PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officials want parents with treadmills in their homes to be aware of the potential dangers after a 5-year-old child’s death in Whitehall on Sunday.
The accident happened at a home on Glowood Drive. Ashim Gurung, 5, died when he was injured by the family’s treadmill. The cause of death was determined to be compression of the neck.
Allegheny County Police are treating the death as an accident.
“The 5-year-old was somehow trapped by the treadmill, and it was running at the time. So we have the treadmill here and we’re going to see what we can find out about it and how it works and if it failed,” Lt. Andrew Schurman said.
Thousands of children have been injured and even killed in accidents involving sports equipment. Dr. Joe Aracri is with Allegheny Health Network’s pediatric alliance.
“In general, 25,000 kids each year are hurt on exercise equipment alone, of which 2,600 kids on average end up in the emergency room from treadmill accidents,” Aracri said.
Those injuries include friction burns, skin pulled off hands, victims entangled in cords and falls. In 2009, former boxer Mike Tyson’s daughter died when she got caught in a cord from a treadmill and accidentally hung herself.
It’s one more danger in the home that parents with young children should know about.
“Obviously, with any piece of exercise equipment or home gym equipment, it should be monitored with young children in the house,” Schurman said.
“Make sure that the safeties are on on the equipment so the kids can’t accidentally or inadvertently use them,” Aracri said.