It’s a hot and sunny day and you’re walking through a park or relaxing in the garden. In order to protect your little one from the sun and heat, you cover the stroller with a muslin or blanket.
Covering your baby’s pram with a blanket can prove deadly. In trying to keep your little one shaded and cool, you’re actually doing more harm than good. Placing a blanket, no matter how light the material, can cause the temperature inside the stroller to rocket.
On a hot summer day, the temperature in a pram can reach 22 degrees. If you place a cover over the top of it, this temperature can reach 34 C within half an hour, and a terrifying 37 C after an hour. This can cause your baby to overheat and significantly increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
“It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos,” warns Svante Norgren, a paediatrician at the Astrid Lindgren children’s hospital in Stockholm. “There is bad circulation of the air and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram.”
“If a child gets too hot then the child may think that it is back in the womb, which is why breathing may stop,” she continues.
If you are worried that your child may be overheating or suffering from heat exhaustion, go indoors immediately.
Dr Christian Nechyba, a paediatrician at Carolina Kids Paediatrics advises, “Get them into an air-conditioned environment, and offer them fluids.” If they’re still suffering, don’t delay in consulting your doctor.
How can you safely keep your baby cool on sunny days?
“Avoid excess cushioning that might keep a lot of their skin from breathing normally,” recommends Dr Nechyba. He also advises putting a lot of thought into buying a stroller. If you’re often out in the heat, a light coloured pram will keep baby cool.
A stroller with a removable back panel and a large canopy are good options for summer days. You can also purchase a fan that clips onto the stroller’s handle bars.
Regardless of features and gadgets that help keep your baby cool and comfortable, keeping constant check on their temperature is vital.
Warning signs that your baby is too hot include shallow breathing, acting tired or weak, reddening skin that is hot to touch, extreme thirst.
If you notice anything else unusual, never ignore it — always consult a medical professional.
Accessories to keep baby cool in the heat
Clip-On Buggy Fan, Dreambaby, Uber Kids
Buggy Parasol, Jojo Maman Bebe
Baby Cooling Teethers, Boots