Covering your baby's stroller with a blanket to protect them from the sun might well be doing more harm than good.
Knowing what to do to protect your babies from the horrors of the world around us can be pretty daunting. Most notably, the sun. It's stressful enough knowing how to protect yourself during the summer, let alone your baby. Plus, most of us will have experienced sunburn at some point in our lives, and the thought of our little ones going through that due to us not doing something quite right is a horrible one.
Things get even trickier when you discover that pediatricians advise that parents don't use sunscreen or babies younger than six months. So what are we supposed to do? While out with their baby in a stroller, some parents throw a blanket over the opening to protect them from the sun. However, Today's Parent highlights why that might be doing more harm than good.
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Pediatrician Svante Norgren compares a blanket-covered-stroller in the sunshine to a thermos. Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet tested what Norgren had to say and the results were pretty scary. An uncovered stroller in the sun reached a temperature of around 72 degrees after around 90 minutes. Meanwhile, a covered stroller in the sun took just an hour to reach the terrifying temperature of 99 degrees.
You don't need us to tell you that temperatures like that greatly increase the risk of your baby becoming dehydrated, suffering from heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. Instead of throwing a blanket over your stroller, look online for a mesh canopy designed to fit your specific brand of stroller. Either that or dress them in loose-fitting clothing that covers their skin, or simply avoid leaving the house during the hottest parts of the day.
If you are unable to do any of that, some pediatricians have stated that small amounts of the right type of sunscreen are actually safe to use sparingly on babies younger than six months. They recommend sunscreen with an SPF of 15, and that it should only be applied to areas like the face and back of the hands. Plus, bear in mind that it takes 30 minutes to start working.