Using a pushchair or pram parasol is better for your baby. Mums and dads that cover a pram or pushchair with a muslin or blanket in hot weather put their child at risk of overheating, say researchers in Sweden.
A Pram parasol is a great way to keep your baby shaded in summer. Everyone knows about the dangers of hot weather and too much time in the sun and heat exposure. We keep our kids in the shade and cover them in sun cream. No parent would ever leave them in a hot car with the windows closed. But covering a pram or pushchair with a blanket is just like leaving them in that hot car.
Is it dangerous to cover a pram?
As the temperature rises this year, there’s one common mistake that parents make. It could be putting babies at risk.
Researchers in Sweden report that using a blanket as a pram or pushchair cover creates “furnace-like heat” inside.
Even thin cloths like muslins can reduce air circulation. They can increase the heat within the pram by as much as 15 degrees Celsius on top of the external temperature.
“It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like that of a thermos,” paediatrician Svante Norgren, said in an interview with Swedish newspaper, the Svenska Dagbladet. “There is also bad circulation of the air and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram.”
When the newspaper chose to do its own experiment with a pushchair, they delivered some astonishing results. The results clearly show why parents should use a pram parasol.
An uncovered pushchair in hot weather
The experiment included leaving a pushchair left out in the heat, not including a cover. The pushchair achieved a temperature of 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
A pushchair covered with thin material
Within thirty minutes of the pushchair being covered in hot weather, the temperature inside increased to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit). After one hour it had shot up to a suffocating 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
Babies and young children are far more susceptible to changes in temperature than older children or adults. In warm conditions, a baby’s body temperature can increase between three and five times faster. This means that babies and toddlers are at an heightened risk of heatstroke.
Increased body temperature levels can also make them more prone to serious risks such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
During the hot weather, there are some key things you can do to ensure your child remains cool. They are:
- Dress your little one in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and a sun hat.
- Use a pram parasol or clip-on sunshade on your child’s pram or buggy.
- Babies and children dehydrate quickly in hot weather. Breastfeed more often or offer extra water to bottle-fed babies and older children.
- Whenever possible, avoid keeping our baby out in direct sunlight between 11 am and 3 pm.
- When the temperature is especially hot, keep your child indoors with windows open for ventilation.
- Do not leave children in a car on a warm day, not even for a minute.
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