Electric Blankets: Cozy or Catastrophic?

Matthew Powell

1292864_retro_woolIn many parts of the country, the temperatures continue to dip lower and lower as winter persists. Even here, in Tampa, the nights can be cool enough to want a warm blanket. Many will turn to electric blankets for the next month or two, but should you consider following this trend in your own home? Electric blankets can pose a threat, especially to certain segments of the population.

Do Electric Blankets Cause Cancer? This would, of course, be a concern for anyone using the blanket. It has been suggested that the electric magnetic field built up around an electric blanket could be absorbed into the skin over time, increasing the risk of some types of cancer. While the theory is nerve-racking, there is no definitive evidence to suggest that this is the case. Still one might be wise to limit the use of an electric blanket.

Are Electric Blankets Safe During Pregnancy? When a woman is “with child,” the threat of electric blanket usage increases. The electromagnetic field would be much more damaging to a growing fetus. Furthermore, the heat of the blanket, while one sleeps, can become too much. An increased core temperature would have the potential to harm the growing fetus. This is particularly true in the first fragile months of the pregnancy.

Should Diabetics Use Heated Blankets? It might seem odd to suspect that diabetics would be any more at risk than anyone else, but the truth is that this segment of the country’s population often shares insensitivity to heat. They do not experience increased temperatures in the same fashion as a non-diabetic would. For that reason, excessive heat during the night could go unnoticed. If the blanket were to overheat, the person could even experience burns. More likely, however, a diabetic could become dehydrated if left to sweat all night long.

Electric Blankets for Young Children? These blankets pose a significant threat to children as they sleep. Long cords are used to make the blankets convenient for those situated far from the nearest outlet. However, that long cord could easily get wrapped up, around a tossing-and-turning child. Strangulation becomes a major concern.

The risks grow exponentially when the blankets are not treated or used properly. Damage through improper cleaning or storage could increase the likelihood of overheating and fire. If your blanket malfunctions or causes you harm, speak to a personal injury attorney regarding your rights.

Matthew Powell

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