Parents often cover their strollers with a thin blanket to shade their babies from the summer heat, but according to one Swedish pediatrician, this is a highly dangerous mistake.
“It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos,” Svante Norgren, a pediatrician at a Stockholm children’s hospital, told 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.”
To test Norgren’s claim, reporters at the Swedish newspaper conducted an experiment of their own. After leaving a stroller outside, uncovered, for 90 minutes, the buggy reached a temperature of 22 degrees.
A stroller with a thin covering, on the other hand, heated up much quicker. In just 30 minutes, it reached a temperature of 34 degrees, and after an hour, that temperature rose to 37.
According to Swedish researchers, a covering placed over a stroller can create a “furnace-like heat” because of the lack of air flow, Kidspot reports. Even a covering as thin as a muslin cloth can cause this dangerous effect.
“The results of this study do not surprise me, and illustrate the dangers of excessively covering during hot weather,” Dr. Hamed Khan, of London’s St. George’s hospital, told The Huffington Post UK.
Babies and children are very sensitive to heat, and their bodies can actually heat up three to five times faster than adults. Additionally, kids don’t sweat as much as adults do, which means they can’t cool down as quickly either. This, combined with the fact that babies and young kids can’t communicate when they are hot, can result in dangerous consequences, especially if they are left unattended in a stroller.
As a result, Dr. Khan warns that parents should always be aware of their kids in the summer heat. “Keeping a close eye on young children, checking up on them regularly, and making sure that they are well hydrated is extremely important,” he said.
Additionally, the Government of Canada advises that children under the age of one should be kept out of direct sunlight. This is to prevent skin damage and dehydration. A safe and easy way to do this is to attach a parasol to your baby’s stroller, rather than use a covering.
Get more sun and heat safety tips for kids here.
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