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Source: SbytovaMN

The Stroller Safety Lesson Every Parent Needs In Time For Summer

By Maria Cook

Most parents know that leaving a baby in a hot car is dangerous. Young children have an increased risk of hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke, since their body's ability to regulate temperature is not fully developed until around age 4. Temperatures that would be uncomfortable for a healthy adult can severely injure or even kill an infant, since their body temperatures rise around three to five times faster than adults. 

What many parents don't realize is that hot cars are not the only way that baby's can be exposed to unhealthy levels of heat. Researchers in Sweden have recently stated that covering a baby's stroller, in an attempt to shield them from the sun, can actually cause temperatures inside the stroller to skyrocket. Even when the stroller is only covered with a thin piece of cloth.

What makes covering strollers so dangerous?

According to Svante Norgren, a pediatrician at the Astrid Lindgren Children’s hospital in Stockholm, covering a child's stroller on a warm day is one of the worst mistakes a parent can make. “It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos. There is also bad circulation of the air and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram,” Norgren said, in an interview with Swedish newspaper, the Svenska Dagbladet.

In an effort to show the seriousness of Dr. Norgren's warning, the newspaper performed an experiment. On a warm day, they left an empty stroller out in the sun from 11:30 AM to 1 PM. Uncovered, the stroller stood at about 71 degrees Fahrenheit. But after just thirty minutes with a thin cover on, the stroller's temperature climbed to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Thirty minutes is all it took for the stroller to reach life-threatening temperatures. After a full hour of being covered, the stroller's temperature had reached a whopping 98 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It's worth noting that the highest outdoor temperature, on the day of the newspaper's experiment, was 86 degrees Fahrenheit. In many places, summer temperatures are far greater. 

Dr. Norgren also makes an excellent point about the danger of not being able to fully see your baby. When outdoors, babies should be kept within their parents line of sight whenever possible. Signs of hyperthermia, such as shortness of breath, glassy eyes, sweaty or red skin, and even vomiting might not be noticed, even by a usually observant parent, if a cover is placed on a stroller. Worst of all, unconsciousness--one of the most severe signs of dangerous hyperthermia--could easily be confused for regular sleep, if a parent does not realize the dangers of having their stroller covered. 

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