Here’s Why You Should Never Cover Your Baby’s Stroller With A Blanket
Raising a little one is never a walk in the park. You spend most time worrying about anything harmful befalling them, only to be hit by the unexpected. For example, take the case of covering a stroller with a blanket. It’s a noble idea meant to protect the baby from the scorching sun, but in turn may be probably doing more damage.
Proactively protecting your baby, then accidentally doing the opposite inflicts an unbelievable amount of pain. Covering the stroller with a cloth or blanket when temperatures soar in summer is common. It is mainly aimed at providing a shade to keep the baby from direct sunlight.
However, this act has some unforeseen repercussions. Just the other day, I was going through an article which explained some of the risks that a covered stroller might expose a baby to. That is why I would love to share these with you. Here's why you should never cover your baby's stroller with a blanket.
Why You Shouldn’t Cover A Stroller With A Blanket
With summer already with us, it is important to understand the dangers your child is exposed to by leaving the stroller or pram covered in the sun. Sincerely, I have never given much thought to it before I stumbled upon the article. I thought it would be great to share these with you so that our dear babies stay safe.
1. The Baby Runs The Risk Of Overheating
First of all, there is a reason you shouldn’t leave your baby or pet locked in a car on a warm day. The heat that builds up in the car exposes the baby to a host of health risks. A stroller covered with a blanket produces the same results after a while of being in the heat.
In the glaring summer sunlight, the most logical thing for a parent to do would be to cover the baby from the rays. Sadly, doing so creates a mini-climate inside the stroller. Eventually, the temperatures rise to dangerously high levels making it unsafe for the baby to stay in for any duration of time.
A study carried out in Sweden confirms this assertion. The researchers carried out a test on a covered and uncovered stroller left in the sun for some time. After a while, the temperatures inside the strollers were measured. Shockingly, the covered one became hotter by 15 degrees.
In the same test, a stroller/pram was placed in the scorching heat from around 11:30 am to 1 pm. When the same stroller was left uncovered, its internal temperature stagnated at 220C. However, when the stroller was covered, its temperature rose to an astonishing 340C. Within an hour of being covered, it reached a sweltering 370C.
Such a staggering temperature leap poses a serious danger to your baby. Unlike adults, babies are not well adept at regulating their own body temperatures. This means that babies become vulnerable to heat strokes, which might occur in just a matter of minutes.
It does not have to be a blanket since even a thin muslin cloth is enough to create this thermos-like condition. The covering prevents heat from escaping, thereby exposing the baby to highly volatile temperatures.
Before the babies suffer heat stroke, she becomes dehydrated. And since she is covered and you are unable to monitor her, the magnitude of the conditions grows. At the same time the probabilities of suffering Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
2. Reduced Air Circulation
On most occasions, using a blanket to shade sunlight also ends up preventing the crucial air circulation inside the stroller. I am pretty sure the blanket you are using is probably not ventilated enough to allow for the free flow of air inside the stroller.
With reduced air circulation, the baby becomes uncomfortable. Breathing the same air over and over again might also increase the chances of a baby developing respiratory infections. Other dangers could also result in the process.
In another instance, it is believed that cramped conditions inside the stroller possibly make the baby think that she is still in the womb. As a result, breathing might stop, which might be calamitous to the overall health and well-being of your baby.
3. A Blanket Creates A Barrier Between You And The Baby
As you take a stroll down the street with your baby, you should be able to monitor the baby at all times. Unfortunately, a blanket limits that capability. If you cannot see your baby, then it becomes impossible to react fast enough when she is in trouble and needs help.
Knowing when the baby is dehydrated, sweating too much or overheating is dependent on the ability to keep an eye on her/him. Worse still, when covered, you are unable to notice your baby’s breathing troubles.
Symptoms To Look Out For
Babies might not be the greatest of communicators, but as parents, we specialize in knowing what is going on with them. For a baby experiencing heat exhaustion from the covered stroller, there are certain symptoms that you have to be on the lookout for.
- Pale and clammy skin
- Dry mouth, skin, and eyes
- Rapid, Shallow breathing
- Acting tired and weak
When in distress, the baby would be able to communicate with you through these symptoms.
What Are Your Alternatives?
Providing shade over your baby in the scorching heat is a must. But since we have now established that having a blanket or muslin cloth cover over the stroller is out of the equation, what do you need to do? I have come across quite a number of alternatives to keep your baby cool in summer without compromising on their safety.
Use an Umbrella/Parasol Add-on
An umbrella or a parasol would sit above the stroller, allowing for the free flow and circulation of air. At the same time, these provide the much-needed shade over the baby.
These two can be bought and added onto the stroller or any travel system you might be having. Resultantly, the warm weather wouldn’t necessitate a blanket covering.
Remove the Back Panels
I would also recommend that you remove the back panels of the stroller wherever possible. Such a move prevents internal temperatures from building up inside the stroller unlike when the panels would have been in place. Circulation of fresh air that’s beneficial to your baby increases too due to the numerous air entrances.
Stay Indoors When It’s Too Hot Outside
If you ask me (or any doctor for that matter), I think there would be no point in you taking your baby outside for a walk when it's too hot. The time varies from location to location but is always between 11 am and around 3 pm in most places.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, then stay indoors during this time as the stroller is bound to get hot pretty fast in the heat. Wait until the sun subsides before going out. At the same time, keep your lovely one hydrated too even in the comfort of the indoors.
Maximize on Child Safety
In the unlikely event that the two of you have to go out in the extreme sunshine, you need to bring along accessories to keep the baby safe. Bear in mind that these do not include a blanket or muslin cloth for cover.
Remember to carry sunglasses, hats, sunscreen (has to be baby safe), and other stroller accessories. A clip-on fan(s) would be great too in cooling temperatures inside the stroller.
Keep Away from Direct Sunlight
On a sunny day, always schedule your walks such that they are on shady places. Keeping away from the sun is the first step in preventing any distress resulting from intense heat.
Another step towards safety would be to avoid excessive cushioning. It makes it harder for the baby’s skin to breathe normally. Again, remember to regularly check on the baby. Assuming everything is fine is not allowed for parents.
We believe you now know why you should never cover your baby’s stroller with a blanket. Covering a stroller with a blanket is an absolute NO on any sunny (hot) day, particularly in summer. I see most parents doing it, but it’s one you need to stop right now. The dangers of heat exhaustion the baby is exposed to are just too high to ignore.
In case you suspect that the baby might have been exposed to too much heat, take her indoors immediately. The room has to be properly ventilated. You can also offer the baby plenty of fluids to restore the lost fluids in her body. Afterward, you can take her to the doctor for checkups.