Parents warned not cover baby's pram during the hot could be fatal

Parents are being reminded to take care when trying to keep their babies in the shade from the hot sun as it could lead to them overheating...or even death.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:39 am
Parents are being reminded to take care when trying to keep their babies in the shade from the hot sun as it could lead to them overheating...or even death.

As temperature rise, it's natural for parents of babies want to keep them cool and in the shade while in their prams and pushchairs.

But the gesture could become a 37C death trap.

Experiements performed by scientists saw it took 20 minutes for the air inside to hit the 37C mark, with experts warning that even a light blanket over a baby's pram could cause them to develop heatstroke or even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Forensic scientist and child death specialist Torleiv Ole Rognum told Tv2: "The children must have sufficient access to fresh air.

"Children can become very hot and not be able breathe.

"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 pram.

"It would quickly become uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for the child. If a child gets too hot then the child may think that it is back in the womb, which is why breathing may stop."

Babies aren’t able to regulate their own body temperature, which puts them at more risk of overheating, which can cause death.

Mr. Rognum added that it’s important that people step in if they see a baby hidden under a blanket on a hot day.

He said: "We must dare to speak out in an orderly way when we think someone is doing something completely wrong."

A safe way to keep babies at a comfortable temperature is to put wet towels around the edge of the cot or Moses basket to cool the air immediately near them. You can also cover the baby in cool damp cloths.

With temperatures on the rise again over the summer, The Lullaby Trust has issued advice for parents to keep their babies both cool and safe.

The charity says that babies who get too hot are at an increased risk of SIDS, also known as cot death.

They say to reduce the chance of SIDS the ideal temperature of a baby’s room should be 16-20° C.

However, every baby is different and it’s important to check if their chest or the back of their neck feels clammy as this is a sign they are getting too hot.

Keeping rooms from getting too hot can be difficult, especially with temperatures set to soar into the high 30s in some parts of the country so The Lullaby Trust advises parents to:

*Close the blinds or curtains during the day to stop the room your baby sleeps in from getting too hot

*Put a fan in the bedroom to help circulate the air, but make sure it is out of reach and not pointed directly at your baby

*Reduce layers; just a nappy with no bedding is fine in hot weather

*Monitor the temperature with a room thermometer

Jenny Ward, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust says: “We know that overheating is a risk factor for SIDS, so keeping babies from getting too hot is important.

"We appreciate how hard it can be to keep babies cool in such hot weather, so we would urge parents to regularly monitor their baby’s temperature. If their baby’s skin is hot or sweaty, remove one or more layers of bedclothes or bedding, and think about moving them somewhere that might be a bit cooler.”

The say that prams should be covered with a clip-on sunshade to keep baby out of direct sunlight and their temperature monitored to avoid overheating and never covered with blankets, cloths or any cover that prevents the air from circulating. Covering a pram with a blanket could lead to overheating, which increases the chance of SIDS.

Babies should be kept out of direct sunlight and kept indoors during the hottest part of the day. If possible, parents should avoid taking their baby on public transport during peak hours and try to find a shop or cafe with air-conditioning so that they can cool down.

It is harder to keep babies cool when away on holiday and travel can disrupt routines, so it is important that all safer advice is followed on holiday as well. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) babies should be slept on their back on a firm, flat, mattress for every sleep day and night.

For more information visit the Lullaby Trust's website.