Keeping an infant or toddler asleep in a pram can be a tricky feat. Once bub has finally dozed off, many parents will cover the pram with a lightweight muslin wrap or blanket to keep bub protected from the sun and eliminate outside distractions that could cause them to wake up.
Although it may seem harmless, it’s actually incredibly dangerous as it restricts airflow into the pram. Recently CPR Kids did a series of tests to showcase how hot it can get in a pram covered with a muslin wrap. The results shocked us, to say the least.
30 to 34 degrees in 10 minutes
Armed with a dummy baby, a pram and a muslin cloth, CPR Kids headed outside into the sun. They recorded the temperature inside the pram at 30 degrees Celsius. Ten minutes later? The temperature inside the pram rose by 4 degrees.
In just 10 minutes AND with wind through the cloth circulating air within the pram, the inside temperature had become hotter than the outside temperature.” – CPR Kids
The dangers of restricted airflow
CPR Kids also did a series of tests indoors with no air con or fans circulating. They tested the temperature inside the room and inside the pram at 30-minute intervals.
“Our reason for doing this in a room with no air conditioning or fans was to demonstrate the importance air circulation plays, and how a lack of it really impacts the temperatures baby is exposed to inside.”
The results speak for themselves. During the first half-hour, the pram’s temperature rose by 3 degrees compared to the room temperature. By the end of the test, the pram’s temperature was more than 8 degrees higher at a potentially dangerous 37.9 degrees.
Remember this in INDOORS. During summer the outside temperature can easily exceed 30 degrees, sometimes even 35 degrees. Just imagine how hot it would be inside a pram for a sleeping baby!
So whether indoors or outdoors, covering the pram with anything that isn’t specifically designed to safely do so, is dangerous.
CPR Kids explains:
“It is vital that you protect your baby from the sun using a cover that is designed for shading your pram whilst still providing adequate air circulation. Ensuring that you can see your baby and regularly checking on them is essential.
“If covering to protect baby from the sun, keep in mind other safe ways to do this – using a baby-safe sunscreen, a hat, adequate clothing, seeking shade, avoiding going out in hot weather whenever possible, and ensuring baby stays hydrated.”
Hot prams, hotter cars
It’s also important for all parents to remember that leaving kids to nap in a car is another massive no-no. President of Kidsafe Victoria, Dr Mark Stokes, warns children’s lives could be at risk after only several minutes in a hot car.
The temperature inside a parked car during the Australian summer can be 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.
On a 29-degree-celsius day a car can reach 44 degrees in just 10 minutes and a deadly 60 degrees in 20 minutes. Leaving the window down a few centimetres does little.”
So whether walking or driving, if your little one falls asleep, resist the urge to cover the pram with a muslin cloth or let them nap in the car. Yes, disturbing a sleeping infant can lead to an afternoon of overtiredness, but it’s simply too dangerous to risk it.