Let’s talk about weighted blankets!
Over recent months, there has been much chatter on social media about the use of weighted blankets for both children and adults. We thought it was therefore perfect timing to remind everyone about their use.
There is very limited evidence (as with all sensory strategies) which supports or refutes the use of weighted blankets to improve sleep quality. However, there is consensus among OTs in regards to general guidelines in relation to the use of these blankets to ensure the users’ safety. These guidelines include:
- The blanket must way no more than 10% of the child’s body weight. For example, if your child weighs 15kg, the blanket should not weigh more than 1.5kg.
- The blanket must be used under closer supervision at all times. A child should not be left unattended with a blanket on them.
- The blanket should remain lower than the child’s shoulders and never be pulled up around their face.
- The blanket should be removed after 20mins of use as the body becomes accustomed to the deep pressure it is providing.
There are also other considerations to make before purchasing one- the overall size of the blanket, the materials it is made from, and whether or not the weight is adjustable.
If you are considering whether or not a weighted blanket would be beneficial for your child, we encourage you to talk to your child’s treating OT.