The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of physical fitness. For convenience, products for home exercise have become very popular as well. Each year, new types of exercise equipment are developed and each year a growing number of households are furnished with such equipment. Along with this growth comes the potential for an increasing number of related injuries, particularly those involving young children.
In 1982, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) reported that injuries involving exercise equipment accounted for an estimated 17 686 hospital emergency department visits within a 3-year study period (1979 to 1981), approximately 6000 visits each year.1 According to 1991 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) statistics, exercise equipment–related injuries were responsible for an estimated 25 256 emergency department visits, representing an increase of over 400% since 1982.2 Children younger than 15 years of age were involved in over