Child on treadmill

Treadmill Tragedy: Why over 2,000 children have been injured by at-home treadmills this year

The defect in treadmills that every parent should know about

When COVID-19 broke out across the United States in March 2020, a new trend emerged. Tens of thousands of people cancelled their gym memberships and began working out at home. As a result, treadmill sales skyrocketed. But a secondary trend also appeared: children are being injured by home treadmills at an alarming rate.

Over the past year, more than 2,000 children under the age of eight have been seriously injured by treadmills, with one six-year-old tragically losing her life from a defect in the popular Peloton treadmill—which is now under recall. In this article, we provide parents with the information needed to help keep your kids safe around at-home fitness equipment.

Recall alert! Peloton Tread+ now under recall

After one child died, one suffered a significant brain injury, and many other children were injured, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning people with children and pets to immediately cease use of Peloton’s Tread + treadmill.

According to reports, a toddler “was trapped under a Peloton Tread+, 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 belt on the Tread+ has slots all the way around to help the belt bend. The treadmill sits high off the ground and there is no guard at the rear of the treadmill. Thus, the belt (and slots) are exposed and can grab onto items and pull them under the machine.

Peloton Tread+ incidents can be reported at SaferProducts.gov or to CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772.


Tips to help keep your children safe around home treadmills

  • Do not let children on a moving treadmill – it is easy for them to fall and get concussions or burn injuries.
  • Never leave a running treadmill unattended. If possible, restrict children’s access to the treadmill by locking that room or putting a gate up.
  • Always face a treadmill towards the room entrance so the runner or walker can see if any children enter or leave the room.
  • If possible, set a security code on the treadmill so that children are not able to start the machine on their own.
  • Keep treadmill cords tidy and in an area young children cannot access to avoid any chance of choking or strangulation on them.
  • Keep a safety key on hand when running, most treadmills have some form of stopping the machine immediately with a key or a button. When done with use, store the safety key in an area that children cannot reach since this key is usually necessary for starting the treadmill.

What to do if you or your child is injured by home fitness equipment

First and foremost, seek medical attention. Even if there are no visible signs of injury, you or your child may have sustained a concussion, internal bleeding, or other serious injuries. Then, contact our experienced Treasure Coast personal injury attorneys immediately. At-home fitness equipment manufacturers, such as Peloton, Precor, and NordicTrack, are legally obligated to create and sell machines that are safe to use. If your injuries or your child’s injuries were caused by a defect or hazard in the machine, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and other expenses.

The only way to know for sure if you have a personal injury case is to speak with our experienced Treasure Coast personal injury attorneys. We can either speak with you over the phone or meet in person at one of our four Treasure Coast offices in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, or Okeechobee.

Call 866-930-6435 now for a free consultation


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