Friday, 3 July 2015

Keeping our babies cool in the Sun. The dangers of using blankets as sunshades & a look at safer alternatives such as parasols and sunshades from Icandy, Bugaboo, Stokke & more...

Wow, the heat this week has been phenomenal. Yet this week I have seen so many people covering their prams and babies with a blanket thinking it will keep them shaded and cool.

Whilst as parents we want to keep them protected from the heat and direct sunlight, using a blanket to do so with no ventilation whatsoever is highly dangerous temperature wise. Quite a few people this week were even using fleece blankets for this purpose!

There are many suitable products on the market for sun protection for our babies to use when we are out and about with our prams and pushchairs. I don't want people to think that I am telling them to completely uncover their babies as that would be very harmful too, they still need protecting from the sun. However, there are safer ways to do it and using blankets is not the best way. 

To show what happens when using a blanket as sun protection I put our pram in the garden a few days ago and covered it with a fleece blanket just like I have seen a few times this week.

At the start the thermometer that I had put in the seat unit read 34.5 degrees. The temperature outside that day was around 31 degrees. Around 20-30 minutes later it had risen to 38.5 degrees and within 50 minutes it had got to 40.5 degrees. This is almost 10 degrees more than the temperature was outside and with no air circulation due to the coverage from the blanket the seat unit was very hot and stuffy.

A variety of parasols on the market at the moment. Including (from top left) Bugaboo, Maxi Cosi, Silver Cross and Stokke

Whilst it is always advised to keep our babies/children out of direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day (11-3) as well as keeping them in the shade or keeping them covered if you are out and about in the sunshine there are much safer ways to keep them shaded.

Such products as sunshades and parasols either from the particular manufacturer of your pram such as the Bugaboo Breezy or parasol and Stokke summer kit or parasol. Icandy and Silver Cross also do parasols for their prams as well as Mothercare stocking their own brand of parasols and sunshades that should fit a variety of makes/models of prams (please check before purchase).

The Cosatto My Buggy Buddy sunshade and the Outlook shade-a-babe Solar shade

The Stokke Summer kit with sun sail shade and hood ventilation

The Bugaboo Breezy hood with ventilation, extendable with bug and mosquito protection plus SPF 50

I am not try to scare people into not covering their babies at all but advising them that there are better products on the market to keep them shaded and cool/well ventilated in the heat that we currently have. Good ventilation is vital to keep them cool as well as keeping them shaded and away from direct sunlight.

Please keep your babies and children covered up appropriately if you need to be out and about in the heat and direct sunlight during the day. Keep them well ventilated too. There are many, many sun related products for prams nowadays that suit their purpose but please don't use blankets to cover them with no ventilation. 

I am sure if someone told me to cover up with a fleece blanket on a 31 degree day I wouldn't be too happy. 

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