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Are Bed Tents Safe?


Bedtime can be a very real stressor for families with children who have special needs. Bed tents seem to be a viable solution, but just how safe are they?

The answer isn't quite as simple as a yes or no. When properly made with appropriate safety features in mind, bed tents can be beneficial and useful medical devices to help keep children secure and comfortable at night. But some bed tents on the market are more like toys than tools, in which case they may not be safe.

 

Special needs beds must be made with the needs of the individuals they seek to treat at the forefront of the mind; that is, they should have appropriate features built in to ensure that your child isn’t injured, in pain, or in distress. Safe bed tents should also be durably built and structured to help prevent accidental falls or other injuries. When looking for a safe bed tent, it’s important to keep these features in mind and prioritize them.

 

What is a Bed Tent for Children with Special Needs?

A bed tent for children, specifically children with disabilities, is a bed that contains features designed to protect, soothe, and comfort children of all sorts. Here at Cubby, our bed tents are fully equipped with everything that you need to ensure your child is happy, healthy, and most importantly, safe.

 

Bed tents, an autism bed tent, a sensory pod bed, or other safety beds for special needs can vary in design and functionality, but these special needs beds generally contain safety features that can help protect children from falls, accidental injuries, or discomfort and pain throughout the night.

 

Aside from prioritizing the safety of your child, there are other reasons you may want to look into bed tents and investing in one for your home. Bed tents are both comfortable and comforting, and they can help make sure that your child is in an environment where they feel like they are able to sleep soundly.

 

Sleep is quite important, especially for young, developing minds. Our sleep patterns affect just about every aspect of our physical and mental health, including mood, our ability to remember and process information, and regulating important bodily functions.

 

For children, sleeping the sufficient amount of hours at night is key. Consequences of sleep deprivation can vary, but in general, it can cause:

  • Moodiness
  • Loss of temper or a hard time controlling emotions
  • Physical health issues, like recurring headaches, a higher risk of obesity, etc.
  • Decreased academic performance
  • A hard time focusing

 

Children with special needs may be especially susceptible to emotional and mental changes as a result of sleep deprivation or may have a harder time communicating their feelings, so it’s always important to be mindful of the importance of healthy sleep.

 

Fortunately, bed tents and safety beds for special needs, including those offered here at Cubby Beds, can give you some peace of mind by ensuring that your child is set up for success. Our beds are made to take some of the stress off of your shoulders for you - no hassle, no drama.

Features of a Safe Bed for Special Needs Child

When looking for safety beds for special needs, there are a few key features or characteristics that you should keep in mind.

 

 

  1. Monitoring Features

Even if your child is perfectly safe in bed, it’s normal to find your sleep affected by worry about their wellbeing throughout the night, For both peace of mind and safety reasons, monitoring features are a must. Here are some necessary monitoring features:

  • A smart bed that can connect to an app on your phone.
  • A camera with night vision
  • A microphone
  • Motion detection
  • Temperature sensor to detect fever or heat within the tent
  • Humidity sensor to detect accidents
  • Smoke alarm alert
  • Carbon Monoxide alert

 

  1. Padded canopy and sheets

For problems like seizures, biting, or meltdowns, a padded bed is another essential feature. A padded bed with safety sheets will ensure that your child cannot hurt themselves on the bed. The canopy, of course, also must be completely breathable, and a mesh canopy is a plus.

  1. Sensory regulation

An overstimulated child cannot sleep. That’s why a safe bed tent for children will have features like:

  • A soothing circadian light that mimics sunset and sunrise
  • A speaker that provides white noise or other sound regulation

 

  1. Safety sheets

Safety sheets will zip and lock to the sidewalls of the bed tent in order to prevent children from burrowing into the side of the bed or getting trapped.

  1. Safety Canopy

A safety canopy will include lock pockets that will disallow your child to open the tent and wander during the night.

 

 

Beds that aren’t designed with special needs children in mind may lack the proper support and safety features that your child needs, and they may actually present new obstacles instead of addressing pre-existing ones.

A Bed Tent with the Right Features Can Help With...

Bed tents and beds for children with special needs are specifically designed to address the challenges that individuals with special needs may experience, including those that might pose a threat to one’s safety.

 

Below are some common obstacles that children with special needs may face as well as a description of how bed tents can help; these beds can not only be comfortable and safe spaces but also ones that help protect your child from accidental injury or other consequences.

  1. Bed Entrapment

  1. Bed entrapment occurs when a child gets caught in a part of their bed, tangled up, or otherwise unable to move. Bed entrapment can happen for a variety of reasons, but children with special needs may be especially prone to these sorts of situations. Movement during sleep or during time when your child is unsupervised can be a real area of concern for many families, so the functional design of a bed tent can be a real lifesaver.
  1. Overstimulation Baby Autism

  1. Bed tents, a sensory pod bed, and similar devices can all create a safe, quiet, and comfortable atmosphere free of external stimuli. For children who live with autism, freedom from noise, people, colors, or other stimulants can help promote relaxation and restful sleep.
  1. Autism Head Banging Brain Damage

  1. For those who are concerned about potential injury throughout the night, a bed tent can be a great solution. The design of a bed tent keeps your child safely contained in the bed and away from hard surfaces like walls or floors. Monitoring functions also help you ensure that your child is safe and sound at any time of day.
  1. Child with Autism Waking up at Night

  1. Waking up from a dream can be both disorienting and scary, and this is especially true for children with autism. Fortunately, the atmosphere our bed tent helps create, thanks to specially designed sensory features like meditative breathing programs, is designed to help gently calm your child both mentally and physically.
  1. Autism Elopement

  1. Autism elopement (when a child or individual with autism wanders or runs away from a caregiver) can be very stressful for parents of young children, especially at night when it’s hard to keep a close eye on little ones. Fortunately, safety and monitoring features allow you to keep track of where your child is and decrease the likelihood of them wandering off. Safety features may include lock pockets that prevent the child from opening the zipper from the inside of the tent.
  1. Risk of Seizures

  1. Seizures are an unfortunately common part of many chronic illnesses, and many families are all too familiar with the potential consequences. Special needs beds, including our bed tents, can help prevent an accidental fall or injury as the result of a seizure that happens at night or while your child sleeps. Our bed tents feature motion and sound sensors alongside other monitoring equipment to allow you to check in on your child.
  1. Meltdowns

  1. Special needs beds often include sensory features - like a sound machine, for instance - to help create a calm and comforting atmosphere for your child. Also, sleeping well at night and feeling well-rested will decrease the likelihood of meltdowns during the day.

Conclusion: Are Bed Tents Safe?

If you choose a bed tent model that has all the right features, then yes, bed tents are a safe option for those with special needs. 

 

Because bed tents and other special needs beds are meant to help protect, soothe, and comfort the individual who uses them, it’s important that some features are present. Safety and monitoring features (like cameras, sensors, etc.), as well as quality and comfortable materials, are all necessary to look out for.

 

The importance of quality sleep, especially for children with special needs, cannot be overstated. Without a healthy amount of good quality sleep, many other aspects of our health, including our mood, our ability to communicate, and our ability to focus are all impacted. A lack of good sleep can create more obstacles for your child to overcome.

 

Children with special needs can sleep peacefully in rooms of their own just like any other child, and sometimes giving your child some space and independence can be great for self-esteem and building self-confidence. Bed tents can help assist in this process.

Learn More About Your Options with a Cubby Bed

 

Cubby takes care of all the hard work for you. With innovative and thoughtful features, including motion and sound sensors, temperature and humidity sensors, high-quality cameras, calming sensory features, and more, you can rest assured that your child will be safe and sound.

 

A bed with all these features may sound out-of-reach or expensive, but, here at Cubby, we are dedicated to making our smart beds available to all the families who need them. If you reach out to us, we can set up a time to chat about options with your insurance. If your child has a rare condition, you may qualify for complete reimbursement for a Cubby bed. Better sleep for both you and your family may be just an email away. Get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.  

How to Prevent Elopement

 How to Prevent Elopement

 

For parents and caregivers of children living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), autism elopement or bolting can be a common yet stressful cause of concern.

 

There are some ways in which you can understand why it happens and how you can prevent it.

  1. Stress and overstimulation are common causes that can force children to try to escape the situation.
  2. Parents and caregivers can take some simple precautions to ensure their surroundings are stress-free for their children.

 

Understanding in detail some reasons why autism bolting can occur might directly help you understand how to stop a child with autism from running off, and how you can keep your child safe from any harm when such an incident does occur.

 

Why Does Autism Bolting Happen?

What exactly is autism elopement? Also known as autism bolting or wandering, it describes a situation when an individual living with ASD leaves a designated area without permission or supervision. Elopement is a common occurrence among not just those who live with ASD particularly, but also among individuals living with mental disorders of any kind.

When a child gets separated from their parents, it can be terrifying for all parties involved. But this stress is certainly more exacerbated when the child is also dealing with a mental illness such as autism. It can be an extremely scary situation for parents, who might fear that the child might put themself in danger, or that somebody else could pose a threat to their child. Kidnapping, accidents, getting lost, are fearful thoughts that might run through their head. Other, environmental
possibilities of them getting hurt also include dehydration, heat strokes, drowning, hypothermia, etc.

 

But why might a child living with autism run off in the first place? Research suggests a variety of reasons:

  1. Need to escape stress or overstimulation:

Stress, in this case, could be the result of a sensory overload for children, especially for those that live with autism. Loud noises, crowded places, bright television or lights, or places with strong odors might force the child into trying to escape that environment. Especially in crowded areas, this could easily result in guardians losing track of where their children are.

 

  1. Chasing something desirable:

Children often get attracted by things they might find exciting, whether it be a mobile or an immovable object. Such items can include a particular toy, a fluttering butterfly, or even a person. As a result of this attraction, the child might run after or towards the object, and might get separated by their parents.

  1. Being chased themselves:

Kids often enjoy being chased by other children or by adults. While such a little game might appear joyful and harmless, the child might elope in case a caregiver is distracted, even if it is just for a second.

  1. Attraction to water:

Studies have shown that individuals living with ASD tend to be attracted to water, which can lead them to wander off in the direction of a body of water like a pool, fountain, pond, or a lake. This can be dangerous, since children dealing with a cognitive disorder such as ASD often have little to no sense of danger, especially at a younger age. Drowning has proven to be a leading cause of death among children with ASD.

  1. To gain attention:

Children generally tend to perform activities to try and attract an adult’s attention towards them. Feeling neglected or ignored might lead a child to run away as a game to gather attention. This can also happen if a child is receiving negative attention, i.e., they are being reprimanded.

  1. New situations:

Unfamiliar environments, vacation destinations, public outings can also be situations of too many stressors for children dealing with ASD, who generally rely on routine and familiarity for comfort.

  1. Escaping an unwanted task:

Nobody likes being forced to do anything, especially children, who have a tendency to run away when made to do anything they don’t like. Such tasks can include completing their homework, or eating a meal they don’t enjoy.

How to Prevent Autism Elopement

It is important to note that elopement can occur anywhere, at any time of the day. Even if the child is in a safe space like their home, or school, autism bolting is still a possibility, and careful precautions must always be taken to prevent any such situation. There are many such measures you can take to ensure the safety of your child.

 

Such tips can be divided into two aspects: things you can do outside the house, and things you can do inside the house. For the first, you might have less control over the situation, but there are still some things you can do to help. For the latter, since the home is a safe space for the child, it is a much more controlled environment, and therefore there are many more things you can look after.

 

Outside the home space:

  1. The most helpful thing you can do is to have your child wear a device that will allow you to track their location at all times. There are many devices that also send you an alert if your child crosses a certain perimeter.
  2. Have your child carry around a card or ID bracelet that contains important details such as the guardian’s name, address, phone number, and other factors that might be important in a situation of emergency.
  3. Any chaperone who goes with the child anywhere must carry a picture of the child (in case the child does wander off), all necessary medical information, and any toys/food/items that might be calming for the child. In a stressful situation, these things will be helpful for both the child, and the guardian.
  4. Any items that might help if the child is exposed to too many sensations should also be carried when stepping out of the house. Such things might include earphones for some soothing music in areas of loud noises, or sunglasses or hats in case the place might entail very bright lights.
  5. Contact your local police and fire departments and let them know that your child has elopement tendencies. If they are non-verbal or may act in a non-typical manner, let them know what they can expect.

 

Inside the home space:

  1. Creating a stress-free environment inside the home should be any caregiver’s topmost priority. Eliminate any items that you think might cause a sensory overload and become stressors for them.
  2. Secure your home. Install security systems, locks, alarms, and even fences to not allow your child to escape at all.
  3. Inform your neighbors that autism elopement is a possibility, and that it will be helpful if they stay prepared as well. In case your child manages to wander out of the door, your neighbors can help by alerting you.
  4. Help your child memorize important details such as your home address and your emergency contact number.
  5. Teach your child alternative behaviors so that you can eliminate the possibility of them escaping an unpleasant situation. For example, if your child tends to elope when confronted with a situation where they are reprimanded, you can teach your child to communicate with you that they don’t like it, instead of bolting. Similarly, if they’re too stressed in any event, they can let you know in other ways.  
  6. Maintaining a good and healthy routine will prove very beneficial to ensure your child is not too stressed by regular changes. A good bedtime routine for a child with autism can involve calming activities before bed, such as reading or listening to music, taking care of their body, skin, and teeth, and going to bed early.
  7. Investing in a special bed for children with special needs can also be a great idea. Our Cubby Beds are smart sleep systems, specially designed to regulate sleep, safety, and stimuli for children. Poor sleep can be a common stressor for children living with autism, and our beds are dedicated to preventing that. They are also padded, covered with safety sheets, and monitored by cameras to ensure complete safety. And the calm environment that a Cubby creates will be perfect to de-stress after exposure to large amounts of stimuli over the day.

Conclusion: How to Prevent Elopement

Emergencies can happen to anybody, but there are also strategies you can follow to prevent them, at least to a certain extent. Especially for families living with ASD, such emergencies can be a little trickier to deal with. It is always important to have an emergency plan prepared and ready.

Understanding reasons for why autism elopement can occur, and paying particular attention to why it happens with your child, will enable you to make plans that can help prevent those particular situations. Take note of such reasons, and take all necessary measures.

Apart from things like having your child carry items that will help you keep track of them, or installing safety measures in your home, it is also important to focus on your child internally to prevent such situations entirely. Training your child to communicate and to behave in alternative manners will be the best prevention strategy of all. Investing in a Cubby Bed can also be very beneficial as it is an easy way to add some calm and comfort to your child’s bedtime routine.

And lastly, but most importantly, as parents and caregivers, it is always important to remember that such situations are out of your control, and are therefore never your fault. There is never any reason you should blame yourself in the event that your child does elope. Living with ASD is already tough, and there is no reason you should make it any harder for yourself. You’re doing great!

An Option for Better Sleep

If you have a loved one living with autism, a great step for preventing elopement and helping both your child and your family get a better night’s sleep, then you should certainly consider looking into Cubby Beds.

 

 

Cubby beds have:

  • A fully enclosable canopy with Inside “lock pockets” to prevent nighttime elopement
  • Monitoring features so you can check in on your child without waking them or even leaving your bed
  • Sensory features like a circadian light and speakers to help your child find a safe, calming environment where they can sleep
  • Safety sheets to prevent entrapment
  • A humidity sensor to detect accidents, a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, all to ensure that your baby is safe.

 

The best news is: many families qualify for help from their insurance plans, or even full re-imbursment. Get in touch with us, and we can help you work out a pricing plan that works best for you. It’s the first step to getting you on your way to better sleep.

 

How to Stop Head Banging

Special Needs & Autism Tips
for Kids and Parents

Understanding why your child is engaging in head banging is the first step towards helping them stay safe. Here, we’ll give you the tools you need to help them feel better.

 

In order to prevent head banging, the first step will be gaining a greater understanding of why head banging happens. After that, you can try other methods such as:

  • Sensory distraction
  • Repurposing the movement
  • Using a helmet
  • Nighttime protection

 

The most important thing to do when your child is banging their head is to make sure they are in a safe space in which they don’t feel overstimulated. In many cases, to help your child calm down, they need to feel like their environment is safe and quiet. In this article, we’ll review common reasons for head banging and autism, and discuss autism head banging strategies to ensure that you are equipped with the proper information to assist with the wellbeing of your child.

 

Why do People with Autism Engage in Head Banging?

 

It is important to remember that not all people with autism experienc$e the same tendencies. Just because one child does not experience head banging tendencies does not make it abnormal for another child. Autism can look different for any two people, and therefore, pinpointing the reasons for your child’s personal reactions can be that much more important. Discovering the causes for head banging will, in turn, help you find the individualized care that your child needs.

 

  1. The Vestibular System

The function of the inner ear is to help with balance. If you’ve ever experienced motion sickness, that is the vestibular system at work. For a person with autism, the function of the vestibular system may be altered. In that case, a child’s relationship with motion and movement will be different, which can inform the hypo-reactive head banging movement.

  1. Sensory Overload

Sensory processing disorder is a common concurring condition for children with autism. SPD is a condition in which stimuli are either under-processed or over-processed and can affect the way a child responds to smell, feel, taste, noise, etc. For some children with autism, an overstimulation of the senses can result in actions like head banging.

  1. Sensory Underload

Sensory underload, while similarly caused by SPD, might seem like a more surprising reason for head banging. In this case, the child might use head banging as a way to find comfort. While using this as a coping mechanism is more common in babies or toddlers, a toddler head banging autism tendency that continues into childhood will perhaps be as a reaction to some of the other reasons listed below.

  1. Pain

Head banging can be a common way for a child with autism to distract from other pain they might be experiencing. While it might seem counterproductive to others, this solution can be a rather comforting one for the child, and in order to stop your child from hurting themselves further, we’ll discuss solutions below.

  1. Frustration

Most children will throw tantrums and fits of frustration when they can’t figure something out when they can’t get what they want, or they feel frustrated within a situation. For children with autism hitting their head to a surface can be a way to express that frustration.

  1. Attention Seeking

In the same way that most children will have meltdowns, most children will also try a variety of things to get your attention. For children with autism, head banging can be a way that they know will grab your attention. Drawing your attention to help with feelings of discomfort, sensory overload or sensory underload, pain or frustration are all reasons why a child might begin banging their head.

Autism Head Banging Brain Damage

Learning more about the long-term effects that head banging can have on the brain of a child with autism can be quite scary, but staying educated is the best way to understand how to help your child.

 

For a child with autism, head banging brain damage isn’t much of a concern until a child is of three years of age, or older.

 

The skull of a baby or toddler is designed to absorb impact and will help protect your toddler from any damage that head banging might cause otherwise. That said, a child over the age of three years old does not have that same natural protection. Likewise, the body strength a child obtains over time will make them more capable of inflicting brain damage.

 

Of course, brain damage is far less likely without repetition. If a child repeatedly engaged in head banging against a hard surface, the likelihood of damage will increase. Equipped with the tools to stop head banging, or strategies to keep your child safe during a head banging reaction, you will help prevent any long-term brain damage.

 

How to Stop Head Banging

Watching your child participate in head banging can be an extremely alarming and frightening experience. Most parents and caregivers are rightfully concerned first and foremost about the wellbeing of their child, so head banging can be a scary thing to witness.

 

If you are feeling helpless, you’re not alone. First, try to rid the area of any dangerous objects. If you notice your child getting upset or frustrated, make sure any sharp or heavy objects are out of reach. Then, here are some ideas you can try.

  1. Sensory Distraction

Head banging can be an exacerbated version of rocking, so getting your child onto a swing or rocking chair can help ease their own motion. If you don’t have that at your disposal, you can try applying gentle pressure to the head, or engaging in physical activities that are safe and fun. For example, some parents or caregivers might enlist the help of a yoga ball or trampoline to stimulate motion in alternative ways.

  1. Repurpose the Movement

In addition to external rocking motions, you can use vibrating objects to repurpose the energy. For example, a massage chair, a vibrating stuffed animal, or an electric toothbrush can help repurpose the movement into something your child can also hold onto. External sensory objects can be extremely soothing to a child with autism.  

  1. Autism Head Banging Helmet

If your child has a frequent habit of head banging, trying a hard or soft shell helmet can be a good way to ensure their safety. If your child has a particular dislike for certain materials, you might have to try out a few different protective products before finding something that works. For example, perhaps a helmet with a neck strap does not appeal to your child. In that case, a protective headband might be a better fit. If your child is particularly sensitive to noise (which might be a cause for head banging), you can also consider the use of noise-canceling headphones.

  1. Nighttime Protection

 

For nighttime, help your child regulate their emotions by encouraging a nightly bedtime routine, and use a bed with a protective covering, or a sensory safe place to ensure their comfort and sensory familiarity. With these precautions, a good night sleep will be sure to help your child regulate their emotions during the day.

 

To ease your anxiety and assist with the safety of your child overnight, Cubby Beds provides sensory regulation, safety sheets, a circadian light, mesh fabric doors, a soothing speaker, and a camera & microphone so you can monitor your child from the comfort of your own bedroom. By prioritizing both safety and comfort, Cubby Beds specifically works to give your child the nighttime sensory-experience they need, and the safety you’ve been looking for.

 

Conclusion: How to Stop Head Banging

The first step for how to stop head banging will always be education. Learning more about your child’s needs, habits, and coping mechanisms paired with autism awareness and education will then equip you with the knowledge to help with the safety and wellbeing of your child.

 

Track the triggers, know the signs, and have the tools in place to help your child feel comfortable. For extra nighttime protection, Cubby Beds can be your nighttime tool. Don’t wait for another sleepless night. With a good night’s sleep, you and your child will be better set for success.

 

For individual assistance, talk to your child’s doctor about their tendencies, and find out which of these methods are best suited for the wellbeing of your child.

 

A Great Option for Parents of Kids with ASD

The safety of your child is your top priority- and here at Cubby Beds, that’s our top priority as well. That’s why we’ve designed a special needs bed made specifically with children with disabilities in mind.

 

Cubby Beds offer:

  • A padded canopy providing 360 degrees of protection
  • Safety sheets that prevent entrapment
  • Lock pockets to prevent nighttime elopement
  • A night-vision camera and a microphone with motion and sound sensors so that you can check on your child’s safety throughout the night
  • A speaker for soothing music or white noise plus a soft circadian light, both designed to help with sensory overload and provide for a calm sleep

 

If you get in touch with us, we can speak personally about your insurance and financing options. Many families even qualify for full reimbursement. Reach out today, and be on your way to sleeping easy throughout the night.