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Peloton Child Injuries Reports Lead to Treadmill Recall — What to Know

The Peloton Tread+ is at the center of a child safety issue. Here's what parents need to know.

On Saturday, April 17, the U.S. Consumer Safety Product commission issued an “urgent warning” that the Peloton’s Tread+, the company’s $4,000 plus, luxury treadmill, should not be used in houses with small kids, or small animals.

The urgent warning came in the wake of 39 safety incident reports regarding the treadmill that have come to light, one of which included a child dying. There are concerns about objects, and even a pet, being pulled under the belt of the treadmill.

Now, on Wednesday, May 5, Peloton has finally heeded the call of the CPSC and recalled all of their Tread+ treadmills for the safety issues.

Here’s what to know about the dangers of the Peloton Tread+, the recall, and how to use a home gym safely in general.

The Peloton Tread+ Dangers 

In a statement about the treadmill, the CPSC made a stark warning. “… the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death. In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately.” 

They also said that “public health and safety” concerns were why they had to issue the warning. 

The CPSC shared a video of small children playing on the activated treadmill with a ball — which got caught underneath the machine, lifting it above the ground, and pinning a kid underneath the treadmill (who survived). In another incident they mentioned, a child was injured while one of their parents was running on the equipment.

To the CPSC, that suggests “that the hazard cannot be avoided simply by locking the device when not in use,” and that it poses a safety threat when in use and also when not in use. “Reports of a pet and objects being sucked beneath the Tread+ also suggest possible harm to the user if the user loses balance as a result,” they wrote. 

The CPSC said that “this doesn’t happen with other treadmills” to the Washington Post, suggesting the Tread+ may be more unsafe than other options on the market.

What If You Want To Keep Exercising With It? 

In mid-April, the CPSC urged people to stop using the Tread+ if there are small children or pets at home because children can be hurt both while they have unsupervised access to the machine and while the machine is being used as an adult, they also provide other suggestions if you keep using it.

Peloton pushed back, saying that the treadmill can be used safely if in a locked room, away from children or small beings, kept away from all other exercise equipment, and having the safety key taken out of the machine and stored out of sight.

Peloton fought calls for a recall of the treadmill, but as of May 5, have complied and have issued a recall of the treadmill that has been linked to dozens of injuries and a death.

People who own the tread should contact Peloton to get a full refund, or another qualified remedy, for the Peloton Tread+. They will no longer sell the Peloton Tread+ and distribute the Tread+ for the time being.

Here’s What Peloton Initially Said About the Safety Issue

Peloton, in a press release filed the very same day, pushed back on the CPSC’s press release, calling the “unilateral” statement “inaccurate and misleading.” They are also fighting a recall request from the CPSC.

“There is no reason to stop using the Tread+, as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed,” adding that children under 16 should never use the machine and that children, pets, and objects should be kept far away from the machine at all times. 

“Peloton’s co-founder and CEO John Foley sent an urgent reminder directly to Tread+ Members [after the death of the child] to follow the critical warnings and safety instructions that accompany the Tread+, which state that children, pets, and objects should be kept clear of the Tread+ at all times. Members were also reminded to remove the Safety Key and store it out of reach of children when an adult is not using the Tread+.” 

But They Changed Their Tune and are Recalling the Treadmill

As of May 5th, Peloton issued a recall all of its treadmills, which run upwards of $4,000.

“I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+,” CEO John Foley said in the release announcing the recall, per Business Insider. “We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”

The Bottom Line?

Contact Peloton to get a full refund, or another qualified remedy, for the Peloton Tread+. They will no longer sell the Peloton Tread+ and distribute the Tread+ for the time being.

The problem, per The Verge, appears to be whether the Tread+ is designed poorly, or if people are using it improperly, leading to injuries. Though Peloton eventually agreed to recall the treadmill, they fought it for weeks. Now that the recall has happened, parents shouldn’t think that the gym is safe for kids again.

Exercise equipment is basically universally unsafe for children and small pets. The CPSC estimates that about 8,700 kids under 5, and 16,500 kids between the ages of 5 and 14, are injured by exercise equipment every year. 

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors says that “exercise equipment is inherently dangerous,” and that accidents “can be avoided through preventative measures.”

InterNACHI urges parents to never leave free weights in an unstable position, keep safety clips that come with treadmills on your person or out of reach at all times. They also stress that parents should keep home exercise equipment locked and unplugged whenever it is not in use.

The InterNACHI also says to keep gym equipment in a room behind a locked door if you have children and to keep folding machines stored and secured in that position when not in use. 

These universal rules of home-gym safety should always be followed.