A 3-year-old child in Calgary, Alberta, was killed in 2009 after becoming trapped between the bars of her parents' elliptical machine. It's clear that elliptical machines and other types of heavy fitness equipment are neither made nor intended for children, so teach your children equipment safety and take precautions to childproof equipment. By keeping your elliptical under close eye, you can protect your children from injury and even death.
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Dedicate a room with a lock to your exercise equipment. When you've finished your workout, lock the room to prevent your children from gaining access to the equipment. If you can't dedicate an entire room to your elliptical machine, use another room in the house that can be locked, such as a study or craft room.
Select an elliptical model that allows the use of child safety guards. The guards easily snap onto the bottom of the elliptical pedals so they cannot be moved until the guards are removed. Get into the habit of snapping on the guards each and every time you've done a workout.
Use a key-activated elliptical machine or at least unplug the machine when you're finished. While it may not necessarily stop the elliptical motion, the lack of lights and sounds on the elliptical screen may discourage children from becoming interested in and playing with the buttons.
Know where your child is at all times, especially when on the elliptical. "Consumer Reports" notes that the bulk of children's injuries as a result of an elliptical machine usually occur when the machine is in use by the parent and the child is behind the machine without the parent's knowledge. If possible, position your elliptical machine facing away from a wall and so close to a corner that you only need to worry about a child coming from the front or the side in plain view.
Educate your children about being safe around exercise equipment like an elliptical machine, so long as they are old enough to understand. Explain that it is not meant for children and that they could be seriously injured from playing on it.