Hammock Havoc: Follow these tips to relax safely in the hanging beds this summer

How This Woman's Life Changed When a Hammock Accident Left Her Quadriplegic

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.

RELATED: Recipes for summer entertaining:

Blogger recipes perfect for summer entertaining
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Blogger recipes perfect for summer entertaining

Juicy Lucy Burger

"The signature burger of Minneapolis, the Juicy Lucy, is a cheeseburger with a twist: instead of the cheese being on top of the burger, it is sealed inside the patty!" Olivia's Cuisine

Get the recipe from Olivia's Cuisine

Juicy Lucy Burger

"The signature burger of Minneapolis, the Juicy Lucy, is a cheeseburger with a twist: instead of the cheese being on top of the burger, it is sealed inside the patty!" Olivia's Cuisine

Get the recipe from Olivia's Cuisine

Mushroom Burgers with Chickpeas

"These mushroom burgers are filled with sautéed chestnut mushrooms, chickpeas, walnuts, onions and herbs – a veggie burger taste sensation!" Delicious From Scratch 

Get the recipe at Delicious From Scratch

St Louis Cut Smoked Ribs

"I'm somewhat of a purist when it comes to making ribs ... a bit of a heavily salted dry rub, and no, absolutely not, any sauce.  Shame on you for wanting to sauce ribs that have been perfectly smoked." Have Her Over For Dinner

Get the recipe from Have Her Over For Dinner

Slow-Cooked Pulled Brisket

"Seriously, who can resist this southern classic? It’s comfort food at its best, in the form of meat that melts in your mouth! I’m telling you, it can’t get any better than that." Olivia's Cuisine

Get the recipe from Olivia's Cuisine

Black Coffee BBQ Sauce

"There’s coffee. In this. BBQ Sauce. You never have to choose between the two again! And it’s perfect for just about anything this 4th of July and beyond." Wit and Vinegar

Get the recipe from Wit and Vinegar

Bourbon Bacon Baked Beans

"What is Summer without baked beans! Bourbon Bacon Baked Beans? Even better." The Cookie Rookie

Get the recipe from The Cookie Rookie

Summer Veggie Pasta Salad

"I love all the various flavors, textures, and vibrant colors of the vegetables.  Food is so enjoyable when it’s both tasty and gorgeous, don’t you think?" Garnish & Glaze

Get the recipe from  Garnish & Glaze

Cheddar and Cream Cheese Skillet Cornbread

"This Cheddar and Cream Cheese Skillet Cornbread will have you reaching for just “one more piece” again and again." Melanie Makes

Get the recipe from Melanie Makes

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

"If you are feeling me and need to make dinner out of salsa then there is no better option than this. If you cook Mexican food with any regularity than you probably have almost everything you need to make it in your kitchen right now." Hola Jalapeno

Get the recipe at Hola Jalapeno

Potato Chip Crusted Baked Onion Rings

"With a crunchy, well-seasoned, potato chip battered crust, and juicy, tender onions at their centers, these onion rings are crispy, oven-fried perfection." Fork Knife Swoon

Get the recipe at Fork Knife Swoon

Oven Fried Spicy Pickles with Chipotle Ranch

"So if, like me, you don't have access to the treasure of the South that is fried pickles, give these a try. If you are in the South, also give these a try. But then go get some real fried pickles too (and send me some). You can never have too many pickles." The Whole Bite

Get this recipe at The Whole Bite

S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Krispie Treats

"These S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Krispie Treats are the perfect mash-up of two favorite summertime sweets." Melanie Makes

Get the recipe at Melanie Makes

4th of July Cake Roll

"This 4th of July Cake Roll is the perfect patriotic dessert, and one that all of your guests or family will go crazy over. Friends, family, fireworks… and cake. That’s what it’s all about!" Taste and Tell

Get the recipe at Taste and Tell

DIY Ice Cream Sandwich

"Make the perfect ice cream sandwich! All you need is your favorite ice cream and Sweet Loren’s cookies." Sweet Loren's

Get the recipe from Sweet Loren's

BBQ Grill Cupcakes

"They taste incredible, are super fun to make" Public Lives, Secret Recipes 

Get the recipe from Public Lives Secret Recipes

Lavender Lemonade

"Lemonade is our go-to summer drink of choice but this summer we’re mixing it up with a lavender infused flavor!" Public Lives, Secret Recipes

Get the recipe from Public Lives, Secret Recipes

Coconut Milk Rum Punch

"This recipe is a play on that classic, using rum as the base spirit, and coconut milk for the creamy portion, so you can feel just a little bit better about yourself while you booze it up this morning." Probably This

Get this recipe from Probably This

Bajan Rum Punch

"Since it's now officially Summer, I thought it was only necessary to share the recipe to my all time favorite drink! I may be biased but there's nothing quite like a Bajan rum punch!" I Am Bornlippy

Get the recipe from I Am Bornlippy


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