We don’t have a treadmill, so I’ve never really spoken to my children about the dangers associated with their use. However, over the weekend, the kids were roaming between the pool, arcade and guest rooms, as they hung out with their friends and teammates at the hotel. I didn’t even know that Shay had gone into the workout room until he came and told us that he and a friend had been on the treadmill and that he had somehow slipped and “burned” the top of his foot. It was very sore, but fortunately not very serious. This photo was taken on Monday, 2 to 3 days after the injury (I can’t remember which day it happened), so it’s already started to heal.
I’ve actually seen treadmill injuries that have been much worse. In fact, a few years ago, I had two injured kindergarten students within the same school year. Although many injuries happen when the children are playing on or near the treadmill, others occur when a parent is using the machine and a child comes to close.
The USA averages about 8700 treadmill injuries involving children per year. The injuries range from “rug like” burns to broken bones and can sometimes be so severe that skin grafting is necessary. In fact, Mike Tyson’s 4 year old daughter died from injuries sustained in a treadmill accident in 2009. Below is a picture of a child’s treadmill burn that required surgery.
It takes but a fraction of a second, to lose your footing and be thrown from a treadmill. Injuries often occur when a victim is trying to regain their footing. Often the tread will continue to run and traps clothing or even a limb in the moving belt.
I write this post as a warning to parents. If you own a treadmill, please use extreme caution and ensure that the treadmill is unplugged when it’s not in use. Have strict rules regarding home exercise equipment and use the safety features on your machine. If you are interested in reading more on this topic, check-out this article: The startling reality of children’s treadmill tragedies: 9 ways to prevent home exercise accidents in your home.
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