Background: Treadmill injuries in children tend to be severe and are becoming increasingly common. We present an overview of this problem to promote public awareness, education, and to advocate a prevention strategy for this preventable injury.
Methods: Medical records of all children with treadmill-related injuries during a 6-year period (January 2001-November 2006) from 2 tertiary pediatric hospitals were reviewed. Data on patient demographics, injury related data, types of surgical procedure, and outcome of treatment were collected.
Results: Forty-four children with treadmill-related injuries were admitted in a 6-year period (2001-2006). Each year, the incidence increased with 17 (39%) cases occurring in 2006 so far. The median age of injury at the time of incident was 2.8 years (range, 8 months-12 years). There was a higher incidence in males (55%) compared with females (45%). Most of these injuries were to the hand (75%), full-thickness burns (59%), <1% of total burn surface area (TBSA) (73%), and occurred while the treadmill was in use by an adult (34%). Twenty-one (47%) children required skin grafting surgery.
Conclusion: Treadmill-related burn injuries in children are a serious public health issue and warrants considerable attention. Adult supervision is paramount, and prevention strategies should include child safety features in equipment designs.