Treadmills and kids generally don’t mix because there are a lot of inherent dangers to this exercise equipment. In fact, just the power cords can become a strangling hazard. The moving parts of a treadmill is another. They can insert their fingers between the gaps and cause injury to themselves. Running on the treadmill at high speed can cause them to trip and fall if they aren’t able to keep up. These occurrences aren’t uncommon. In fact, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 8,700 children younger than 5 and 16,500 children ages 5 to 14 are injured using exercise equipment each year. If you’re looking for a treadmill for kids, there’s only handful that experts recommend.
Redmon Fun and Fitness Exercise Equipment for Kids Treadmill
This is a non-motorized treadmill designed for little kids ages 3 to 6. It has a ‘no tip’ design to ensure your child’s safety while using the treadmill. It also features an electronic monitor which has time lapse and auto off after 10 minutes. Because it is self-propelled, there’s less chance of your kid falling or having his fingers injured due to any moving parts. The metal tubing of the treadmill is wrapped in foam to make it extra safe. And all tools you’ll need to assemble are included. However, it is not easy for children to get the roller moving. It does have a bit of a learning curve. Also, some parents report that the belt does not always stay in place. Plus, it does not come with any batteries.
- ‘no tip’ design
- foam wrapped metal tubing
- electronic monitor
- no batteries included
- belt may slide from side to side
- not easy to use; slight learning curve
Fitnex XT5 Kids Treadmill
The Fitnex XT5 Kids Treadmill is similar to an adult treadmill in many ways. It comes with several modes – cardio, endurance, fat burn, and interval – plus 7 feedback options. It features digital counters for distance, calories, time, heart rate, LAPS, and speed. There’s even an option to change the elevation. Plus, the treadmill comes with a bottle holder. However, since this is a motorized treadmill, it is not something that you can let your kids use unsupervised. It is also not have third party tests conducted as to prove that it has been designed according to child safety standards.
- 7 feedback options
- 4 programs/modes
- includes a bottle holder
- no third party testing
- motorized treadmill; not for unsupervised use
This treadmill from A+Childsupply is another non-motorized treadmill that is ideal for little kids who want to exercise like mom and dad. It has an aluminum frame that is wrapped in foam. The colors are bright and attractive. And it comes with a timer. However, this hasn’t been thoroughly tested which does not provide us with information on longevity and durability. Also, it is more of a toy than a real exercise machine. Plus, it is more expensive than our number one pick.
- foam-wrapped aluminum frame
- comes with a timer
- easy to use
- not enough reviews
- feels like more of a toy than an exercise machine
KidsFit 710 Junior Treadmill
The Junior Treadmill from KidsFit is perfect for kids 12 and up who want to keep fit or need a pediatric therapy exercise machine. The steel-reinforced frame promotes durability and stability. Safety side handrails provide added security. It has an adjustable speed ranging from 0.5 – 12 M.P.H. The treadmill comes with a computer readout which can help motivate them to keep on exercising. That being said, this is a motorized unit which means it cannot be used without adult supervision. Also, it is incredibly expensive.
- steel-reinforced frame
- safety side handrails
- adjustable speed
- requires adult supervision
How to Buy a Treadmill for Kids:
Exercise is a good habit to form when you’re young. And with childhood obesity on the rise, it’s best to help kids learn how to stay fit as early as possible. Of course, letting them play outdoors and do sports can fill that need. But sometimes, inclement weather or lack of a safe place outdoors to play can derail their activities. To help them workout at home, you can get a treadmill designed specifically for kids. But how do you find the right one? Our buying guide should help.
Is a treadmill safe for kids?
Good question. The answer to that is, technically, no. The moving parts are a hazard. Kids can get their hands stuck in gaps between moving parts which can cause injury. Kids can fall and hurt themselves if they are unable to keep up with the speed. And even power cords can become a strangling hazard. So, does that mean you shouldn’t get one for your child? Well, not really. There are some treadmills that have been specifically designed for children. Some like the Redmon Fun and Fitness Exercise Equipment for Kids Treadmill are designed to be used by kids ages 3 to 6. The Fitnex XT5 Kids Treadmill, on the other hand, are more for older kids, maybe 7 and up. One thing you do need to make sure when choosing a treadmill for your kid is that it should be designed to child safety standards, particularly if you plan on having a young child use it.
Motorized or non-motorized?
A non-motorized treadmill like the A+Childsupply Treadmill simply means that your child is the one propelling the belt as he or she walks on it. This is a safety precaution in more ways than one. There’s no need for the child to keep up the pace because he or she is the one setting the speed of the belt. In addition, there are no automatic moving parts that can hurt your child accidentally. However, non-motorized treadmills are generally designed to accommodate young children, weighing no more than 100 lbs.
For bigger kids, a motorized treadmill like the KidsFit 710 Junior Treadmill is a better option. They already have developed a better sense of balance and will be more capable of keeping up with the belt’s speed. And this kind of treadmill has more of the bells and whistles that will help motivate your child into keeping his exercise regimen. That being said, no kid should be left unsupervised on a motorized treadmill.
Stability: your child will be walking or running on this treadmill, whether it is motorized or not. An unstable machine may tip over accidentally if the child leans on one side.
Durability: treadmills, even ones for kids, can be expensive. You’ll want to make sure that it lasts much longer than your child’s interest in exercise. Plus, kids are less likely to take care of their treadmill. You’ll want one that can withstand kids possibly hanging on the rails or pushing buttons too hard, etc.
Space: treadmills take up space and those designed for kids are usually not foldable. What this means is that you should take note of how big (or small) the treadmill is and if you have enough space to accommodate it in your home. For smaller kids, it’s best if you set it apart from the machines in your home gym to avoid any accidents while he or she is working out beside you.
Side rails: even adults can have a hard time keeping up with the speed of the machine so it’s not that far-fetched that a child may accidentally trip and fall while on a treadmill. To help them maintain balance, especially when they’re tiring out, and prevent tripping, side rails are a must. Foam wrapping on these metal tubes are also important to prevent calluses and eliminate a potential safety concern.
Doctors and experts still recommend that kids get exercise through play because it incorporates fun and social interaction. Running on a treadmill can be very isolating. However, it is a good option to have if your kid is unable to run around outside with his friends but still needs his daily dose of exercise.