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Safety & security

Peloton is fighting demand for recall after video shows child being pulled under treadmill

If you have a Peloton Tread+, you could have a death trap in your home without even knowing it. Since 2018, the popular treadmill has been involved in at least 39 dangerous incidents. Last year, Peloton recalled nearly 30,000 bikes in the U.S. after several clip-on pedals broke.

It’s injured dozens of children in the past three years — and last month, one child even died. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a safety warning about this popular treadmill on Monday: If you have pets or small children at home, turn your machine off ASAP. Since the Peloton Tread+ is high off the ground, a belt mechanism underneath is easy for children to reach, which can suck them under the machinery.

Although the CPSC urged Peloton to recall the $4,300 treadmill, the exercise company dug its heels in and insisted its tech is safe when used properly. Speaking of recalls, if you have a Ford car, SUV or truck, you may need to turn it in for essential repairs. Keep reading for seven essential safety tips to make sure your family uses this exercise equipment safely.

Here’s the backstory

Federal regulators just released a scary video of a toddler playing with a Peloton Tread+. One moment, he’s playing with a ball — the next, he’s trapped under the equipment and sucked underneath. Although he manages to escape at the end of the video, other children weren’t so lucky.

On Feb. 3, a father found his three-year-old son pulseless underneath a Peloton Tread+. He had a neck injury, and tread marks matching the treadmill’s slats marred his back, the CPSC reported. Hospital workers resuscitated the boy, who now has significant brain damage.

Although he’s expected to make a full recovery, a Mar. 18 post on Peloton’s website announced grim news. CEO John Foley said a child died in a Peloton-related accident. He didn’t give any details but added that the company knew of a “small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt.”

Exercise equipment is notoriously dangerous around small children. The U.S. National Institutes of Health revealed that 25,000 children under 10 suffered injuries from exercise equipment. Two years ago, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said 2,000 patients under eight had specific treadmill injuries.

How to safely handle fitness equipment

It might make for funny YouTube videos, but falling off a treadmill is no laughing matter. The Consumer Product Safety Commission received 17 reports of deaths relating to treadmills between 2018 and 2020. One of which was a 5-year-old.

Here’s how to stay safe:

  1. Protect your loved ones – Peloton stresses that children and pets should always be kept away from exercise equipment.
  2. Check your surroundings – Make sure that there is enough clearance between the machine and any walls. There should be at least 2-feet of clearance on either side of the device. There should be 6-feet or more of space behind the treadmill.
  3. Always use the treadmill with the safety key – If you fall off, the removed key will immediately stop the spinning belt.
  4. Begin carefully – When you start your workout, straddle the machine. This way, you won’t get knocked off.
  5. Don’t look down – Some runners occasionally look down at their feet when jogging. It’s incredibly dangerous. You are more likely to lose your balance, so look straight ahead.
  6. Preventive maintenance is key – Keep your machine in perfect working order and do sporadic checks to ensure all nuts and bolts are tight. Only lubricate the parts advised by the manufacturer and use the correct tools.
  7. Safety first – When you finish your exercise, remove the safety key and store it out of reach of children.

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