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July 27, 1998|WASHINGTON POST

Some steps you can take to keep children from being injured by exercise equipment:

* Talk with your children about the dangers and help them understand that the equipment is not a toy; do not let them play with exercise equipment.

* Store exercise equipment in a place that is inaccessible to children, such as a locked room. When not using the equipment, make it inoperable by unplugging it or removing the keys.

* When exercising, keep children away from the moving equipment.

* When buying an exercise bicycle, choose one that has a solid or spokeless wheel. Make sure that the chain-and-sprocket-wheel assembly is covered with a protective guard, and that the oil holes for the chain and sprocket are smaller than a baby's finger.

* Carefully read the manual that comes with your exercise machine so that you understand the best ways to keep it safe.

* Try to replace old exercise equipment with newer, safer machines.

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