Our responsibility as parents, guardians and role models is to protect our children from injury or accidents via a cautious vigilant approach to activities in the everyday life of the child. The family home where the child spends most of their time, often features gym equipment, and thousands of cases each year see children rushed to hospital for injury’s from equipment including weights and exercise bikes.
Fitness equipment represents the healthy and happy but it is a very sobering thought that the most common cause of death amongst children between 1-4 is unintentional injury and gym equipment should be prepared and proofed to avoid unnecessary accidents. It is unfortunate that the pulls, pushes and chords of weights equipment are a highly appealing magnet for young children’s eyes.
Traditional weights can cause injuries falling from machines in addition to being attached to heavy hard machinery that can cause bumps and bruises should a child fall or misplace their step. Little fingers have known to be trapped in the nooks and crannies of weight machines and reported cases have included unsupervised children suffocating from trying to bench press adult weights.
In 2009 there was a great tragedy when former professional Mike Tyson lost his little girl found strangled by the chord of the treadmill, and particular horrific injuries have been noted with exercise bikes as children have lost fingers or damaged tendons from poking in holes. On the rise currently is the number of injuries caused by paediatric burns from handling the treadmill.
Such hazards and dangers are very well known to most parents who did not let their children near the equipment or more appropriately keep a locked key to the gym room. Accidents happen upon a back being turned and the absence of a guardian during a children’s playtime, but the following set of points should aim to widen our education for children’s protection.
§ Chord and Cables should be wrapped and tucked away to prevent reach from the kids.
§ Weights Machines are highly dangerous and should be purchased with a protective barrier.
§ If there is no space to separate kids from machinery then make sure the safety keys are removed and with more modern equipment, take the magnet with you.
§ Install strict punishments and off limits rules to children regarding entering an equipment area in addition to the lock of child barrier.
§ Weights should be placed on the bottom of the equipment so they cannot fall from height.
§ Ensure there are no uncovered gaps or holes with the equipment.
The natural inquisitiveness of a child cannot be helped, and it is so often our favourite attribute of our offspring but it can pose a larger risk in the home. Small changes can go a long way to preventing large accidents.
Author Bio – James Barnett is an author on behalf of Powerhouse UK documenting researching family fitness and child protection.