How to Teach Children to Use Massage Chairs Safely

The best parts of a Planet Fitness membership are the massage chairs. Maybe you liked your spin in one so much, you invested in a home model. No doubt your little ones want to try it, but first, what do you need to know about massage chair safety for children? 

Although these devices seem simple and are relatively harmless for most users, using them can cause injury, and youthful bodies aren’t as hardy or fully developed as an adult’s. However, in most cases, the only side effect is decreased discomfort and increased relaxation. Here’s what you should know about massage chair safety for children and what to teach your little one before their first spin. 

At What Age Are Massage Chairs Safe for Children? 

When you picture someone who’s stressed out, you rarely visualize a 2-year-old. However, although children’s bodies aren’t as developed as adults, they share the same basic physiology, meaning that stress adversely affects them, too. As such, folks of all ages benefit from massage. According to Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, FAAP, a pediatrician, infant massage promotes attachment, helping parents bond with their baby. 

At a minimum, though, your child should be old and coordinated enough to get in and out of the chair unassisted, as they may need to make a hasty exit if the sensation or vibration become too much. They should also follow instructions well. 

How to Teach Your Child to Use a Massage Chair Safely

It helps if you introduce your kids to massage before their first session in a chair, as the sensations can seem frightening to some at first. However, spending time with a trusted parent, teaches the healing power of touch, even if your skills are unrefined and no spa would hire you. A handheld massage device introduces an element of vibration and percussion that’s similar to what they can expect. 

After acclimating them to the physical sensation, closely supervise their first ride. Ensure they can enter and exit with no help from you and teach them how to operate the various controls, especially how to turn the device off if it becomes too much. 

Athletic teens may adore massage chairs for their effects on sore muscles, helping them ease inflammation and enhance flexibility after tough workouts. It’s still smart to review the operating instructions — treat it as learning how to use the new device together. Your child may know more than you do, anyway, as your high school’s gym may include one. They’ve increased in popularity in recent years in commercial fitness facilities, with schools following suit.

What Are the Dangers of Massage Chairs for Children? 

Although rare, massage chair injuries occur, which is why children should only use them under adult supervision. For example, one woman in Florida became stuck in such a device in 2022 when the chair trapped her foot, requiring firefighters to dismantle the chair to extricate her. Children also face entrapment risks because of their smaller, thinner limbs. 

While it’s rare for children to have severe health issues a chair might aggravate, checking with your doctor makes sense if they have a history of problems. Pregnant teens may also need to use caution, as pregnancy is a risk factor for deep vein thrombosis, a vascular disorder that can cause blood clots to form and travel to other organs, damaging them. 

Massage Chair Safety for Children: 6 Guidelines   

Following the four below massage chair safety guidelines for children can protect your kiddo while they ease muscle soreness and tension. 

1. Set a Timer

Long or excessive sessions in a massage chair can increase muscle soreness — you can have too much of a good thing. In general, your child should stick to one 15 to 30-minute session daily. 

2. Keep the Area Clear

Avoid the urge to squeeze your massage chair into an already cluttered room. Other family members may need space to work or play without running into one another, and bumping an entertainment center or other heavy furnishing down on someone in the chair can cause severe injury. 

3. Check the Settings 

Your child’s body proportions probably differ considerably from yours. Therefore, you’ll need to adjust the roller positions and height setting for each individual. Some models allow you to program individual settings once you adjust them manually — use this feature if available. 

4. Adjust the Cushions 

Although not truly an issue of massage chair safety for children, adjusting the cushions and grabbing a cozy blanket before your child’s session prevents interruption. 

5. No Food or Drinks

Spills can fry electronics. Worse, they could potentially spark an electrical fire — keep them away from your massage chair. 

6. Stick Around

Finally, remember the parental supervision rule. If you can’t remain in the same room, at least stay within earshot of your child in case they require assistance. 

Massage Chair Safety for Children 

Massage chairs offer relaxation and relief from sore muscles and stress. Most experts agree that following massage chair safety guidelines for children makes their use appropriate among this age group. 

Understand the basics of massage chair safety for children before investing in one for your home. You’ll get more joy from your investment when every family member can use it correctly. 

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