How to keep babies and toddlers cool in hot summer weather

As Britain experiences record heat, and temperatures across the UK continue to climb, it is essential that you protect your children – and yourself – from the heat.

Parents spend plenty of time worrying that their babies and young children are too cold, and piling on the layers. In fact, the dangers of overheating can be more serious; in hot weather, babies and children are at risk of dehydration, sunburn and heatstroke, where the body is no longer able to cool itself and the body temperature becomes dangerously high. Heatstroke can put a strain on the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys, and can be life-threatening.

Babies and children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of heat and need to be monitored carefully during hot weather.

Use the following checklist to remind yourself of the serious risks families face in high temperatures.

 1. Buggies

A common mistake parents make is covering a buggy or push chair with a blanket to shield their baby from the sun, or to act as a blackout blind on bright days. Even the thinnest of cloths or blankets can have a furnace-like effect on the inside of the buggy, according to Swedish researchers.

“It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos,” Dr Svante Norgren, a paediatrician in Stockholm, told the newspaper Svenska Dabgladet.

In reporting on the study, the newspaper did its own testing on the effects of the sun on a buggy’s temperature, leaving it in the sun between 11:30AM and 1PM.

Without a cover it reached a temperature of 22C, but when a thin cover was placed over the stroller for 30 minutes, the temperature inside the buggy hit 34C.

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