Heavy, weighted blankets—marketed as comforting bedding indulgences for adults and even infants—are producing the latest word of caution among pediatricians and product safety experts. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warned that weighted blankets should never be used for babies, and in a recent news article in the Washington Post, the chair of the AAP’s task force on sudden infant death syndrome cautioned that even a small amount of pressure on a newborn’s ribcage can potentially create an obstruction. At the same time, there is no evidence that the weighted blankets are safe or provide any benefit for babies. Heavy blankets can also make it harder for an infant to rollover and pose a risk of suffocation.
Weighing in at 10%: The Post mentions at least one report of a fatality involving a weighted infant blanket. At least 3 million weighted products for babies have been sold. Manufacturers say the blanket weights are less than 10% of the user’s typical body weight. However, there is no standard weight ratio, and the products are not regulated.