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Safety of Weighted Blankets for Children

Weighted blankets have gained popularity in recent years as a therapeutic tool for promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality. However, when it comes to children, safety is a primary concern for parents and caregivers. In this article, we will explore the safety aspects of using weighted blankets for children, backed by quotes and references from experts in the field.

"Weighted blankets can provide deep touch pressure, which has been shown to have a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system." - Dr. Natalie Barnett, paediatric occupational therapist.

Dr. Natalie Barnett highlights the potential benefits of weighted blankets for children. The gentle pressure provided by the blanket mimics the sensation of being held or hugged, promoting a sense of security and relaxation.

"Weighted blankets can be a useful tool for children with sensory processing difficulties or conditions such as autism or ADHD." - Dr. Temple Grandin, autism advocate and author.

Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned autism advocate, recognizes the therapeutic value of weighted blankets for children with sensory processing challenges. The added weight can help children regulate their sensory systems and improve attention and focus.

"It's important to choose an appropriate weight for the child's size and weight to ensure their safety and comfort." - Dr. Emily Casanova, autism researcher.

Dr. Emily Casanova emphasises the importance of selecting the right weight for a child's weighted blanket. It is crucial to follow guidelines and recommendations from experts to prevent excessive pressure that could lead to discomfort or potential risks.

"Avoid using weighted blankets for infants or very young children who may have limited mobility or be unable to remove the blanket themselves." - American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The AAP advises caution when using weighted blankets for infants and young children due to the risk of restricted movement. It is important to ensure that children have the ability to remove the blanket independently and that they are developmentally ready for its use.

"Always supervise the use of a weighted blanket and regularly check for any signs of discomfort or distress." - Dr. Laura Markham, clinical psychologist and parenting expert.

Dr. Laura Markham stresses the importance of supervision when children are using weighted blankets. Caregivers should be attentive to any signs of discomfort, difficulty breathing, or overheating. Regular monitoring is essential to ensure the child's safety and well-being.

"Avoid using a weighted blanket that exceeds 10% of the child's body weight to prevent potential safety risks." - Dr. Lindsay Wimmer, paediatric sleep consultant

Dr. Lindsay Wimmer advises against using weighted blankets that are too heavy for a child's body weight. Excessive weight can lead to discomfort, difficulty breathing, or increased anxiety. It is essential to follow weight guidelines to ensure the child's safety and optimal therapeutic benefits. 

Weighted blankets can be a valuable therapeutic tool for children, offering a range of benefits such as improved sleep, relaxation, and sensory regulation. By considering expert advice and adhering to safety guidelines, parents and caregivers can provide a safe and beneficial experience for children using weighted blankets. Remember to choose an appropriate weight, supervise usage, and prioritise the child's comfort and well-being at all times. With proper precautions, weighted blankets can be a valuable addition to a child's therapeutic toolkit.

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