Summer, like winter, comes with its own set of safety warnings for you and your family. Being outdoors in the sun is fun, but there are a number of risks we should be aware of, and here’s one for babies.
How many times have you covered your baby’s stroller with a hood or a blanket? You’ve probably done it while taking the car seat out of the car when it’s cold and raining. This is fine, but during the summer it can be dangerous.
Why is that? Well, it’s because babies can overheat very quickly under those makeshift tents. In fact, it’s quite similar to leaving your child in a hot car. Temperatures can increase very quickly in a closed-off environment, creating an oven-like effect that will cause your baby’s internal temperature to rise too.
Dr. Thomas Phelps, a pediatrician from Cleveland Clinic, refers to a study carried out by Swedish researchers into this habit. They found that many parents cover their baby’s stroller in order to provide their child with some shade from the sun. However, this can cause things to heat up within an hour. Svante Norgren, a well-known Swedish pediatrician, compares it to being inside a thermos.
In light of a number of incidents involving babies and hot cars, Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper, carried out their own experiment to check the effects of using a stroller cover on a hot day. On the day of the test, the temperature inside an uncovered stroller was 71 degrees Fahrenheit. After it had been covered for 30 minutes, the internal temperature had risen to 93 degrees Fahrenheit, and after an hour, it had increased to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
When infants are trapped in such a hot environment, it increases the risk of heatstroke and death. If you want to protect your child from the sun, you should use an umbrella or a cover that allows for circulation and ventilation, such as one made from mesh.
Furthermore, you should avoid hot hours by going out with your little one before 10 in the morning or after 4 in the afternoon. If you must go out when the sun is at its hottest (noon), stay in shady areas.
Infants don’t sweat like adults do, so we have to pay close attention to their body temperature whether we’re outside or at home. Furthermore, we also have to ensure that they stay well hydrated. Therefore, depending on their age, you should always keep milk and water on hand while out and about.