Treadmills are a convenient way for adults to stay fit, but they can be extremely dangerous for infants and children. Children have been caught in treadmills as recently as this January. Check out the hazards and some simple tips on using and storing treadmills safely.
Children do not understand the dangers, lack the skills to control the speed of a treadmill and can easily fall and become trapped. Once trapped, children have little chance of escaping a moving treadmill belt that can quickly strip their clothing and skin, causing serious friction burns that lead to scarring and require skin grafts.
Recently, an eight-month old baby caught her leg in the frame of a treadmill and had to be freed by the fire brigade. Fortunately the child escaped unharmed as the treadmill was off at the time.
Parents and carers should take these simple steps to help protect children:
- Select a machine with protective covers and ensure it has a safety stop switch to stop it quickly.
- If you already have a treadmill, consider placing it in a separate room or use safety barriers to keep it out of the reach of children.
- Avoid using headphones/ear-pieces when using your treadmill if there are young children in the home.
- Always keep the machine unplugged when not in use and keep the area around the treadmill clear of objects.
See Treadmills section for more important safety information related to this product.