Did you see the news around today about covering your baby’s pram with blankets or muslin cloths?
Did you read the frightening headlines and doubt yourself like I did?
The reports were based on a series of newspaper articles that originated over the past week in the UK – but had originally come from Sweden over a year ago. It was research by a children’s hospital that conducted an experiment where they tested the temperature of a pram after they covered it with a thick cloth and left it in the midday sun. They then tested it again at half hour intervals.
Frighteningly, the thermometer rose from 22 degrees to 37 degrees in an hour, creating a thermos in the pram.
The article somehow resurfaced this past week with headlines about how mothers were putting our children’s lives in danger by this “common practice.”
It left me reeling. After all, I did this with all three of my children on a daily basis.
It quoted Svante Norgren, a paediatrician at the Astrid Lindgren children’s hospital in Stockholm who told the newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet in 2014 that in Sweden during the summer, temperatures can easily reach 30C. In these conditions, with a thin cover or towel over the hood of a pram, it can be life threatening.
“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.
Dr Norgren warned that this method of providing shade could even raise the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) as the incidence of it is dramatically increased when a young baby is exposed to intense heat.