What is a weighted blanket? A weighted blanket is often used by children and adults with autism and other sensory-related disorders; including restless-leg syndrome. It helps a person to relax and to find comfort in a similar way deep pressure works. Serotonin is released through the pressure – which converts to melatonin which helps our bodies to relax.
The general rule of thumb to determine an appropriate weight for a blanket is 10% of the intended persons body weight plus 1 pound. So a 70-pound child would need a blanket weighing 7+1, or 8 pounds. Please consult with your occupational therapist for a correct weight.
Weighted blankets are also reported to help the elderly, cancer patients, babies and toddlers, and those with insomnia.
These blankets can cost a small fortune online but crafty parents and caregivers have come up with several tutorials on how to make your own!
Flannel and cotton seem to be the materials of choice but I have also seen blankets made using minky or chenille.
**Weighted blankets should never be used as a restraint. It is important that a blanket is never so heavy that the user feels trapped. The user must always be able to remove a weighted blanket on their own without problem, if desired.