Experts say covering your baby's pram with muslin is more dangerous than you think

Now spring truly has sprung, many new mums and dads will be taking their babies out into the sunshine for some walks in the fresh air. 

But if you think you're doing the right thing by covering the pram to protect from UV rays, be warned. 

Experts say the age-old practice of putting muslin over prams can raise temperatures to dangerous levels.

In 2016 Swedish researchers recorded soaring temperatures inside a pram that was covered by a blanket. 

The pram was left out in the sun on a warm day and recorded that it reached an internal temperature of 22C. 

Even when a 'thin cover' was placed over the same pram for 30 minutes, the temperature inside the pram rose significantly - to 34C. And, after an hour, it had risen again to 37C.

Kidsafe spokesperson Susan Teerds told Mamamia on Wednesday, "If you've got no airflow and you've got something heavy on top, the rise in temperature is akin to leaving them in a car". 

As young children are more sensitive to heat than older children or adults, their body temperature can rise three-to-five times faster. This puts them at greater risk of heatstroke and other health risks such as SIDS.

"Babies won't necessarily start crying. They might go very red because they're overheating, but then they very quickly can just pass away," Teerds says.

"Babies can't regulate their body temperatures. They rely on us - they're defenceless."

Instead, cover your pram with an in-built sunshade (if it has one) or a light, well-ventilated, attachable one.

Tara Breathnach, a writer for parenting website Made For Mums, says if you use a pram covering, check your baby regularly to make sure they're not getting too hot, and remove it once you're in the shade.



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