05/08/2021

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Warning to parents about covering baby's pram during heatwave weather

Warning issued to parents about dangers of covering baby's pram during hot weather

Never cover a baby buggy or pram with a blanket

Parents have been warned not to cover their baby's pram with a blanket or cover, especially during the current hot spell.

Covering your pram or buggy with blankets (or cloths and covers) can lead to heat being trapped within the buggy and could cause your baby to dangerously overheat.

According to parenting website, www.familyfriendlyhq.ie, many parents are not aware of the risks of covering over their babies cot or buggy with a blanket to try to provide shade. Even using a light scarf or blanket could lead to serious complications for infants. These types of cover restrict the air circulation for babies and the interior of the pram will become dangerously hot very quickly.

Dr Svante Norgren, paediatrician, recently spoke of the problem: "It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos.

"Results of an experiment carried out by the paper found that a covered pram left out on a warm day (approx. 22 degrees) rose quickly to 34 degrees within a space of a half an hour and 37 degrees after an hour. This would greatly increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome." 

www.onlinefirstaid.com have also warned against the practice noting: "Every summer there are well-publicised campaigns about the dangers of allowing babies and children to overheat in cars or buggies during the summer months. Overheating in this way has even been implicated as a contributory factor SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)."

Instead of place a blanket over the pram use a clip-on sunshade or parasol which provides shade without blocking the circulation of air. If you do use a parasol ensure you choose a UV resistant version and ensure you consistently check that your baby remains shaded by the parasol. There are also purpose made UV resistant covers which can zip on to a pram which are designed to allow air to circulate and also zippered access so parents can constantly monitor the temperature of their child. Ensure you purchase one compatible with your pram which meets European safety standards.

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Many parents choose to clip a muslin nappy across the buggy to shade their little one from the sun. This is not a bad solution, but muslin is not UV resistant so it cannot protect your baby from the sun’s most harmful rays and they could become sunburnt. Up to six months of age baby's skin is very thin and very susceptible to sun exposure.

If possible, avoid going out with your baby for walks etc between 10am to 3pm. This is because the UV levels and temperatures are highest during this time and this is especially important during periods of high temperatures.

Regularly check if your baby is getting too hot by feeling their tummy or the back of their neck. Keep an eye out for sweating or flushed cheeks and don't put too many layers on your baby in warmer weather.  

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