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Children & Weighted Blankets

Will a weighted blanket help an overactive child?

Discomfort with sleep and rest are some of the most challenging issues to tackle amongst overactive children. Sleep is a core element of a child's development, and without a sufficient amount, there will be a negative impact on major developmental domains for the child.

It has since become common for Occupational Therapists to use weighted blankets when treating children with sensory over-responsivity, to help them to calm down, fall asleep, and/or to remain asleep.

Several studies have been conducted to determine whether there are any risks associated with this type of treatment. There are very few risks that have been reported, but there are precautions that need to be taken before trying any new form of treatment. The most important safeguard is to contact your child's pediatrician before trying a weighted blanket for treatment.

The studies clearly outline the methods used commonly in the research and how they were able to come to a concise conclusion.

Many of them focused on children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While other common sleep and stress-related health problems such as anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain were also studied, the primary focus of benefits highlighted is for overactive children.

It remains indispensable for a parent to be cognizant of their child’s needs by keeping track of all of their developmental milestones and making the family pediatrician aware of any uncertainties that are related to behavior.

It is worth noting that every child is different and they have varied needs in comparison to other children who belong to the same age group.

If you are comfortable with trying out a weighted blanket as part of your child’s treatment, then keep in mind that they may respond contrarily to the expected results based on the research.