The Dangerous Stroller Mistake That All Parents Make

With this summer’s record-setting heat wave comes the pressing need to shield your little ones from the sun, especially when pushing them around in a stroller. Ironically, however, your efforts can pose more of a risk to your child than the sun itself, according to pediatrician Svante Norgren.

Norgren is referring specifically to draping a blanket or cloth over your baby’s stroller in an attempt to block the sun. Unfortunately, this creates a furnace-like chamber that can elevate temperatures to dangerous levels. “It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos,” said Norgren in a recent interview with Sweden’s Svenska Dagbladet. “There is also bad circulation of the air, and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram.”

Editors from the Svenska Dagladet newspaper decided to test this theory themselves. They left a stroller outside in the heat and measured its internal temperature at 72°F. After draping a thin cloth over the pram, the temperature inside the stroller rose to 93°F in just 30 minutes. At the one-hour mark, the temperature shot up to 100°F—hot enough to put infants at risk of heatstroke or even SIDS.

Pediatrician Christian Nechyba suggests opting for a light-colored stroller without excess cushioning to ward off the heat, as reported by ABC Eyewitness News. Instead of the blanket method, she also recommends clipping a mini fan to the stroller’s handlebars or purchasing a stroller with a removable back panel, like this one from Albee Baby.

What’s your go-to way to keep your baby safe in the heat?