Most of us do it! When the sun is blazing and your baby is in the pram, out comes the muslim warp to hang over the pram and protect your bub from the light. Everyone does it so it just made sense for me to follow the others mums’ example.
Many parents cover their pram with a wrap to shield their baby from light and sun, especially when they’re sleeping, or else to keep prying eyes away if you don’t want every passer-by to catch a glance of your little one. But I had absolutely no idea that this is actually extremely dangerous.
McKeely Denholm, Kidsafe SA operations manager, said that while parents may think they are doing the right thing by using a blanket to shield children in prams from the sun, they are putting them in grave danger.
“It can actually heat up quite quickly — much like a car,” Ms Denholm warned.
“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.”
“Air can’t circulate inside the pram, so it heats up.”
“Some of the experts from Queensland are saying it can even heat up 15 degrees [Celsius] hotter than the outside temperature,” she said.
CPR kids has conducted a series of tests to measure just how much the temperature can vary within a pram, in different settings.
Their first experiment was using a muslin wrap blocking the sun from the toy baby inside the pram.
Start temperature in pram – 30 degrees Celsius
Outside temperature – 33 degrees Celsius
10 minutes of pram being covered – 34 degrees Celsius
In just 10 minutes AND with wind through the cloth circulating air within the pram, the inside temperature had become hotter than the outside temperature.
Pram Safety Tips
CPR kids shares the following tips for pram safety:
1) Only ever use appropriate pram accessories that are made to promote air circulation – and not items that aren’t made specifically for the purpose of covering prams.
2) Always make sure the baby has adequate airflow – this can be from an open pram that is not covered, back panels being opened if your pram allows for this, or using accessories designed for covering prams that either don’t cover them entirely or use mesh to support air circulation.
3) Always check on the baby frequently and make sure they are visible to you.
4) If covering to protect baby from the Sun, keep in mind other safe ways to do this – using a baby-safe sunscreen, a hat, adequate clothing, seeking shade, avoiding going out in hot weather when possible, and ensuring baby stays hydrated.
5) Always remember the PRAM acronym…
P Protect from the Sun
R Regularly check baby
A Air circulation is key
M Make sure you can see baby
6) And lastly… Enrol in a first aid class so you are prepared for all situations.
Did you know it was dangerous to cover your pram with a muslin cloth? Tell us in the comments below.