Don’t use stroller covers in the hot summer months
As temperatures rise over the hot summer months it’s important to think about all the ways we can keep babies and kids safe from the sun’s harsh rays. But it’s worth repeating every year that stroller covers in the summer can do much more harm than good.
Just like you wouldn’t keep your baby in a hot car for an extended period of time, you shouldn’t keep your little one under a blanket or stroller cover because the hot air will have nowhere to go and the temperatures will continue to rise.
The cover over the stroller creates a furnace-like effect, Swedish researchers have warned. “It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos,” pediatrician Svante Norgren told the 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 the researchers, the Swedish newspaper recreated the experiment by leaving a stroller outside and measuring the temperature. The stroller left outside without a cover had a temperature near 72 degrees, but when a thin cloth was added it reached 93 degrees in just 30 minutes. After an hour the temperature inside the stroller climbed to 100 degrees. When the body’s temperature control system is overloaded a person will get a heat-related illness. And babies and kids up to 4-years-old are at the greatest risk for heat-related sickness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are several ways to prevent your baby from getting heat stroke. The CDC recommends dressing kids in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and scheduling your outdoor activities for morning and evening hours when it is typically cooler.
Parents can also use cool showers, baths, pools, and sprinklers to keep children cool. And all humans – babies, kids, and adults, should stay hydrated during the hot months with enough fluids. Pediatricians recommend buying a stroller that has a large canopy and a removable back panel. And if you can find a stroller in a lighter color opt for that one.
Wanting to protect your child from the sun’s dangerous rays is a natural instinct — there are just safer ways to do so than covering their strollers with a blanket.