Taking babies out on a warm summer day for a stroller outing sounds like a fantastic idea. The birds are chirping, flowers are in full bloom, and there is a soft breeze in the air. On the surface, it looks like the ideal time to take babies out in the stroller. But, when things like the temperature, how sunny it is, and the comfort levels of babies are not factored into that equation, parents can quickly find themselves unprepared. And when this happens, babies are at risk. Something that can be avoided if parents know the stroller mistakes to avoid in the summer.
Summertime is a fun time to take babies outside. They get to see clear skies, feel warmer temperatures, and watch Mother Nature in all of her glory. This is why parents take their babies out in the stroller for a walk. It gives babies an incredible change of scenery from the four walls they are used to. And while the outdoors are beneficial for babies, summer can be a tricky time to navigate. Especially when maneuvering the stroller out in the hot sunshine.
Here are stroller mistakes to avoid in the summer.
10 Covering Stroller With Blanket
It may seem like a good idea to cover babies’ strollers with a blanket to keep the sunshine off of their faces and bodies. But in reality, putting a blanket on top of the stroller is one of the most dangerous things that parents can do when out with their babies during the summer.
According to Parents, Regardless of how thick or thin a blanket is, the effect it gives the stroller is that of a “furnace.” With no air being able to easily move through the stroller to act as a fan or air conditioning, the air inside the stroller just sits. As it sits, it heats up. And in doing so, per the publication, put babies at higher risk of heatstroke or SIDS.
9 Going Out When The Sun Is Hottest
Babies are unable to regulate their body temperatures until they are several months old. As such, if they are taken out during the day when the sun is the hottest, they run the risk of getting severely overheated or worse.
According to WebMD, babies are unable to regulate their body temperature until they are about 11 weeks old. Until that time, they rely on their parents to help keep their body temperature stable. This is something that is incredibly difficult to do when the sun is beating directly down on babies at the hottest point of the day.
8 Dressing Baby Too Warmly
When parents dress babies, they put them in one more layer than what they are wearing to help keep them comfortable. However, this can become a problem when the sun is high in the sky and the rays are hitting the stroller. This is because when encapsulated in a stroller, the environment is warmer than it is outdoors. And that extra layer of clothing becomes far too warm for the weather outside.
As such, Babies may actually need less clothing when in their strollers during the summer. This is something that parents will have to take into consideration when dressing their infants for a walk in their strollers.
7 Not Giving Baby Enough Fluids
Even though they may not be the ones pushing the stroller, babies can become dehydrated out in the summer heat as stroller passengers. Because of this, they need to be given more fluids before, potentially during, and after the stroll to remain hydrated.
According to Children’s Connecticut, Babies who are under six months of age only need to have breast milk or formula to remain hydrated. They do not need, nor should they have water. But, if babies are taken out in the elements when the summer sun is hot, it may be necessary to feed more often so that babies remain hydrated and healthy when in the stroller.
6 Not Checking On Baby Often Enough
Many parents assume that just because their babies are not complaining in the stroller they are fine. And while this may be the case, there also could be problems afoot. Especially if babies have their stroller shades up when walking along in the summer.
If babies are not checked on during the course of a walk, parents will not be able to tell if they are hot, wet, thirsty, or the like. And because of this, babies should be checked on at frequent intervals to make sure they are comfortable and happy.
5 Not Moving Enough While Baby Is In The Stroller
If babies are sitting stationary in the stroller versus having a destination to go to in the stroller, they run the risk of the stroller becoming too hot. This is because there is not a cross breeze that flows through the stroller as it sits. And the longer it sits in the sun, the hotter the material of the stroller becomes as well.
As the material gets hotter, babies too will get warmer in their strollers. And as a result, will be at risk for heat-related injury.
4 Keeping Baby In The Stroller For Too Long
When babies are young, their stroller rides should be fairly short. This means 20 to 30 minutes, according to From Tiny Tot To Toddler.
As babies get older, they may be able to increase their time. But, per the publication, the stroller may bring babies discomfort. And between being uncomfortable and the heat, leaving babies in the stroller too long is a mistake many parents make.
3 Not Applying Sunscreen To Baby
Babies who are over the age of six months are encouraged to wear sunscreen every day. This will keep their fragile skin from getting sunburned. And this is something that greatly reduces the risk of skin cancer in the future, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Many parents forget to put sunscreen on their babies when in the stroller. And because they believe that babies will stay in the shade, sunscreen does not become a priority.
But, as the limbs get out in the sun, the chances for burning rise. Something that neither nor their parents want to happen when babies are in the stroller.
2 Not Walking In Shadded Areas
Generally, there are several routes that parents will take the stroller when out for a walk. Chances are, one of the paths is more shaded than the others. But, when out walking, this is not always thought about and babies wind up with a very hot stroller as a result. This is something that can lead to them getting ill or worse.
1 Not Checking The Stroller For Hot Parts
Often overlooked are the metal and hard plastic portions of the stroller when the sun is hot during the summer. But because they can get hot quickly, they need to be checked often to ensure that babies do not get burned if they were to touch them. Something that parents would feel terrible about, were it to happen.
Source: Parents, WebMD, Children’s Connecticut, From Tiny Tot To Toddler, Skin Cancer Foundation