Treadmill danger warning as children suffer burns
Doctors are warning of the significant danger of home treadmills after reports of children suffering deep burns and trapping their hands in the running belt.
New research found youngsters suffering injuries to their arms, with more than half needing skin grafts following an accident.
More than two-thirds of children assessed in two burns units had suffered deep burns from a treadmill. Experts who carried out the research in British hospitals noted the number of cases of treadmill-related injuries rising each year between 2003 and 2009.
All the injuries occurred at home, and 16 of the youngsters trapped their hand or forearm under the conveyer belt when an adult was using the machine.
Seven children had touched a recently used machine while playing under the supervision of an adult, two were injured while playing alone and in one case a 13-year-old tried to use the machine.
Most injuries were to the arms but one toddler also suffered a burn to the nape of their neck.The children were aged between one and 13, with a typical age of three, the study found.
Five of the youngsters were left with scars following their accident, and overall 10 needed split-thickness and seven full-thickness skin grafts.
The children had been referred to the units from A&E departments, other burns units and from a number of hospitals.
The researchers, from Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Welsh Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, said there was a need to "promote public awareness of this type of injury".
They added: "Treadmills can pose a significant danger to children. These injuries are preventable."