education of parents and safety modifications are needed to halt a rapid
increase in the number of children suffering treadmill-related injuries,
according to a letter published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Andrew Holland, Director of the Burns Research Institute at The Children's
Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, and his co-authors write that 65 children were
treated for treadmill related injuries at The Children's Hospital at Westmead
and the Sydney Children's Hospital in 2007 and 2008.
cases, the child was injured when a limb or part of a limb was trapped between
the rear roller and the treadmill belt," A/Prof Holland said.
burns ranged from less than one per cent to seven per cent of total body
patients required surgery, including 13 who underwent a skin grafting
procedure. Most injuries (46) occurred while the treadmill was in use by
another person and the child approached from behind.
cases, a child was injured while using a treadmill. The average age of these
children was 7.8 years."
Holland said the NSW Government had introduced legislation that mandates
prominent permanent warning labels be affixed to all new treadmills, but there
were no national regulations governing treadmill supply or advice given at
point of sale.
likely that, without better application of current injury prevention
strategies, the prevalence of these injuries will continue to increase," he
injuries occur within the first six months of purchasing a treadmill, educating
parents is important around the time of purchase.
should be aware that headset use can decrease awareness of children near
treadmills, and that the use of mirrors or alternative positioning can help
ensure that children approaching treadmills will be seen."