Summer strolls with your little one in tow are a joy, but it turns out there's a hidden danger many Australian parents aren't aware of.
Paediatric nurses from baby and child first aid education platform, CPRKids, are shedding light on a common pram mistake that could put your baby at risk during those sunny days.
With the best of intentions, many often resort to draping a light muslin cloth or wrap over the pram to shield our little bundles from the sun, elements, or prying eyes. But is this seemingly harmless practice safe?
Kidsafe SA operations manager McKeely Denholm told ABC News 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 said. “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.”
The eye-opening test
To answer this question definitively, CPRKids conducted their own test back in 2019. They placed a muslin wrap over a pram to mimic sun protection, and within just 10 minutes, with wind circulating through the cloth, the temperature inside the pram skyrocketed beyond the outside temperature.
They then took the experiment indoors, placing a pram with a light muslin cloth covering it entirely in a room without air conditioning or fans. This demonstration emphasised the importance of air circulation, as the temperature inside the pram quickly exceeded the surrounding air temperature, even in a mild environment.
Implications for indoor use
This insight not only underscores the significance of air circulation but also highlights the risk of covering a baby indoors, especially when they're asleep or as a means of shielding them from others.
Expert advice to keep your baby safe
CPRKids offered some invaluable tips to ensure your baby's safety:
Choose the right accessories: Only use pram accessories designed to promote air circulation. Avoid items not specifically made for pram covering purposes.
Prioritise airflow: Ensure your baby has adequate airflow, either by keeping the pram open or using accessories that don't entirely cover it or employ mesh for proper ventilation.
Regular checks: Frequently check on your baby and ensure they remain visible to you.
Sun protection alternatives: When it comes to sun protection, explore other safe options such as baby-safe sunscreen, hats, suitable clothing, seeking shade, avoiding outings in hot weather when possible, and keeping your baby well-hydrated.
Remember this simple acronym for pram safety
In their parting advice, CPRKids emphasises the importance of the PRAM acronym:
Protect your baby from the sun
Regularly check on your baby
Air circulation is key
Make sure you can see the baby
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