The "Superhero Cape Burrito": a simple and comfortable method of short-term procedural restraint

J Emerg Med. 2011 Jul;41(1):74-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2010.11.024. Epub 2011 Feb 5.


Background: Restraint is sometimes necessary to successfully perform procedures on pediatric patients in the emergency department. A papoose may be intimidating and uncomfortable, and a wrapped sheet may not keep the child's arms from wiggling free.

Discussion: We present an adaptation of the wrapped sheet (burrito) technique, using a pillowcase to better immobilize the child's arms. The arms are inserted in the pillowcase behind the child's back, and then the child is placed supine over a horizontally placed sheet and turned to each side so the sheet is tucked behind the back. The child is thereby easily and comfortably restrained.

Conclusions: We believe this technique more successfully restrains the child than the wrapped sheet alone, and is easier to execute than other wrapped sheet techniques aimed at improving arm immobilization.

MeSH terms

  • Arm
  • Bedding and Linens*
  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Restraint, Physical / methods*