DENVER – A Littleton mother has a warning to other parents about the dangers of treadmills for children. On November 30, 4-year-old Maddie Taylor got her hands caught under the belt of the treadmill her mother was walking on.
“She started screaming. I got off the treadmill and noticed her fingers were stuck underneath,” Stacy Taylor said while wiping away tears.
Maddie had injuries to fingers on both hands. “The belt burned the skin off her fingers,” Stacy said.
Maddie ended up at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She needed skin graft surgery, and spent weeks in casts.
“It’s painful, because you never think it could happen,” Stacy said.
Now she wants to raise awareness about the issue. Last year Children’s Hospital Colorado saw about 20 of these cases and 90 percent of the children needed skin graft surgery.
Nurses say treadmills are very dangerous because of the mechanism of the belt. “You end up getting a friction and a heat type injury, and that`s why the injuries are so deep and so serious,” said Angela Drelles, a pediatric nurse practitioner at the burn program at Children’s.
Maddie is recovering. She needs multiple skin massages per day, and will need to wear special gloves for a year.
“Her hand is moving just as it should be,” Drelles said. Maddie can now do everything she wants to do with her hands, but she knows to stay clear of the treadmill.