Like winter, summertime comes with its own set of safety warnings for you and your family. Being outdoors in the warm weather is fun but there are some risks we should be aware of, and we’re sharing one for babies.
How many times have you covered your baby’s stroller with a blanket or hood? You’ve probably done it while taking the car seat out of the car when it’s cold, raining, or for general protection. We often want to shield the baby from germs and strangers. But during the summer, it can be dangerous.
Why? Because babies can overheat under those makeshift tents. It’s similar to leaving your child in a hot car during the summer. Temperatures can quickly rise in a closed-off environment, creating an oven-like effect that causes your baby’s internal thermometer to rise too.
In this informative video from AMHQ, Cleveland Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Thomas Phelps refers to a study conducted by Swedish researchers into the practice. Many parents do so because covering the stroller with a blanket provides a form of shade by blocking out the sun.
But these researchers discovered that things can heat up within an hour. Swedish pediatrician Svante Norgren compared it to being in a thermos during an interview with a local newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet.
In light of incidents involving babies and hot cars, the paper did their own test to check the effects of a stroller cover in heat. They learned that an uncovered stroller was 71°F while left outside. For a thinly-covered one left out for 30 minutes, the internal temp was 93°F, and after one hour, it was 98.6°F!
Doctors warn that when infants are trapped in a hot environment like this, it increases the risk of heatstroke, SIDS, or death. To counter that, they suggest using an umbrella or a cover that allows for circulation and ventilation, such as one made of mesh.
Parents are also urged to avoid hot hours by going out with little ones before 10 in the morning or after 3 or 4 in the afternoon, or to just stay indoors. Stay in shady areas if you must be out during mid-day when the sun is hottest.
Babies don’t sweat like adults do, so we have to pay special attention to their body temperature whether we are outside or at home. In addition to making sure they are comfortable in the summer (and wearing sunscreen), we also have to ensure they are staying hydrated. Depending on the age of your child, keeping extra milk and water on hand while out is ideal.
Hear more of the doctor’s advice when you click on the video below on how to prep babies for the outdoors and avoiding heat dangers. He tells us what signs to look out for if a child is in danger of getting a heat-related illness.
Were you aware of this stroller risk? Are you guilty of draping a blanket over the stroller in the summer? Have you or one of your children ever had a heat-related illness?