The 1 Serious Mistake Parents Are Getting Caught Doing That Researchers Are Urging To Stop
LifeAspire Staff 5/16/2017
Warmer weather means more opportunities to spend time outside; this is a welcome change especially if you happen to have a baby around the house.
Depending on the age of the child, there are several ways to make walks more comfortable whether with a hands-free baby sling or a push stroller.
As the baby grows however, every parent knows that using a stroller does become a necessity.
Having said that, for the seasoned caretaker or the newbie who thinks they've read up on all there is about stroller safety - here's something you might know about. There's one common mistake that every parent needs to be aware of especially as the weather gets nicer outsider.
The warning has to do with many built-in sun shades that come attached with the stroller; in most cases the canopy is not sufficient to always keep the baby in the shade.
And given how much we hear about the bad effects of UV rays and sunburns, a back-up technique often used is to drape a light blanket over top, especially if the baby is sleeping inside.
While this practice was considered okay when using a light breathable blanket, recent studies performed by Swedish researchers say otherwise.
Flickr/La Citta Vita
When baby prams were left outside covered with a blanket, from 11:30 to 1:00 in the afternoon sun, the Swedish researchers found that the temperature inside the pram reached as high as 98 degrees F.
In addition to the high temperature, the other problems with the blanket included a lack of air circulation and a physical barrier between the baby and parent making it hard to see if the baby was uncomfortable.
The general advice from the Swedish researchers is to abandon the practice of covering baby prams completely.
Talking about the implications of this research, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, who is a Seattle pediatrician, said the results are good to know but that parents don't need to go in a panic:
"Let's not be crazy about this. For a hundred years, parents have been draping blankets carefully and safely over their baby strollers to protect them from the sun, and we still want them to do that. But we can be thoughtful about it and this is a good reminder."
While, the matter is definitely not to be taken lightly, what Dr. Wendy is suggesting is to use common sense to make sure that the baby is not overheated.
Some ways in which we can do that include using a very thin blanket made out of muslin or using a stroller that has a big enough canopy with ventilation built in. Using an umbrella or staying in the shade are also obvious solutions removing the need for a cover.
Most importantly though, perform frequent checks on the baby in the stroller whether they are sleeping or awake. Babies and kids in general tend to heat up quicker than adults and so they might feel uncomfortable before we realize it! Dr Wendy says:
"Look at your child and their response... if their cheeks are flushed, if they're sweating, if they're warm to the touch, that's probably too hot."
Going back to the Swedish researchers, they are rightful in their warning given that it's common in their culture for parents to leave prams unattended outside as they shop or eat in restaurants. In that case, a blanket as shade can definitely spell some trouble for the baby.
For us Americans however, let's take peace in Dr. Wendy's advice and enjoy the change in season with less panic and more common sense! Isn't that what parenting is all about anyway?
Sources: Today, The LOCAL