Weighted blankets have become popular ways for adults to relieve anxiety and improve their sleep. It was only a matter of time before weighted blankets for babies hit the market. In theory, if they worked for restless adults, they could work for babies.
However, experts now know that weighted blankets, swaddles and sacks pose a safety risk for infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last December, warning the agency that there aren’t any safety regulations for these blankets.
CPSC recently updated its safe sleep guidance for infants, warning parents and caregivers to avoid using weighted blankets. The agency also cited a previous notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, which noted that there had been at least one fatality last year involving a weighted infant product.
Understanding the dangers of weighted blankets
As their name implies, weighted blankets are much heavier than regular blankets. They provide similar benefits to deep pressure therapy and calm restless sleepers. However, that extra weight can pose a significant suffocation risk to infants.
The AAP explained in its letter that one of the biggest manufacturers of weighted baby blankets sold the products before they were proven safe. The group also warned that the tests conducted by the manufacturers had no data about their use in an unmonitored setting.
Legal protection for your infant
If your infant has suffered harm from a weighted blanket, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit. Under California law, a product is defective if – despite being used as intended by the manufacturer – it subjects users to substantial danger that the manufacturer should’ve warned about.
By law, manufacturers and suppliers have a duty to warn customers about the potential risks and side effects of using their products.
The first thing you should do following an injury incident involving a weighted blanket is to seek immediate medical attention. Your child’s health is the top priority. You should then document everything about the incident. Keep the blanket as evidence and record all related details, including witness testimonies and medical results.
Consider speaking with a legal professional experienced in California product liability law before filing any lawsuit. Product liability is complex, and an experienced attorney can navigate the nuances of your case.