PSA: Think Before You Use a Blanket as a Sun Shade

During the summer months it’s important for parents to protect their babies from the sun’s harmful rays. Because most sunscreens are not recommended for babies under six months of age, many parents resort to draping a blanket across the top car of their baby’s car seat carrier or stroller seat. While a blanket does provide share, many parents don’t realize that they are inadvertently creating a dangerous situation for their little one.

When a blanket is placed over a stroller or car seat bar, heat can become trapped in the capsule that’s created which can lead to overheating or heat exhaustion for a baby. Studies show that reducing the air circulation in the area around the baby can increase the temperature to dangerous levels. This summer, if you’re looking to keep your baby cool and protect them from the sun, consider the ideas below.

{ MORE: The Death of Olympic Skier Bode Miller's Daughter Is Something Every Parent Should Think About }

Opt to spend time outside when it’s cooler

One of the most effective ways to keep baby cool and out of the sun is to choose to spend time outdoors during outside of the hottest times of the day. Take baby outside during the morning or evening hours and, if you do have to be outside during the hottest parts of the day, keep your baby in the shade created by trees of other overhead covering as much as possible.

Utilize a stroller fan

Using a stroller fan can keep the air flowing around your baby, even if you do have a blanket draped over their stroller. A stroller fan can also make spending time in the heat easier and more pleasant than it would be without one.

Dress baby in UV protective clothing

Using protective clothing can alleviate the need to keep a shade over your baby’s stroller. Even when it’s hot, you can utilize breathable fabric that protects them from the sun’s rays and keeps them looking and feeling good!

Use a breathable blanket

If you chose to place a blanket over your baby’s stroller, be sure to chose one that is light and breathable. Using heavy fabric can increase temperatures and make baby very uncomfortable. Check on your baby frequently to ensure that they are cool and happy, a hand on their cheek can usually tell you whether they are feeling the heat.

{ MORE: Beginner Tips for Safe Babywearing }

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PSA: Think Before You Use a Blanket as a Sun Shade

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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