Many health-conscious parents have fitness equipment in their home. This makes it easy for them to exercise whenever they want, especially when the weather does not permit them to run outdoors or when they are too busy to go to a gym. But a number of home exercise machines can be safety hazards, particularly to very young children. Who can forget what happened to Mike Tyson’s 4-year-old daughter who died because she got entangled in a treadmill? There was also a teenager in Sacramento who tragically lost his life because of a Bowflex machine. In order to prevent these tragic accidents, parents should not be too complacent about leaving their fitness devices around and they should take precautions as well.
Injuries Due to Exercise Equipment
Children can sustain serious injuries because of common exercise tools. Heavy weights, when mishandled, could fall and hurt a child, and these could bring about grave head trauma. Toddlers who might play with innocent-looking jump ropes could become strangled too. Treadmills and other equipment could cause different types of injuries, including physical trauma due to slips and falls, friction burns, and also cuts and lacerations of varying degrees.
Since home fitness machines are a real danger to children and even adolescents, it’s vital to implement safety measures. However, there are times when an accident is not caused by a parent’s negligence. Instead, it can be due to defective equipment. If you suspect that an accident is due to a faulty product, you should consult a lawyer. Bob M. Cohen & Associates, a law firm based in Valencia, California, say that injury attorneys, like them, can help you in determining if an accident could’ve been avoided and if you are eligible to get compensation. They also mentioned that a product defect can occur when there is negligence or oversight during the designing, manufacturing, or marketing stage, and legal experts can help pinpoint when or how problems occurred.
4 Safety Tips
1. Put all exercise equipment in one room. Make sure that the area stays locked when you’re not using it. If you don’t have an extra room, block the space where your fitness machines are so that your baby or toddler won’t be able to get near them.
2. Don’t allow your child to play with exercise tools. Also, do not let him play near or around you when you’re exercising because he could get his fingers or toes caught in a machine. If you need to work out while watching your young son (or daughter), make sure that you can see him at all times. This way, you’ll know once he approaches you and you can prevent him from getting too close to a running device.
3. Turn the power off. Make it a habit to turn off a device when it’s not being used. Better yet, unplug exercise equipment so that your child won’t be able to accidentally turn it on. If you’re planning to buy a fitness machine, such as a treadmill, opt for something that automatically turns off as soon as it’s no longer being used. Some treadmills are also designed to shut down immediately when these detect common problems, like when a belt is loose or when there is too much friction or resistance because of lack of lubrication.
4. Have clear rules before allowing your teenager to use your fitness machines. Make sure that your teen understands that he is only allowed to use your exercise tools under adult supervision. Or, if you’re not around, he should have a buddy while working out. This way, his partner can watch over him and help him in case he experiences difficulty in using a machine.
This article was contributed by Claire Taylor, who blogs about personal injury issues.
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