What’s a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is a safe and effective way to apply weight and deep pressure. The blankets typically have quilted pockets filled with heavy plastic beads called poly pellets.
Why Use a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets provide the body with deep pressure input that helps calm the central nervous system. Weighted blankets can be
very helpful for a child who wants to move (is “sensory seeking”) or feels restless, agitated or stressed. Your therapist can help you determine if your child would benefit from a weighted blanket at home, and what size or weight is appropriate.
How Should a Child Use a Weighted Blanket?
In general, children should wear weighted blankets for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. A weighted blanket can lose its calming effect
if you leave it on the body for too long. After 15 to 20 minutes of wear, you should remove the blanket to allow the child’s sensory system to rest. Wait at least one to two hours after the blanket has been removed before placing it on again.
Keep in mind that overarousal of the central nervous system can lead to a fright, fight or flight response. Watch carefully when a child
is getting used to wearing a weighted blanket the first few times. If the child continues to fuss, or does not become calm or accustomed to the blanket within a few minutes, you should remove the weighted blanket.
How Do You Care For a Weighted Blanket?
You should keep a weighted blanket clean just as you would any other bed linen. Machine- or hand-wash the blanket when necessary. If you buy a weighted blanket (see next page), please follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
For information on how to buy or make a weighted blanket, see next page.
Buying or Making a Weighted Blanket
You can buy or make your own weighted blanket for home use.
Where to Buy a Weighted Blanket
You may purchase a custom-made weighted blanket through any of these sources:
- Calming Creations
- Cozy Calm
- Jeri Espeseth
- New England Adaptive Equipment
- Salt of the Earth Weighted Blankets (expect delivery within 4 weeks)
- The Magic Blanket
- Restful Wraps Weighted Blankets
How to Make a Weighted Blanket
Use the video tutorial at this Web page to help you sew your own weighted blanket:
It’s important to remember that the filling must either be removable or washable. You can purchase machine- wash/dry poly bead filler from CraftPellets.com, a local Minneapolis supply company: 763-533-0176 or www.craftpellets.com.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.