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Man running in a gym on a treadmill
Grewal Law, PLLC
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After one child died, one suffered significant brain injury, and many other children were injured, a Safety Commission warned people with children and pets to immediately cease use of Peloton’s Tread + treadmill.

The Peloton Tread + poses a fatal risk to children and pets, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  The Man running in a gym on a treadmill CPSC has received reports of one child dying, one child suffering significant brain injury, and 22 other children being injured.  In addition, a pet has been seriously injured, and there have been reports of objects being pulled underneath the Tread+ treadmill.  To illustrate how dangerous the Tread+ can be, CPSC posted this video of a child being pulled under the machine.   [Warning: this video may be difficult to watch.]

A woman posted this video to show how easily objects can get dragged under the Tread+.  In her case, a large ball was pulled under, making the treadmill tip upwards, causing her to be forced to jump off the machine – with a pet and a toddler nearby.

Details of the deadly Tread+ accident have been withheld from the public in order to protect the family’s privacy, according to Peloton executives.

A description of how a 3 year-old boy was injured by the Tread+ has, however, been released by CPSC.  According to reports, the toddler “was trapped under a Peloton Tread Plus, found by his father to be not breathing and pulseless – he was resuscitated and now has 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 CPSC issued the following statement: “In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately.  The above video demonstrates the hazard to children posed by the Tread+.”  The CPSC posted this video with their statement.

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.

The CPSC also stated that recent events indicate that children can be seriously injured while an adult is using the Tread+, and not just when a child has access to the machine and is unsupervised.

The Peloton treadmill that the CPSC is urging parents with children at home to stop using is model number TR-01, which was called “Tread” from August 2018 – September 2020, at which time it was renamed “Tread+.”

If parents would like to keep using their Tread+ treadmills, the CPSC suggests the following:

  1. Use the product in a locked room to prevent access to children and pets while the treadmill is in use. Keep all objects, including exercise balls and other equipment, away from the treadmill.
  2. When not in use, unplug the Tread+ and store the safety key away from the device and out of reach of children.

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

Peloton CEO John Foley did reach out on Twitter in March to inform people that a child’s death had occurred as a result of an accident involving the Tread+.   In his Tweet, Foley listed steps that people can take to keep kids and pets safe when there is a Tread+ in the household.

In response to CPSC’s warning and press release about the Tread+ dangers, Peloton released the following statement:

“The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s unilateral press release about the Peloton Tread+ treadmill is inaccurate and misleading. The Tread+ is safe for Members to use in their homes and comes with safety instructions and warnings to ensure its safe use. Like all motorized exercise equipment, the Tread+ can pose hazards if the warnings and safety instructions are not followed. The Tread+ is not for children under 16. Peloton warns Members not to let children use the Tread+ and to keep children, pets, and objects away from the Tread+ at all times. Any owner of a treadmill – whether made by Peloton or not – should follow these warnings, as they are included in the applicable safety standards, which the Peloton Tread+ meets.”

Consumers are complaining in social media posts that with such costly equipment, it is almost unthinkable that Peloton would fail to utilize simple safety features on its products, such as a cover for the rear part of the Tread+ treadmill and extra alarms.  Peloton’s treadmills cost $2,495 – $4,895, with the Tread+ being a more expensive model.  Many consumers want Peloton to recall the Tread+ treadmill.

When Peloton spin bikes hit the market in 2014 at a cost of $1895 – $2495, sales exploded.  Unfortunately, the clip-in bike pedals had a design flaw, causing some pedals to suddenly break.  This caused a lot of injuries, especially when people were standing up and pedaling at high resistance.  These bike pedals were eventually recalled.

TREADMILL DANGERS TO CHILDREN ARE A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE

Recovering Little Child Lying in the Hospital Bed Sleeping, Her Hand Falls into Mother's and She Holds it Comfortingly. Peloton’s Tread+ isn’t the only treadmill that is dangerous.  In 2019, there were approximately 22,500 treadmill-related injuries treated at U.S. emergency departments, and this included about 2,000 injuries in children under 8 years of age.  From 2018 – 2020, CPSC received reports of 17 deaths associated with treadmills.

Indeed, the risk of injury to children from treadmills in the home is well-known.  In 2007, an article in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery called it “a public health issue.”  In 2020, an article in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine warned that the risk of treadmill-related injury to children would grow as more people utilize home gyms during the pandemic.

 

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