Aim: The aim of this study was to report on the severity and incidence of children injured by treadmills and to promote the implementation of safety standards.
Method: This retrospective review of children with treadmill friction injuries was conducted in a single tertiary-level burns centre in Australia between January 1997 and June 2007.
Results: The study revealed 37 children who sustained paediatric treadmill friction injuries. This was a presentation of 1% of all burns. Thirty-three (90%) of the injuries occurred in the last 3.5 years (January 2004 to June 2007). The modal age was 3.2 years. Thirty-three (90%) injuries were either full thickness or deep partial friction burns. Eleven (30%) required split thickness skin grafts. Of those who became entrapped, 100% required skin grafting.
Conclusion: This study found that paediatric treadmill friction injuries are severe and increasing in incidence. Australian standards should be developed, implemented and mandated to reduce this preventable and severe injury.