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4/28/21blog post

Peloton injury leads to increased awareness around exercise equipment injuries

getting fit doesn’t have to put your kids in danger

By: Abbey Pettiford, injury prevention coordinator

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently issued a warning about Peloton’s Tread+ Treadmill.   While this specific treadmill may have some safety concerns, all exercise equipment can lead to injuries if not used properly. Over the past year many families have opted for in-home gym equipment in place of a gym membership. At Dayton Children’s the emergency department saw 31 injuries related to treadmills in 2020.  I know my husband and I purchased a treadmill and some free weights to keep up our routine over the past year. As we prepare to welcome our first child, we are re-thinking our exercise area. We have moved the free weights and started taking the key out of the treadmill to get in the habit before our child arrives. Having motorized treadmills, spinning stationary bikes, and heavy weight sets in your home might be just what you need to reach your fitness goals, but for kids, they can be hazardous. By taking some simple safety steps, you can protect the whole family while still using your home exercise equipment. 

Like other types of machinery, home exercise equipment can hurt children in just a few seconds, even when the equipment isn’t turned on. Every year, thousands of children are treated in emergency departments across the U.S. for home gym injuries like concussions, amputations, and friction burns. Younger children might be tempted to put their fingers in moving parts, climb on pedals or handlebars, or come up behind you while you’re on a machine. Your older children and teens are more likely to be hurt while using the equipment.  These injuries can be very serious--some even need surgery.

Fortunately, getting fit doesn’t have to put your kids in danger. Whether you’re thinking about buying exercise equipment or you already have a home gym, these tips will help your family stay safer.

  • Use safety devices: Some equipment has safety guards such as keys, locks, and pins. Follow instructions and use all included safety devices as directed. 
  • Separate your workout space: Close off access to your exercise equipment with a door or a baby gate. If you can’t prevent access to the room, put up a portable fence around the equipment so children can’t get to it (leave enough room for you to safely exercise according to manufacturer’s instructions).
  • Keep them busy while you work out: Set up a play space that you can see while you work out. Put games, toys, and other age-appropriate things your children love in their space to keep them busy and away from equipment.
  • Clean it up: Unplug treadmills and other electronic equipment after each use. Put away weights and resistance bands. 
  • Proper training: Once your child is old enough to start using the equipment, teach them the right way to use each machine. Supervise them until they show that they can use the equipment safely.

I know I will be following these steps to keep my growing family safe; I hope you do the same! To learn more about exercise equipment safety visit here.