Hammock Havoc: Follow These Tips to Relax Safely in the Hanging Beds This Summer

They may be an ideal way to relax in the summer, but hammocks can be extremely dangerous if you're not careful.

Hammocks are a great way to relax in the summer — but they can also be extremely dangerous if not used properly.

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In 2011, 14-year-old Kendra Muller and a few of her friends were relaxing in a hammock attached to two brick pillars used to hold up a deck. Suddenly, the brick column collapsed on top of Muller.

The accident left her a quadriplegic.

“I got knocked out and then when I woke up I thought that the bricks were limiting my movement and that's why I couldn't stand up but it turned out I was paralyzed. That's why I couldn't stand up,” she told Inside Edition.

She had to learn how to eat, speak and breathe all over again.

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While people may no doubt be eager to laze in a hammock this summer, expert Derek Hansen, who sleeps in a hammock every night and runs the website The Ultimate Hang, provided some of his top tips to Inside Edition.

1) Only use the materials that come with the hammock, such as carabiners and straps.

2) Hang the hammock no more than 18 inches above the ground.

3) Clear any debris from beneath the hammock before using.

4) Hang hammock from sturdy, healthy trees.

5) If hanging from a post, be sure it is at least 6 inches in diameter and that at least 1/3 of its length is sunk into the ground and anchored with concrete.

6) Do not jump into the hammock. Sit sideways and then swing your feet in.

7) Do not exceed the intended weight of the hammock which can usually be found on the strap or inside the hammock.

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