The CEO of Peloton, John Foley, published a letter on the company’s website regarding the recent death of a child in a home gym accident caused by the company’s popular Tread+ treadmill. Foley addressed the incident that involved a child who, sadly, passed away following a Peloton treadmill accident. Out of respect to the family, details of the accident have not been released. As of right now, the exact cause of death and the age of the child remain unknown.
In his letter, Foley stated that there have been a handful of other Peloton treadmill accidents involving small children. He went on to mention that Peloton designs and builds all of its products with the idea of safety first. However, when it comes to home gym equipment, the majority of the responsibility typically falls to parents to ensure their children aren’t injured. Peloton has publicly advised that children and pets are kept away from Peloton exercise equipment at all times. While exercise machines typically don’t present any sort of imminent danger to adults they can be treacherous for children who are smaller, lighter weight and do not understand or know how to work the equipment safely.
Home Gyms and The Danger They Present to Children
Sadly, the child that suffered a tragic death because of the Peloton Tread+ treadmill is the first of many victims who have succumbed to the dangers of home exercise equipment. To children, the equipment often represents a game or is understandably intriguing, but they can’t comprehend the dangers of heavy machinery or moving parts. Many parents often don’t realize the risk that such equipment can present to their child, especially much younger children, and thus leave their kids unattended around the equipment.
In 2018, a 5-year-old boy from Pennsylvania was killed in a tragic treadmill accident. Officials reported that he was somehow trapped by the treadmill while it was running, which caused fatal injuries to his neck. In 2009, world-famous boxer Mike Tyson’s daughter became another victim of a tragic treadmill accident when she became entangled in the treadmill cord and was unable to free herself, leading to her death. Additionally, children frequently suffer less severe but still concerning injuries from home gym equipment, such as friction burns and falls. To prevent these incidents from occurring, there are several safety precautions that those who own home gym equipment and have younger children should adhere to in order to prevent injury or, as in this case, death.
In the United States, there are approximately 8,700 child injuries annually involving home gym equipment. Exercise equipment isn’t just treacherous for toddlers or very young kids, it also presents a danger for older children, who may jump on to equipment for fun without knowing how to use it properly. Children that fall between the ages of 10 and 18 are the most likely to experience an injury due to improper use of exercise equipment. Younger children, however, can more easily sustain injuries that occur due to touching moving parts of the equipment or falling onto the equipment while it is running.
Exercise equipment is particularly threatening to children because they often see it as something fun to play with or because the equipment looks enticing. However, equipment such as treadmills, stationary bikes, or weight lifting racks are not a game, and that parents should undergo extreme due diligence when it comes to keeping children away from home gyms.
How to Protect Your Child from a Home Gym Accident
Parents should expressly inform children that exercise equipment is not a toy and should not be played with, and they should discourage children from jumping on equipment or seeing it as a fun activity or pastime. For older children who may be capable of operating the equipment, parents or caregivers should take the time to teach them how to do so properly. Older children may be perfectly capable of understanding how to use home gym items such as a treadmill, but should be taught how to do so correctly and should never be left unattended during use. Furthermore, it should be noted that many home gym machines such as treadmills have a minimum weight limit for safe operation. If an older child does not meet the minimum weight for a particular piece of equipment, they should not be allowed to use it.
Here are a few more safety tips to help keep home gyms a safe place for children and avoid serious injury or even death:
- Keep exercise equipment out of the middle of the room or away from areas where children play. If you move, for example, your stationary bike for a workout, move it back up against a wall to help avoid the chance that a child will trip, fall, and bang their head or otherwise hurt themselves by colliding with the equipment accidentally.
- Teach older children to use safety clips when using machines such as treadmills. The majority of exercise equipment accidents are entirely preventable and are usually treadmill-related injuries that involve an individual running without attaching the emergency shut-off clip. This clip is there for a reason and it should always be utilized, as it will stop the machine from running if the user were to fall. This can help to prevent articles of clothing or body parts from being stuck or caught in amongst the moving components of the machine, which can cause serious injury.
- Cover home gym equipment with a shroud when not in use. Children are more likely to play with things that are in their direct line of sight and that look enticing. If you have at home, for example, a rack of weights, it can be helpful to cover it up with a shroud or blanket of some type when not in use. This will help to prevent children, especially younger kids, from mindlessly wandering over to heavyweights, picking them up, and dropping them on themselves causing injury.
Perhaps the most critical safety guideline is to never leave children unsupervised around home gym equipment. If you have a room where you can keep your gym equipment behind a closed door, this can be very helpful, as you can prevent children from accessing the room when you aren’t around. Additionally, never work out yourself while children are around the equipment. When working out, do so when children, particularly young children, are not around. Additionally, always check the area surrounding a treadmill or any other gym equipment before starting a workout to make sure no child is present.
Accidents involving children and gym equipment are typically avoidable. Sadly, many children become injured due to unintended parental negligence when it comes to gym equipment injuries. Having access to workout equipment at home is understandably enticing, but if you have children around, especially younger ones, make sure to take sufficient safety precautions to reduce the potential incidence of injury.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
For anyone who has suffered a personal injury involving fitness equipment, it’s important to immediately contact a professional personal injury attorney. The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can then help determine if you have a valid claim and help you recover the damages you are rightfully owed. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our personal injury lawyers represent accident victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.
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