On a hot day, you’ll do anything to keep your little one safe, comfortable and happy.
From running them cool baths to slathering them in Factor 50, we’ve got their best interests at heart.
But one of our protective actions could actually be putting them in more danger.
According to researchers in Sweden, covering a stroller to shade a child from the sunlight – even with a thin muslin cloth – actually has the effect of creating a ‘furnace-like heat’ within the pram, according to Kidspot .
Researchers in Sweden suggest that by covering up a stroller – even with a thin cloth like a muslin wrap – actually creates a furnace-like heat within the pram, reducing the air circulation.
Svante Norgren, a pediatrician at a children’s hospital in Stocklholm, told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet: “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 stroller.”
Young children, who are more likely to use stroller, are more sensitive to heat than their older siblings or parents – as their body temperature can rise as much as five times faster.
By way of testing the theory, the newspaper did their own little experiment.
Without a cover, the temperature inside a stroller left out in the heat was 22 degrees Celsius/ 71.6 Fahrenheit.
When a thin cover was put over it for half an hour, the temperature shot up to 34 degrees Celsius /93.2 Fahrenheit, finally reaching 37 degrees Celsius/ 98.6 Fahrenheit after an hour.
That’s far hotter than most days in the UK during the British summer.
So if you’re heading out and about with your little one in the pushchair, keep it well circulated and don’t cover the whole pram – even if it’s just with a light muslin cloth.
Risks of overheating
Your baby is likely to become restless if feeling too hot or too cold so he may let you know. He may be more difficult to settle to sleep than usual or wake more frequently due to the discomfort of the temperature.
Dress your baby appropriately for the room temperature
If the room is very hot, for example over 25 degrees Celsius/ 77 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the night, just a nappy and thin cotton vest may suffice. If the room is between 20-23 degrees Celsius (68-73.4 Fahrenheit) a shortie baby grow or shorts and t-shirt pajamas perhaps with socks or just a nappy and a 1 tog sleep sack.
If your baby is too young for any kind of bedding and it is too hot for a sleep sack, simply dress them in suitable clothing for the room temperature so that no covering is required.
Create a breeze
During the day, open all windows on the same floor to create a blow-through and pull curtain two thirds of the way across to block out hot sun but still allow the breeze through.
Use appropriate bedding
Use only cotton bed sheets and avoid any waterproof mattress covering as this will hold heat and make your baby sweat.
Give them a quick, refreshing bath
A luke-warm bath or slightly cooler bath than usual might help to refresh your baby before bedtime and relieve any clamminess. Make it a quick bath so that she doesn’t get too chilly.
Put ice in baby’s room
Large bottles of frozen water (1litre plus), placed in the baby’s room may help to cool the air as they melt overnight.
Give electric fans a helping hand
Electric fans will often just blow the warm air around but place a large bowl of ice or some frozen water bottles in front of the fan to cool the air that circulates the room.