When you’re a parent, safety is probably the first thought you have when you wake up and the last thought before going to sleep. It doesn’t help when there are news stories every other day claiming that some innocuous item poses a risk to your child’s safety. One thing that is on parent’s mind lately is weighted blankets. So are they as harmful as people are claiming?
What is a weighted blanket it?
If you don’t know, a weighted (or gravity) blanket does what it says on the tin. It’s a blanket that offers extra weight and is commonly used for children with special needs. They’re also popular with people with anxiety. The blankets provide ‘deep touch pressure’, more commonly referred to as a ‘calming effect’. This essentially means that by using a weighted blanket your child might find it easier to relax.
Are there any Causes for concern with weighted blankets?
However, the heavy blankets have raised concerns that they could do serious damage, especially to young children, and they have unfortunately been linked to multiple deaths. The weight could pose a risk to young children, especially those with restricted movement, as they may become stuck or trapped under the blanket which can cause distress and, at worst, suffocation.
Aside from the risks to health, the blanket can also cause problems with individuals relying on the blanket for comfort and oversleeping. Not to mention the fact that they are usually priced at over £100, making it difficult for some people to purchase one.
Benefits of using weighted blankets
However, weighted blankets have been praised for their calming effects, as well as their ability to prevent fidgeting. Many parents have found it to be a useful tool in helping send their child to sleep as it can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety as well as hyperactivity. So they do have their place for children and adults alike who suffer from disabilities, autism, or anxiety. Despite this, we highly recommend avoiding the use of weighted blankets for babies and young children.
Not using a weighted blanket doesn't need to mean restless nights. At SpecialKidsCompany, we stock the Fidgetbum 4-way stretch sleep aid bedding. The blanket is designed to not only help your child stay comfortable, but also to prevent your little one from falling out of bed and kicking away their bedding. It’s made using soft and non-irritable cotton. It serves as a fantastic solution for children who need a specialised blanket for a peaceful sleep.
It's critical to avoid using a weighted blanket, especially for younger children, and find alternative ways to help your child relax, avoid fidgeting, and get a full night's sleep.
At SpecialKidsCompany, we recognise that there is a lack of specialist bedding, clothing, and accessories for children with disabilities. Our range of products are designed to improve the day to day life of your child by focusing on comfort and preventing irritability.
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Swimming is a fantastic inclusive activity to do with children with special needs. It’s a great sensory experience that is good fun and has positive benefits for both physical and mental health. It is also an activity that can be done all year round and doesn’t have to be weather dependent (depending on where you choose to swim!).