Healthwatch: Equipment Danger

By: ABC News
By: ABC News

Kids are inquisitive little boys and girls, aren't they? They like to get their hands into just about anything. That's why something like a treadmill can be so dangerous.

Exercise equipment in the home poses a threat to any child who gets too close. Their fingers, their feet, and their heads can be at risk.

Angie Thomas knows just how dangerous exercise equipment can be. Her 4-year-old son Ian got his hand stuck in her treadmill. Layers of skin were ripped off. His hand still has some scars.

"And it was probably the worst thing that has happened to Ian and certainly any parent's nightmare," said Thomas.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates nearly 9,000 children under the age of five are injured with exercise equipment each year. For kids ages five to 14, there are an additional 16,500 injuries.

At Children's Hospital, doctors have seen everything from amputated fingers to head injuries.

"These are structures in the home that kids are going to be curious about and parents need to be cautious and make sure their kids are supervised," said Dr. Barbara Gaines, trauma surgeon.

Lori Ferry just bought new exercise equipment - she has put out a stern warning to her children.

"Stay off. Don't touch. These are my toys," said Ferry, a mother. "Mine are dangerous. If you pick them up, you can drop them on your foot.

From a heavy weight, all it takes is a second for a life changing accident to happen.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says parents should keep their children away from exercise equipment.

When you're not using it, store it or lock it, so your kids can't get to it. Fractures and amputations were reported in about 20 percent of all exercise equipment injuries.

When you take a look at all ages- from young to old, there are about 35,000 injuries every year.

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