The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating an accident involving a Peloton treadmill that led to the death of a child.
Peloton CEO John Foley announced the "tragic accident" in a memo on Thursday, although he gave little details about how and when it occurred, out of respect for the family. The age of the child has not been disclosed either.
Foley also disclosed that the company has been made aware of "only a small handful of incidents" where children have been injured from the Tread+.
"Each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved," Foley said.
The agency could not discuss further details on the investigation. However, this problem is not unique to Peloton equipment.
Between 2018 and 2020, 17 fatalities associated with the use of a treadmill had been reported to CPSC, according to Martyak.
In 2019 alone, there were about 22,500 treadmill-related injuries among all ages that were treated in emergency rooms, he said. However, 2,000 of those reported injuries were of children under 8 years old.
The agency and Foley have echoed similar concerns for customers, saying they must carefully follow the equipment's instructions and make sure children are supervised when near a treadmill.
Although Peloton's exercise products are built "with safety in mind," Foley said the company needs help in being able to ensure that family members stay safe.
The chief executive is asking customers to "follow all the safety warnings and instructions," which includes a note about keeping children and pets "away from Peloton exercise equipment at all times." The company also asks customers to be wary about where they leave the safety key when the equipment is not in use.
Like Foley, the agency said that it's important to secure treadmills so children cannot start them on their own, including making sure safety keys are removed and stored in a secured location.
The agency also told consumers to watch out for cords on treadmills, otherwise known as shut-off lanyards, which can be a strangulation hazard for children.
Following the accident, Foley said the company is assessing ways on how to better reinforce safety warnings about "these critical safety precautions to hopefully prevent future accidents."
Peloton ‒ known for its high-end at-home exercise bike ‒ introduced the Peloton Tread in 2018 followed by an upgraded model, the Tread+, in September 2020.