If you’ve made the choice to make children a part of your life, congrats! It’s a deeply fulfilling but incredibly tiring job. As a parent or guardian, we all want our children to grow up experiencing life to the fullest while keeping them safe in a world that can seem downright scary at times.
As hammock enthusiasts ourselves, it’s only natural that our children will share in our passion for hanging out. But as with everything in life, there is a fine balance between keeping your child safe while still letting ‘kids be kids.’ And as the mature adult in the room, it’s our responsibility to ensure that kids are using hammocks appropriately.
Kids and hammocks — adult supervision required
The first point is that kids should never use hammocks without adult supervision. It doesn’t matter how safe the set-up appears, kids have an uncanny knack for finding a way to endanger themselves. So before reading any further, make a commitment to yourself — and have your kids promise — that they won’t use any hammock product unattended. After all, even adults are tempted to break the rules if no one is watching, so make a pact with the kids that they will only use their hammock with you nearby.
Hammocks — where ‘the good life’ meets ‘the danger zone’
While laying in a hammock might seem the furthest thing from risky behaviour, every year many people get hurt when using hammocks. If you’re skeptical of the damage that can be done, check out Hammock Fail Compilations — for research purposes, of course, not to get cheap laughs from other people’s misfortune.
All joking aside, when kids meet hammocks, safety is priority number one. Kids can hurt themselves trying to enter and exit a hammock, a problem exacerbated by their shorter stature and their propensity to dive in or jump out. Ensuring the hammock is hung properly may not seem like a high priority, since kids don’t weigh the same as an adult — but remember that kids may invite their friends in and swing around excitedly, putting unanticipated strain on the support structure (another reason to always have adult supervision).
When kids are inside a hammock, there are additional risks — kids can get trapped in the netting or smothered in the folds of fabric. Strangulation and suffocation are real concerns, and the last thing you need is a late-night trip to the local hospital with your child looking like they’ve been wrapped inside a fishing net … at least not if you’re still competing for Parent Of The Year award.
The answer? Kid-specific hammocks
If running through the list of dangers is enough to give you a parental panic attack, then take a deep breath: hammock manufacturers have factored these safety concerns into their designs. La Siesta’s design team has spent time researching how and why kids can injure themselves, and has come up with innovative solutions that remove the danger while preserving the enjoyment of hammock. Just as you wouldn’t put your young child on an adult bike or turn them loose with the family lawnmower, it’s all about ensuring you purchase a product made specifically for kids.
If you’ve got a small kid with big dreams of hanging out, there’s no better option than the Hanging Nest. Unlike traditional two-beam supported hammocks, the Hanging Nest suspends from a single point on the ceiling, making it a cinch to install and a breeze to customize the height — making it accessible for even the smallest toddler. It’s bright colours and cozy interior make it the perfect entry-level choice.
Joki Hammock chair
With a sturdy spreader bar and rip-resistant edges, the Joki Hammock Chair is perfectly suited to for the rigours of life with rambunctious rugrats. With a 360 degree safety swivel, kids who enjoy the pleasures of vestibular stimulation won’t endanger themselves by spinning around. Best of all, the Joki is set up like a chair, so kids can easily enter and exit, keeping their legs dangling and feet on the ground.
IRI Rainbow child-sized hammock
If you’ve raised pint-sized hammock purist who won’t be satisfied with anything less than the traditional design, then check out the IRI Rainbow. Same concept, sized appropriately for kids. Best of all, since its not a mesh design, it removes the worry about kids getting tangled in the netting.There are many ways to sit in a hammock. How many of them do you know?