A mother whose toddler suffered second-degree burns on his feet claims the injuries were caused by the batteries that power the lights in his Skechers Light Up training shoes.
Sherry Foster described her son Peyton’s burn injuries in a public Facebook post on June 26. “Peyton has 2nd degree chemical burns from his sketcher lightable shoes. Apparently when they get wet the batteries release a chemical causing children’s feet to burn,” she said in the post, thanking her son’s doctor for treating his injuries on a busy day.
The post quickly went viral, with more than half a million Facebook users, many of whom are concerned parents, sharing the public post.
At least one parent said that they had several pairs of light-up children’s shoes but never had any issues with them, even after putting them through the washing machine.
In a statement about the Facebook post, Skechers said that it immediately contacted Ms. Foster after learning of the post on June 29. The manufacturer requested that she send the shoes so that the company could investigate and determine if the shoe batteries had malfunctioned and caused her son’s burn injuries.
“Ms. Foster has agreed to send us the shoes, and we will continue our investigation. Despite the lack of any other similar reported incidents, we are taking this complaint very seriously and giving it the highest priority,” Skechers said in a statement.
The incident resembles a previous case reported by KHOU of Houston, Texas, in 2016, involving parents who said their child’s light-up shoes caused a fire in their SUV. The child was not wearing the “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” Disney sneakers at the time and there were no injuries, but the extent of the damage and the potential for serious injury rattled the Virag family.
The fire in the backseat burned a hole through the floor of the vehicle and melted the passenger seat. The Virags reported the incident to the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, which investigated. “There just wasn’t anything in there to start a fire,” she said, according to KHOU. “Only shoes and clothes.”
According to KHOU, half of one of the shoes was burned away, leaving only a burned shoe with a charred battery and wiring exposed.
Lithium-ion batteries are used to power a multitude of consumer products, including children’s light-up shoes. Though highly effective, the batteries can release a tremendous amount of heat if damaged or somehow flawed in the manufacturing process, potentially casing fires and burns.
Although cases of fires and burns involving children’s light-up shoes appear to be rare, parents may nevertheless want to keep a close eye on the shoes and check them periodically for signs of heat or melting.