Child Hurt At Town’s New Outdoor Fitness Center
The injury of a child has dampened the excitement over a new outdoor fitness center at Elwood Park.
The child’s finger was “significantly injured” while playing on the outdoor elliptical on Oct. 22, according to town officials.
“We’re obviously very upset about this,” Town of Huntington Director of Parks and Recreation Don McKay said. “It’s terribly unfortunate what happened to this child and we just wish for a quick recovery.”
The fitness center is now fenced in and closed as part of an investigation into what happened, town spokesman A.J. Carter said.
Prior to the child’s injury, there was no barricade around the fitness equipment, which includes five workout machines.
The equipment was installed about a month ago at Elwood Park, a popular place for children given its fields and playgrounds.
“This type of equipment is very popular around the country,” McKay said. “The response has been tremendous. People enjoy it. We have received a lot of positive comments.”
Town resident Michelle Behr said she now thinks the fitness center may not have been such a great idea.
“When they were building it, we thought it was for them,” Behr said as she pointed at her two young children. “There was no fence around it until the incident happened. Kids could easily go play on the equipment.”
Two signs located around the workout equipment notify users that the machines are not intended for children under the age of 13.
“The fitness center is not a playground,” McKay said. “It was intended for adults.”
Elwood Park was chosen as the site for this equipment due to its popularity in the Town of Huntington, according to McKay.
“It is a heavily used park. It has baseball and soccer fields, a picnic pavilion and playgrounds,” McKay said. “It is a central location and has accessibility for all of our residents.”
However, Elwood resident John Motta, who said he was at Elwood Park the day of the accident watching his son’s soccer game, believes equipment like that should not be left unattended.
“If you have some kind of apparatus like that, someone should be supervising it,” Motta said. “A park should be a safe environment for children.”
The outdoor center can provide up to 12 people the opportunity to exercise together in a full body “circuit-style” workout.
Elwood Park is the third Town of Huntington Park to be installed with a workout equipment of this kind. A quarter-mile long fitness trail can be found at Dix Hills Park, and Savings Court Park in Greenlawn is also equipped with fitness machines.