Are weighted blankets good for children
Weighted blankets have been gaining popularity over the past few years, with claims that they can help with anxiety, stress, sleep issues and even depression. But are they suitable for children and do they actually provide any benefits? Let's take a closer look.
First, let's start with what a weighted blanket is. A weighted blanket is a therapeutic heavy blanket filled with materials such as plastic poly pellets or micro glass beads. The blanket provides extra weight and pressure when placed on the body, mimicking a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation or deep pressure therapy. The extra pressure is thought to mimic the sensation of being hugged, providing a sense of comfort and security.
Recent studies have shown that weighted blankets can indeed help improve sleep quality, reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall mood in adults. However, there is still limited research on the use of weighted blankets in children.
That said, some experts believe that weighted blankets can be beneficial for children who experience sensory processing issues or anxiety. The pressure from the blanket may help calm their nervous system, providing a sense of security and comfort for the child. This can be particularly helpful for children with autism or ADHD.
It's essential to note that weighted blankets should only be used under adult supervision and should not be used for children under the age of 2. Moreover, such blankets shouldn't be used by people with certain conditions, such as sleep apnea, claustrophobia or asthma. It's important to remember that the blanket needs to be chosen very carefully - its weight should be appropriate for the child's size and weight, with a general recommendation of 10% of the child's body weight.
If you're considering a weighted blanket for your child, it's best to speak with a paediatrician or occupational therapist to determine if it's suitable for your child's specific needs. Overall, a weighted blanket can be a useful tool for providing comfort and security but it's essential to use it appropriately to avoid any potential risks.
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