Summer is right around the corner, which means more sun, more heat, and more outdoor activities. There will be a countless number of families out and about. Either going to the park or a baseball game or anything that gets the parents and their kids out of the house.
For many of these parents wanting to get outdoors, it means putting the little one in a stroller. On hot summer days, most parents are concerned with the sun beating down on their child. So, the simple solution, used by almost every parent ever, is to toss a blanket or towel over the stroller to cover and “protect” the baby. However, a recent study has shown that this solution may not be as beneficial as you think.
A study done in Sweden, published in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, showed that this sun shield could actually be turning that stroller into a sauna.
In the study, researchers placed a stroller outdoors in the middle of the day. They tested the temperature of the inside of the stroller, both with a cover and without. The results might shock you and definitely should not be overlooked.
The temperature inside the stroller WITHOUT a cover reached 71 degrees. Just minutes after placing a cover over the stroller, the interior reached 93 degrees! That is a 20 degree difference that your child may be paying the price for, severely increasing their chances of heatstroke.
According to Child and Youth Health, “Heat stroke occurs when too much body water is lost and a baby’s or child’s temperature starts to rise. It can, if severe, cause damage to the body organs and it can be fatal.” Babies are especially susceptible to heatstroke for a number of reasons. For starters, their body’s cannot hold nearly as much water as an adult, causing them to lose the little water they do have faster. Secondly, and just as important, babies are not able to tell you when they are feeling overheated.
For these reasons and more, it is vitally important to pay attention to your child’s body temperature. And this may mean taking that sun cover off of the stroller. Thankfully, there are many ways to protect babies from the sun, including shade, light clothing, and sunscreen.
This potential danger is definitely one to be aware of, but Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson told the Today show that parents do not need to panic.
“For a hundred years, parents have been draping blankets carefully and safely over their baby strollers to protect them from the sun, and we still want them to do that. But we can be thoughtful about it and this is a good reminder.”
Share this warning and be mindful next time you put a blanket over your stroller!