The Associated Press recently reported that Exodus, the four-year-old daughter of Mike Tyson, died after an accident on a treadmill machine.
The child was critically injured last weekend when she accidentally got tangled in a cord or rope hanging from a treadmill. Police are calling it a "tragic accident," according to the Los Angeles Times.
"Somehow she was playing on this treadmill, and there's a cord that hangs under the console—it's kind of a loop," the police said. "Either she slipped or put her head in the loop, but it acted like a noose, and she was obviously unable to get herself off of it."
While it's uncertain what happened, some treadmills feature a tethered safety key on a long cord that is meant to shut off the machine automatically if the user slips and falls. When used correctly, it also prevents children from starting the machine. But sometimes users tie the cord around the treadmill's handle to keep it out of the way.
Exercise machines such as treadmills pose special risks to toddlers and young children, who account for the greatest percentage of serious injuries. Emergency rooms around the country are reporting a growing number of severe burns on the hands and fingers of young children who reach down or under and touch a treadmill belt when it’s running.
Tyson's daughter's injuries serve as a sad and serious reminder of the dangers that home exercise equipment can pose to children. If you have any in your home, make sure the equipment is unplugged and out of a child's reach, and keep young children away from equipment without safety locks. Children should especially be kept away from exercise equipment when it is in use.
Learn more about this incident on our Health and Safety blogs, and more ways to childproof your home.