Skip to Content
© Nejron | Dreamstime.com
Tech tips

Child dies in tragic treadmill accident – 7 important safety tips

The pandemic has moved much of our workouts from the gym to our homes. There are many devices to choose from, with Peloton’s fitness bikes a popular option. So much so that they’re hard to find new. Tap or click here for tips and tricks for buying a used Peloton bike.

The fitness equipment is marketed for those older than 16, and extreme caution should always be taken when using it. But tragically, we found out this week that a child died in an accident involving Peloton’s Tread+ treadmill.

Circumstances surrounding the death are still unknown while Peloton investigates, but it has once again highlighted the dangers of exercise equipment. Keep reading for essential safety tips when dealing with fitness equipment.

Here’s the backstory

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 specifically treadmill injuries.

Last year Peloton recalled nearly 30,000 bikes in the U.S. after several clip-on pedals broke. Sadly, this week’s death isn’t the only injury involving Peloton.

“While we are aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt, each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved,” CEO John Foley wrote in a letter to Tread+ owners.

In another incident earlier this year, a 3-year-old became trapped under a Tread+, leaving the child with severe burn marks and a significant brain injury.

“Three-year-old boy was trapped under a Peloton Tread Plus, found by his father to be not breathing and pulseless — he was resuscitated and now has a significant brain injury. He was found to have tread marks on his back matching the slats of the treadmill, neck injury, and petechiae on his face, presumably from occlusion of blood flow,” the official incident report details.

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. Peloton stresses that children and pets should always be kept away from exercise equipment.
  2. Check your surroundings, and 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 do fall off, the removed key will stop the spinning belt immediately.
  4. When you start your workout, straddle the machine so that you don’t get knocked off.
  5. 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. 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. When you finish your exercise, remove the safety key and store it out of reach of children.

Keep reading

3 ways to find a vaccination site near you

Recall alert: Check your home for these dangerous products

Stop robocalls for good with Kim’s eBook

Robocalls interrupt us constantly and scam Americans out of millions of dollars every year. Learn Kim's best tricks for stopping annoying robocalls in this handy guide.

Get the eBook