It’s common to see people do it, and perhaps you do it yourself – but did you know the dangers of placing a muslin wrap over a pram?
So many of us do it – with all of the best intentions. When the sun is out and you have your baby in the pram, it is a natural response to want to protect them from the sun in a way that keeps them cool. You see others doing it… so why not pop a light muslin cloth or wrap over the pram to protect them?
Kidsafe SA operations manager McKeely Denholm said that while parents may think they are doing the right thing by using a blanket to shield young children in prams from the sun, they are putting them in grave danger.
“A lot of people aren’t aware that with the pram — by covering the pram, by putting a cloth over the pram — you can actually cause it to retain heat”, Ms Denholm said.
“Air can’t circulate inside the pram, so it heats up. It can actually heat up quite quickly — much like a car”.
Ms Denholm said research showed just how much hotter a pram got if it was covered.
“Some of the experts from Queensland are saying it can even heat up 15 degrees [Celsius] hotter than the outside temperature”, she added.
NSW Health warns:
“An enclosed pram can get very hot; try to ensure that the air circulates around your baby by removing the back panel (if possible) or placing them in more open strollers.”
You should always keep a close eye on your little one in the pram, but especially on hot days. Check for signs of heat stress or dehydration, including:
- Red or flushed cheeks
- Listlessness or lethargy
In the warmer weather, be sure to keep baby hydrated and in an open pram with good airflow. Use shade, proper clothing (including a hat) and a baby-safe sunscreen. You may also think about sticking to the morning or afternoon and avoid being out and about during the hottest part of the day.