Weighted blankets simulate the sensation of being hugged to help people with anxiety or insomnia sleep more easily. But if it works for adults, would it also work for babies?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes infants shouldn’t use weighted blankets because the products lack regulation and pose a risk. In a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the AAP shared its concerns about weighted blankets, and even pointed out how the safety studies conducted by the blanket manufacturers lacked scientific evidence.
CPSC also disclosed receiving at least two reports that a weighted blanket product was linked to infant death.
What’s wrong with the blankets?
Medical experts have pointed out that even if weighted blankets apply gentle pressure on infants, they can still be dangerous. Babies’ bodies are still developing, so their ribcages aren’t rigid enough. Just a little pressure on an infant’s chest is enough to obstruct their breathing and heartbeats.
Experts also warned that weighted blankets could also raise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). While the medical community is still unsure about what causes SIDS, pediatricians have universally agreed that letting a baby sleep on their back is the safest position to avoid it. But weighted blankets can complicate this. If a baby rolls over onto their stomach while wearing a weighted blanket, the blanket could prevent them from rolling back onto their back.
What to do if a weighted blanket harms your baby
If a weighted blanket causes any health problems to your infant or, God forbid, leads to death, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Under product liability law, manufacturers must warn consumers of any known dangers related to their products. You may be able to hold the company negligent and pursue damages.
Product liability lawsuits can be complicated, and manufacturers could fight their way out of paying any settlement. Before filing anything, you should consider speaking with legal counsel to understand your options.