Hello!

Raising children in Australia can be a unique experience. We experience scorching temperatures, which sometimes even rise to mid 40’s! This means that as parents, we have an additional aspect of parenting responsibility. We have to ensure that our little ones core body temperatures are kept cool. We have to keep them hydrated and we have to keep their skin safe from our harsh sun.

Most parents know that on a hot day, they should give their children more water than usual. They also know that if kids venture outside they need to be slathered in a UPF 50+ sunscreen. Many parents also purchase UPF 50+ swimwear for additional protection from the sun whilst swimming. Retailers stock everything from rash vests, to wetsuits, to hats and even sun socks, which stop little feet from burning on the beach!

All sun protection products in Australia have to be tested independently by bodies such as the Australian Radiation Protection And Nuclear Agency to ensure that UPF ratings are reliable.

Parents also know that on a hot day, children and pets should never be left in a car. The temperature in a car can rise up to twenty to thirty degrees more than the outside temperature, in just a few minutes. Leaving a window open does not reduce the temperature adequately. Leaving a child or pet in the car on a warm to hot day can be deadly.

Many mothers, fathers and grandparents can be seen strolling along on a lovely Spring or Summer’s day. The sun is shining brightly or baby needs a snooze, so they shade the baby or toddler with thin cotton cover, a wrap, a blanket and in some cases even a towel or cardigan!

Not many people know that by covering their pram with the incorrect cover, they are unknowingly putting their beloved child at a higher risk of overheating, suffering from heat suffocation or SIDS.

Researchers based in Sweden, discovered that by covering ones pram with thin cotton cover, wrap, blanket or towel one reduces the airflow and circulation and increases the heat. Young children cannot adjust their body temperatures like adults can, which increases their risk of heat suffocation.

Using a mesh cover which fits over the pram and that has been independently tested would be a wiser alternative pram cover choice.

Factors to look for to ensure that you a purchasing a safe pram cover:

–          The product should be tested

–          The cover should offer 100% breathability to ensure adequate air flow

–          The cover should be made of mesh material

–          Look for a cover option that offers UPF 50+ protection

–          Ensure that the pram cover is a universal cover so that it fits all prams

–          Make sure that the product allows baby or toddler adequate space to kick or move

–          Look for a cover than blocks out light to help baby sleep on the move

–          There is an Australian pram cover on the market which can be used on an airline bassinet which is a great bonus when travelling

Additional safety factors to keep your child safe in hot weather:

–          Dress baby in cool clothes

–          White clothing or light clothing reflects the sun

–          Slather sunscreen on your kids and yourself!

–          Manually check your baby for signs of sweating and feel their chest to see if they are too hot

–          Don’t keep your baby in direct sun

–          Try keep in the shade as much as possible

–          On boiling hot days rather visit indoor places with aircon

–          Breastfeed or bottle feed your baby more in hot weather

–          Offer children more water to keep them hydrated

–          Never leave your child alone in a hot car

–          Don’t cover up your pram with a thin cotton cover, blanket, towel, wrap or jumper

 Do you have anything to add to this? SHARE with us in the comments below.

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • IF I put a Muslim over the front of the pram I ALWAYS open the back for airflow and check inside regularly, however I rarely put a Muslim over the pram as I just can’t risk it!! :-/

    Reply

  • I know a family who are puppy educators. They care for dogs that are being trained as Guide Dogs for the Visually Impaired. For approx. 12 months they live with volunteers at their homes who start their training, walk them every day, train them to walk through shops and not be distracted by smells. It the pup[s go to a family which is preferable they also learn to interact with children when they are not in their harness. If a dog is in its special coat or harness you are not supposed to pat the dog at all. The pup is also trained to walk across driveways and roads safely. Before they go to the volunteers, staff at the Centre they come from teach them to wee on command, and they are vaccinated. The idea is that the eventual owner of the dog takes them out and in between they learn to wait. The volunteers also take them to work with them if they work in a suitable place. Many people who have Guide Dogs work so the dog has to adapt to that routine too. When it is forecast to be over a certain temperature the volunteers don’t take the dog in a car at all. They also walk them in the cool part of the day. Some take the dogs walking at daylight in Summer. Without the dedication of volunteers, this scheme would not be possible. They don’t get any Govt. assistance. They have to rely on Corporate and public donations, and the volunteers who help with the early care and training of the pups.

    Reply

  • yeah, I thought common sense was just that, but apparently not – pets too guys, if the ground is hot, don’t walk dogs !!!

    Reply

  • great article so that people are reminded of this.

    Reply

  • yeah those covers are dangerous if they don’t have proper airflow

    Reply

  • Having lived in the Pilbara with a little one (as so many people do), I support these comments.

    Reply

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