During unexpected heatwaves, parents may be making a common mistake when it comes to sheltering their children in prams, according to a Swedish paediatrician.
Svante Norgren, who works at a children’s hospital in Stockholm, said covering a pram with anything, including a thin muslin cloth, creates a furnace-like heat.
“It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos,” he told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, according to Kidspot.
“There is also bad circulation of the air and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram.”
After hearing the warning, the Swedish newspaper conducted an experiment. They left a pram out in the sun from 11.30am to 1pm.
Without a cover, the pram temperate reached 22ºC. With a thin cover over it for 30 minutes, the pram temperature rose to 34ºC, according to Kidspot.
“The results of this study do not surprise me, and illustrate the dangers of excessively covering during hot weather,” Dr Hamed Khan, an emergency department doctor at St George’s hospital told The Huffington Post UK.
“This is compounded by the fact that younger children and infants are unable to communicate that they are feeling hot, which may leave parents oblivious to the potentially dangerous sustained rises in temperature.
“Children in such situations are at risk of dehydration, especially if they are subjected to such high temperatures for a long period of time.
“I agree that you should not excessively cover a pram, but of course it also depends on the individual situation, the weather, and the extent of the cover.
“I always advise my patients who are parents to keep a very close eye on their children during hot weather, and make sure that they are drinking ample water and other fluids.
“Keeping a close eye on young children, checking up on them regularly, and making sure that they are well hydrated is extremely important.”
Rosie Dodds, senior policy adviser at the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), agreed.
“It’s best to keep a baby in the shade if you can,” she told HuffPost UK.
“If you are out in the sun, even light sheets can make the inside of a buggy hot so a sunshade is sometimes a better option.
“It’s important to check your baby regularly in hot weather and try to keep them as cool as possible.”