Peloton issues warning about treadmills after child dies

Technology

Peloton Interactive is urging people to keep kids and pets away from its exercise equipment after the death of a child in an accident involving one of its Tread+ treadmills.

The exhortation came in a note from the company’s chief executive posted Thursday on its website. “I recently learned about a tragic accident involving a child and the Tread+, resulting in, unthinkably, a death,” CEO John Foley stated. “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.”

He did not disclose further details about the fatal accident.

Another child was severely injured in a separate accident involving a Tread+ last month, according to a public database run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The February 3 incident entailed a father finding his three-year-old son trapped beneath a Peloton Tread+, not breathing and pulseless. “He was resuscitated and now has significant brain injury,” the report stated. “The child is expected to fully recover,” Peloton stated in a March 17 update to the report.

Sales of Peloton’s costly cycles and treadmills have soared during the pandemic as Americans try to stay fit while stuck at home. The booming business has also paid off for investors, with Peloton shares surging more than 300% over the last year.

In his letter to customers, Foley called the need to heed safety precautions “especially true during what I hope is the final stretch of the pandemic where everyone is still at home.”

Thousands of treadmill injuries
Beyond keeping children and animals away from the equipment, Foley stressed keeping the equipment’s safety key out of easy reach when not being used. The Tread+ costs $4,295 and is designed for people who weigh more than 105 pounds and are older than 16.

Most known for its home-workout bike outfitted with a screen that lets users watch live or videotaped classes while cycling, Peloton introduced the Tread+ in 2018 and has said it would introduce a less-pricey version for $2,495 expected to ship in May.

Injuries related to exercise equipment sent more than 68,000 people to U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2019, including an estimated 2,000 treadmill-related injuries in children under 8, according to the latest available CPSC data.

Peloton in October recalled about 27,000 bikes sold nationwide to replace pedals that can break and cut riders’ legs. The company said it received 120 reports of pedals breaking, with 16 cases resulting in injuries.

Treadmills have proved hazardous for kids for many years. A much publicized case occurred In 2009, when the 4-year-old daughter of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson died after an accident involving a treadmill in her Arizona home.