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Peloton Treadmill Owners Cautioned After Child Death

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Peloton Treadmill Owners Cautioned After Child Death

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The CEO of Peloton, a popular home fitness company known for its high-tech stationary bikes and treadmills, recently issued a statement regarding a recent Tread+ accident resulting in the death of a child. The statement also mentioned a “small handful of incidents involving the Tread+” where other children were hurt.

The Tread+ is a home treadmill designed to “meet every fitness challenge” the user sets for themselves.

The Tread+ comes in a variety of collections ranging from the Tread+ Basics to collections containing additional exercise equipment. Prices range from approximately $4,300 to $4,865. Unlike the average treadmill, the Tread+ has a screen attached in which users can engage with Peloton-exclusive training videos. While Peloton is perhaps better known for their stationary exercise bikes, the Tread+ has always become a popular choice for in-home fitness, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic with so many gyms closed and/or restricted.

Users are advised to keep children and pets away from the equipment.

In the Peloton Tread+ User Manual, users are advised to keep animals and children under the age of 16 away from the treadmill. It further advises users to “not allow children to perform maintenance on or to play with the Tread+”. That said, it’s evidence that Peloton is aware its customers are likely to have young children and pets within the home.

When potential product liability cases like this arise, the real question is whether or not the company made a reasonable enough effort to provide for the safety of the parties that could predictably be at risk of injury or death if the machine is misused in foreseeable ways.

Common treadmill injuries include:

  • Friction burns
  • Face and neck injuries
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Fractures and strains

While treadmills are not considered largely dangerous to adults, friction burns, fractures, and strains are commonly seen in adults. Children, however, are much more susceptible to serious injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), of approximately 22,500 treadmill injuries seen in emergency rooms in 2019, 2,000 of those injuries belonged to children under the age of 8.

While Peloton’s CEO did not go into details regarding the other child injuries potentially caused by the Tread+, the CPSC noted a report from the family of a 3-year-old boy who allegedly suffered a brain injury from the Tread+, in addition to injuries on his back, neck, and face.

Home fitness equipment is known to present risks to young children.

This known risk is why designers and manufacturers of home exercise equipment are required to predict and provide reasonable methods of prevention to protect children from the effects of misuse. If someone suspects that an injury to themself, their child, or even their pet may have been prevented with proper attention to safety by the equipment designers or manufacturers, they may be eligible to file a product liability claim to seek compensation for resulting medical bills and other expenses, including wrongful death in the event of a fatality.

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