Treadmill machines can injure small children, warns researcher at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

October 09, 2001

Philadelphia, Pa. -- Add treadmill machines to the list of home exercise equipment that can pose dangers to small children. Plastic surgeons at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reported on 12 children who suffered hand injuries from the belt of a moving treadmill. Six of the children required surgery, including skin grafting in one case.

"Most parents don't regard treadmill machines as potential hazards," said Benjamin Chang, M.D., a pediatric plastic surgeon at Children's Hospital, and senior author of an article recently published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery. "Injuries to children from stationary bicycles have been much better publicized over the past decade, and manufacturers have modified their designs to make them safer, but treadmills have received less attention," said Dr. Chang.

The children in the study ranged in age from 14 months to 7 years, with a median age of 2.4 years. Most of the children were injured when their hands were caught in the back of the machine where the treadmill belt wraps around the rear roller. Most of the injuries were hand abrasions, some of them equivalent to full-thickness burns in the skin. Half of the children required plastic surgery because scarred skin prevented them from fully extending their fingers.

Frequently the children were injured while an adult was using a treadmill, and the child came behind an exercising parent. In other cases, the children were injured after switching on an unattended machine.

Although there may be design modifications that could improve safety, such as making treadmills harder to start and easier to stop, Dr. Chang says the most practical preventive measure is to keep children away from the equipment. He suggests keeping treadmills in a room that can be locked while not in use. He also advises that adults using the machine be aware of their surroundings, and should not wear headsets. "These injuries are easily preventable, but people need to be aware of the potential safety hazards," he said.
Dr. Chang is an attending surgeon in Children's Hospital's Division of Plastic Surgery and a specialist in pediatric hand injuries at the Hospital's Sports Medicine and Performance Center. Co-author of the article with Dr. Chang was Christine Carman, M.D., also of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The report was published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery, volume 46, pages 15-19.

Founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is ranked today as the best pediatric hospital in the nation by a comprehensive Child Magazine survey. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Related Plastic Surgery Articles from Brightsurf:

Is zoom increasing the demand for plastic surgery
Patients are seeking plastic surgery in record numbers, citing their appearance on Zoom as a cause.

The psychosocial benefits of plastic surgery for young women with congenital breast asymmetry
Nearly all women have breasts that are slightly different from each other.

Age-related features of facial anatomy for increase safety during plastic surgery
Researchers from the Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine together with colleagues from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, University of Munich and Sechenov University used computed tomography to analyze the individual anatomy of the nasolabial triangle.

New study examines the accuracy of plastic surgery videos on social media
In the era of 'Dr. Google,' social media is a tremendous influence on patients interested in cosmetic surgery, and with more than two billion users -- representing almost one-third of the internet -- YouTube has emerged as an essential platform for reaching people interested in plastic surgery.

Facial plastic surgery in men enhances perception of attractiveness, trustworthiness
In the first of a kind study, plastic surgeons at Georgetown University found that when a man chose to have facial plastic surgery, it significantly increased perceptions of attractiveness, likeability, social skills, or trustworthiness.

More men undergo plastic surgery as the daddy-do-over trend rises in popularity
Just as women can turn to a suite of procedures, known as the 'Mommy Makeover,' more men are embracing their own set of treatments, the 'Daddy Do-Over,' to boost their confidence and improve their physical appearance.

New plastic surgery statistics reveal trends toward body enhancement
New data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows there were nearly a quarter million more cosmetic procedures performed in 2018 than the previous year.

How common is persistent opioid use after plastic, reconstructive surgery?
This study examined how common persistent opioid use was after plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures of the nose, eye, breast, abdomen and soft tissue.

CRISPR gene editing will find applications in plastic and reconstructive surgery
The CRISPR genome editing technique promises to be a 'transformative leap' in genetic engineering and therapy, affecting almost every area of medicine.

Patient satisfaction with plastic surgery -- it's the surgeon, not the practice
Patient satisfaction after plastic surgery is most affected by surgeon-related factors, such as taking the time to answer questions and including patients in the decision-making process, reports a study in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Read More: Plastic Surgery News and Plastic Surgery Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to