Burn risk posed by home treadmills

Plastic surgeons are warning parents of the risk of children being injured in accidents with home treadmills.

Research by Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery and published by the Royal College of Surgeons said an increasing number of children were suffering deep friction burns from motorised belts.

“This is a growing problem because of the popularity of home gyms and people buying treadmills to use at home instead of going to the gym,” said Sarah Hemington-Gorse, a plastic surgeon at the centre.

“I don’t think that people fully appreciate how severe the injuries can be as the burns are only small. The problem is that the majority of the burns are deep and are on the fingers or hands. The belts are motorised so they keep on turning and can cause deep burns.”

“This is a growing problem, and our latest case was a boy who fell on a treadmill just last week and suffered friction burns as a result,” she said.

David Stalker, chief executive officer for the Fitness Industry Association, said the research highlighted the need to be “health and safety savvy” with specialised fitness equipment.

“All equipment should be purchased from a reputable supplier and careful consideration should be taken to ensure the appropriate safety features are in place,” he said.

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