Can My Kids Use My Weighted Blanket?
Can My Kids Use My Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets can be a tremendous aid when it comes to getting better and more comfortable sleep at night and it can be tempting to share that same aid with your children if they also find themselves struggling to sleep at night. However, not all weighted blankets are made equal and there are certain precautions that need to be taken into account when it comes to keeping your children safe while they sleep.

Do Not Use on Infants and Small Children

Weighted blankets should not be used on infants and small children as their air access can be limited if they cannot push the blanket off of themselves, which can lead to suffocation and increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A blanket that is too heavy for a child’s body can also lead to a decrease in their circulation and can affect their blood flow. In general, weighted blankets should not exceed 10% of somebody’s body weight. For instance, a 15 lb weighted blanket should not be used for anyone under 150 lbs. This should be kept in mind especially when considering how much, if any, weight is exerted upon your children as they sleep. Children with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or breathing disorders such as asthma should also not be treated with weighted blankets until given the go-ahead from their healthcare provider. 

When Are They Helpful?

So far, the research surrounding whether weighted blankets help support sound sleep for children with autism has shown no real effect on sleep quality or duration. However, this does not negate the effects of deep touch pressure that helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Deep touch pressure mimics the sensation of being hugged or held which can be comforting for those with certain sensitivities to sensory input such as children with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The positive effects of deep touch pressure can be most beneficial during the day for children to relieve these feelings of stress and anxiety as some children have found the weight from a weighted blanket to be claustrophobic when used at bedtime. It is advised that children be monitored while they are using a weighted blanket and that they should not be used overnight. 

What to Keep in Mind

If your child is older than that of a toddler, then you are able to share the joy of a weighted blanket with them. Regardless, there are still some key points to remain cognizant of when deciding to let your child use a weighted blanket. To err on the side of caution, it is best to supervise your child while they are using a weighted blanket in order to ensure their safety, especially while they’re still on the younger side. Children should also be able to remove the blanket from their body without any outside assistance in order for them to remain safe. If they were to find themselves under a weighted blanket without the ability to move it off of themselves and without any outside aid, then it can increase the risk of suffocation. In line with preventing suffocation, weighted blankets should never be used to cover the neck and the head of anybody, but especially a child.

Additionally, as mentioned before, the specific weight of a weighted blanket is imperative to keep in mind and it should not exceed 10% of somebody’s body weight. When it comes to children who naturally have lower body weights than adults, it is important to find a weighted blanket that is not excessively heavy. For instance, the Nodpod BODY is a weighted pod that is meant to offer adults a more concentrated distribution of weight across a specific area of the body and imposes less heat on the body. However, weighing in at 6.5lbs, the Nodpod BODY serves as an ideal weight for those who weigh 65 lbs or more. A weighted blanket, when used on children, must also be appropriate for their size. A weighted blanket should not be able to drape over the sides of your child’s bed, for example, as its weight can pose a suffocation hazard. 

Key Takeaways

While many adults find a weighted blanket to be a useful tool to calming their nerves and fostering a good night’s sleep, there are associated risks when it comes to using a weighted blanket with children. When considering whether a weighted blanket is appropriate for your child, there are key considerations that must be kept in mind. For one, weighted blankets should not be used on infants and small children under any circumstances as they pose a serious safety hazard due to the risk of suffocation. As your child grows older, however, they can begin to incorporate weighted blankets into their daily routine. It is imperative that children should be supervised while using them, though, and it is advised that they not be used overnight at this stage. If you have concerns about your child using a weighted blanket, consult your healthcare provider for their professional opinion regarding you and your child’s specific set of circumstances. 

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