Using a hammock stand is by far the safest way to set up a hammock, but there are still some important safety tips you should keep in mind when using one. The dangers related to a hammock are not limited to falls, but could also include drowning, electrocution or crushing. Be aware of the possible dangers and make provisions to avoid them. Always supervise children when they are using a hammock.
The hammock stand eliminates many dangers, but it is essential that the frame is assembled correctly. If you seem to have extra parts, examine the assembly carefully and make sure that you haven't skipped any steps. Leaving out a single bolt in the right place could result in the stand collapsing without warning.
The best placement for a hammock is over soft grass or sand. If you plan to place your hammock over a hard surface like a deck or patio, take extra caution when using it.
Hammocks and Water
As with all outdoor furniture, exercise care when using a hammock around water. Never put the hammock stand too close to the edge of a pool, dock or deck to avoid accidentally tipping into the water.
No matter how enticing it may seem, never place the hammock directly above water more than an inch or two deep. If a sound sleeper were to move the wrong way, being dumped into water more than a few inches deep could result in drowning. This can happen even in shallow water.
Make sure that the hammock frame doesn't come into contact with electrical wires, especially if the ground is damp. The risk of electrical shock is minimal, but sudden situations could increase the risk, such as a sprinkler becoming active. When possible, avoid the dangers of electricity completely by using battery or solar-powered devices.
Children and Hammocks
For children, a hammock can be a delightful plaything. It rocks to and fro just like a familiar swing, and has the benefit of offering a reclining position. The fact is that small children should not be put into a hammock unless an adult will be right there the whole time. It only takes a moment for a child to try and sit up, and that motion is enough to tip a hammock.
Also, a child should never be encouraged to play or stand in a hammock. A child remembers activities that seemed fun or exciting, and will try to do them again spontaneously.
Suggestions for Reducing Fall Risks
One way to decrease the risk of injury to a child is to lower the hammock down until the sides no longer have room to tip over. A better suggestion is to create a pallet under the hammock, using an air mattress or thick blanket folded in doubles. Accept that a fall will happen when you least expect it, and then tailor the landing area to prevent serious injury. Some hammocks can be hung to prevent tipping, so check the documentation to see if this applies to yours.