Child experts warn mothers against covering their baby's pram with a blanket to shield them from the sun, insisting it could prove fatal to infants
It is a common sight; many mothers and fathers will drape a thin blanket or scarf over their baby's pram or pushchair, in a bid to shade them from the heat.
However new research has shown that the practise could be putting babies in danger.
Svante Norgren, paediatrician at the Astrid Lindgren children's hospital in Stockholm, told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper: "It gets extremely hot down in the pram, something like a thermos.
"There is also bad circulation of the air and it is hard to see the baby with a cover over the pram.
"It would quickly become uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for the child."
The paper conducted an experiment to see just how hot it could get inside a pram or pushchair when covered, leaving it out in the sun between 11:30am and 1pm on a warm day.
Without a blanket or scarf covering the pram, the temperature reached 22C.
However, when a thin cover was placed over for the next 30 minutes, the heat rose dramatically to 34C.
After an hour, the temperature sat at a sweltering 37C.
The risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is dramatically increased when a young baby is exposed to intense heat - which means that, while many parents believe they are sheltering their children from the sun, they could actually be placing their offspring in more danger.
Svante explained: "If a child gets too hot then the child may think that it is back in the womb, which is why breathing may stop."
The best bet for parents is to abandon the practice of using towels or thin blankets as a cover and instead place the pram in the shade, he added.
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