It’s fairly common knowledge that leaving children in the car on a hot day, even for a few minutes, is a big no-no but as temperatures soar this summer, there’s a good chance that a common stroller mistake could be putting babies at risk. Covering a stroller with a blanket to shield your baby from the sun can have a furnace-like effect, according to a recent study done by Swedish researchers. While parents and grandparents believe that they are keeping the child shielded from the sun, adding a blanket over the stroller can cause the temperature inside a stroller to skyrocket to dangerous levels.
It gets extremely hot down in the pram (stroller), something like a thermos,” pediatrician Svante Norgren told the Swedish newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet. “There is also bad circulation of the air and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram.”
The newspaper decided to do a stroller experiment of its own, just to see what would happen. Here’s what it found:
Without a cover: The temperature inside the a stroller left out in the heat was 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit.)
With a thin cover: In 30 minutes, the temperature rose to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit.) And after an hour, it was at 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.)
The biggest increase in temperature occurred when the blanket was a solid weave (such as cotton or fleece) and the stroller or bassinet insert was completely covered so that air flow was stifled.
Young children are especially at risk for overheating and even heatstroke. Signs of heatstroke can include hot, red, dry skin; rapid pulse; restlessness; lethargy; rapid, shallow breathing; vomiting and unconsciousness. Make sure to dress your baby in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and give more fluids on hot days. When in doubt, keep your child in the shade or indoors and see care from your doctor if you are concerned that your child may suffer from overheating.
If you do need to cover your stroller to prevent the sun from getting into your child’s eyes, use a light colored, breathable cloth that leaves space for air flow. Check on your child regularly to make sure they are not over heated. Feeling the back of the neck is a great way to assess baby's core body temperature to see if it is to warm. Please seek emergency medical attention if you believe your baby is suffering from heat stroke or other heat related illness.
Have a magical day momma!
Data Source: Baby Center