CALGARY – Three-year-old Eliana Bell has been practising writing letters with her left hand. She’s actually right-handed but a few weeks ago, that hand was badly burned.
“We were at a family member’s house for dinner and Eliana decided to sneak out and check out the exercise equipment,” Bell’s mother Deena said.
“She managed to turn (the treadmill) on all by herself and within a matter of seconds got her fingers caught inside the belt.”
The little girl suffered second and third-degree burns to the insides of her fingers. Doug Barons, a physiotherapist with the Alberta Children’s Hospital, said he has seen an increase in injuries related to home gym equipment.
“Some of the injuries occur when mom or dad are on the treadmill. (When they) are actually physically exercising and don’t see the child come and touch the treadmill,” he said. ” Other times, older kids might start playing around with it – and that’s where some of the larger injuries can occur.”
Baron said the most common injuries associated with treadmills are burns, followed by head injuries and broken bones. His advice to parents is to keep kids away.
“If we have an area that we can specifically use some of this home equipment and lock it off securely, that’s probably a good idea.”
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 24, 400 injuries associated with treadmills in the United States in 2014.
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