A child has already been killed by the new Tread+ treadmill.
Peloton CEO and co-founder John Foley announced the incident on March 18 in a statement to social media, though he refused to go into details about exactly what had happened. Instead, he generally assured people that he was aware of the situation — and stressed that adults keep their kids safe by following the Peloton safety guides.
“I’m reaching out to you today because I recently learned about a tragic accident involving a child and the Tread+, resulting in, unthinkably, a death. While we are aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt, each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved.”
Well, we’re glad he made the statement. But let’s break this down a little bit more.
The Tread+, which is definitely an investment at $4,295, has been known to have some safety issues as reported in the Peloton Tread Facebook group. Many users, for instance, have complained of a malfunctioning belt vibration issue — which definitely sounds scary even if we don’t know quite what it means.
But is this new treadmill to be so unsafe for people with children? The shocking thing is, this is a separate incident from the one reported back in February in which a 3-year-old sustained a “significant brain injury.” More on that later…
Foley insists that safety is the company’s top priority — though we’re sure that’s going to come across as a little hollow for the families with injured children. He continues:
“We design and build all of our products with safety in mind. But in order to help ensure that you and your family members stay safe with Peloton products in your home, we need your help. This is especially true during what I hope is the final stretch of the pandemic where everyone is still at home. To prevent accidents, please take care to review and follow all the safety warnings and instructions that we provide.”
So it was user error? The kids’ and parents’ fault. Uh huh.
The final part of his message simply reinforced:
“Out of respect for these families and their privacy, we don’t plan to provide any additional information about these accidents.”
Right, out of respect for the families, you don’t reveal their names. But a little more information to help prevent future deaths might actually be helpful here.
We still don’t know the nature of the accident in which a child was killed, but a report filed with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission described the injuries suffered by a 3-year-old who got trapped under the machine. After being discovered by his father, the boy “was found to have tread marks on his back matching the slats of the treadmill, neck injury, and petechiae on his face, presumably from occlusion of blood flow.”
Thankfully there was an update on that report saying that the child was “expected to fully recover” — frankly that’s the only way we knew this was a separate incident from the one the CEO is talking about now.
But what do y’all think? Should we put the blame on Peloton for their product? Should it come with a warning that it’s unsafe for children to be around? Drop us your comments (below)!
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