begin to sweat. Although designed in a wicker-like pattern to provide airflow, the friction between the shoe and the foot can cause blisters - or in the case of Hillman’s daughter, severe burns.
“After countless antibiotics and creams finally we have some relief,” Hillman said of her daughter’s feet. “Thank god this steroid cream is working. My poor Rosie girl has been a trooper. From blisters to horrific skin peeling and bleeding - thank god no infections have ever come into play.”
Hillman’s post, which has been shared more than 120,000 times on Facebook, isn’t the first warning against jelly shoes to make headlines.
In 2017 Kelly Pruitt of Maryville, Tenn. took to Facebook after blood tests from her then 10-month-old granddaughter revealed higher than normal levels of lead. Pruitt writes that healthcare professionals advised her not to let her granddaughter wear jelly shoes, as there have been similar reports that they contained unsafe levels of lead.
With nearly a million shares to-date, the post set off a fire-storm of debate. Although several experts refuted claims that wearing jelly shoes would pose a serious harm to children, Walmart issued their own statement regarding the controversy.
“Walmart takes product safety seriously. all products in question were tested before being placed on our shelves, and we initiated over 200 additional tests in the past month to further confirm the safety of the shoes,” the 2017 statement read. “All tests once again have shown these shoes are safe and meet applicable standards.”
Yahoo Canada has reached out to Walmart for comment, but has yet to receive a statement.
For now, Hillman is focusing on spreading awareness of the dangers of jelly shoes, and focusing on her daughter’s recovery.
“Still a long way to go,” she said. “We have to see a plastic surgeon to make sure she won’t need skin grafts to make up for the skin she lost.”