We all know that leaving children in the car during the summer can be very dangerous, but have you ever thought that your walk in the park could pose a threat as well?
As temperatures continue to soar this summer, a common stroller mistake that most parents make could be putting their babies at risk.
Covering the stroller with a blanket, even a light one, to protect the baby from the sun can cause the temperature to rise to dangerous levels.
“I don’t like it because it will create more heat,” said Dr. Sarah Adams, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio. “You are stopping the circulation of the air, which will impact the baby’s breathing and temperature.”
An experiment shows the effects of temperature with and without a cover.
Without a cover: The temperature inside the a stroller left out in the heat was 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit.)
With a thin cover: In 30 minutes, the temperature rose to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit.) And after an hour, it was at 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.)
It can be hard to believe that something as innocent as putting a light cover over a baby's stroller can have such hazardous effects.
Continue to the next page for the signs of heat stroke and how to prevent it in babies.
When you're only considering the need to block the sun and not how much it can change the temperature, it can be very dangerous.
Young children is more susceptible to overheating or even heat stroke. Babies and children sweat less which reduces their bodies' ability to cool down.
Signs of heat stroke include: hot, red, dry skin; rapid pulse; restlessness; lethargy; rapid, shallow breathing; vomiting and unconsciousness.
There are many ways parents can help to avoid these dangerous situations in the summer.
What parents can do to avoid heatstroke in their babies:
- Dress your babies in lightweight loose-fitting clothing
- Try to keep your baby in the shade when outside
- Give them lots of fluids during hot days
- On especially hot days, keep your baby inside if you can
- If it is hot in your home and you don't have air conditioning, seek comfort in a public library or shopping mall get get relief from the heat.
Make sure you check on your baby frequently while out for a walk. Looks to see if their cheeks are flush, if they're sweating or warm to the touch than they should be brought into an air conditioned space as soon as possible.