Parents urged not to cover prams to create shade for babies

Experts have stressed that covering your baby's pram with a blanket to create shade is very dangerous and could lead to overheating or even death.

Britain’s had some of the hottest weather in history over the past few weeks and the heatwave shows no signs of shifting.

We’re not complaining about the weather but it can be difficult to keep cool if you’re pregnant or to keep your baby cool and make them comfortable in the heat.

It’s great to be able to enjoy some fun outdoors and who doesn’t love sitting in the park with a picnic? However, it’s very important to make sure that your efforts at keeping your children cool are safe.

Experts from Stockholm’s Astrid Lindgren Children’s hospital stress that covering your child’s pram with a blanket can be incredibly dangerous. An experiment from the hospital showed that it took just 20 minutes for the air inside the pram to reach 37 degrees.

Even a light blanket is not advised as the air temperature inside the pram will rise and this could lead to your baby suffering from heatstroke or in some cases sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Former paediatrician and now forensic scientist and specialist in child deaths, Torleiv Ole Rognum, previously spoke to the broadcaster TV2 about the issue. He said: ‘Don’t put a blanket over the pram. It quickly becomes too hot for the child and may even result in the death of the child. The children must have sufficient access to fresh air… children can become very hot and not be able breathe.’

Paediatrician Svante Norgren, from the Astrid Lindgren Children’s hospital first explained the risks following his research in 2016.

He said: ‘It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos. There is also bad circulation of the air and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram.

‘It would quickly become uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for the child … if a child gets too hot then the child may think that it is back in the womb, which is why breathing may stop.’

If you are out with your children make sure you’ve got plenty of water on hand to keep them hydrated. Dehydration in babies can also be fatal if not treated quickly.

how to keep your baby cool drink

Homemade ice lollies are a great way to top up their water consumption as well as fruit treats like watermelon. However, these should not be prioritised over water and should be offered in tandem.

When going to the park  or beach try to set up in an area of shade or pack a parasol to create a sun-free zone. Make sure you are regularly topping up your child’s suncream, especially if they are swimming or playing with water.

Avoid spending too long in the direct heat and take your little ones in for a rest regularly.

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