Peloton CEO Issues Warning After a Child is Fatally Injured

Peloton – a company that makes internet connected exercise equipment – made an estimated $1.8 billion dollars in sales in 2020. A large part of these sales were no doubt due to the tread+ – an internet connected treadmill that starts at $4,295. This month, the company’s CEO – John Foley – issued a statement addressing the tragic death of a young child on the treadmill. The statement begins by stating:

"I’m reaching out to you today because I recently learned about a tragic accident involving a child and the Tread+, resulting in, unthinkably, a death. While we are aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt, each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved."

Injuries Caused by Peloton Tread+

The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission maintains a database of incidents involving consumer products. One incident that occurred on February 3rd, 2021 is particularly noteworthy – especially for parents of young children. On this date, a father reportedly found his 3 year old child trapped beneath the Tread+. He was not breathing and appeared lifeless. Fortunately, he was able to be resuscitated, but the prolonged period without oxygen led to permanent brain injury. On March 17th, the company filed with the commission stating that the child was expected to make a full recovery. 

Notably, the dangers of treadmills to children are hardly confined to Peloton’s Tread+. The CPSC added that in 2019, there were a total of 22,500 injured caused by Treadmills in the United States, with approximately 10% occurring in children under the age of 8. When considering all exercise equipment related injuries in 2019 – there were a total of 68,000 emergency room visits. 

Keeping Children Safe Around Treadmills

This incident is hardly the first – or highest profile – injury involving an injury on a treadmill to a young child. For example, a highly publicized incident in 2004 involving heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson resulted in the untimely death of his 4 year old daughter. While these incidents shows how dangerous treadmills can be to small children, there are some ways to make them safer for young children to be around. Most treadmills, including the Tread+ come with a key that is required prior to operation. This component is one of the main safety features that can keep kids safe. Some best practices for treadmill safety are as follows:

  • Teach children from an early age to avoid workout equipment – especially without supervision
  • If possible, store workout equipment out of reach of children (or in a separate room)
  • Always make sure that the key is removed from a treadmill whenever it is not in use
  • Before you begin a workout, double check to make sure that the space around your exercise equipment is clear.
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