With temperatures set to reach a record high, The Lullaby Trust has issued advice for parents to keep their babies safe and cool this summer.
The charity, which works to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) also known as Cot Death, warns that babies who get too hot are at an increased risk of SIDS.
To reduce the chance of SIDS the ideal temperature of a baby’s room should be 16-20° C. However, every baby is different and it’s important to check if their chest or the back of their neck feels clammy as this is a sign they are getting too hot. Keeping rooms from getting too hot can be difficult, especially with temperatures set to soar into the high 30s in some parts of the country so The Lullaby Trust advises parents to:
- Close the blinds or curtains during the day to stop the room your baby sleeps in from getting too hot
- Put a fan in the bedroom to help circulate the air, but make sure it is out of reach and not pointed directly at your baby
- Reduce layers; just a nappy with no bedding is fine in hot weather
- Monitor the temperature with a room thermometer
Jenny Ward, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust says:
“We know that overheating is a risk factor for SIDS, so keeping babies from getting too hot is important. We appreciate how hard it can be to keep babies cool in such hot weather, so we would urge parents to regularly monitor their baby’s temperature. If their baby’s skin is hot or sweaty, remove one or more layers of bedclothes or bedding, and think about moving them somewhere that might be a bit cooler.”
It’s important that babies are kept cool when out an about in hot weather. Prams should be covered with a clip-on sunshade to keep baby out of direct sunlight and their temperature monitored to avoid overheating. Prams should not be covered with blankets, cloths or any cover that prevents the air from circulating. Covering a pram with a blanket could lead to overheating, which increases the chance of SIDS.
Babies should be kept out of direct sunlight and kept indoors during the hottest part of the day. If possible, parents should avoid taking their baby on public transport during peak hours and try to find a shop or cafe with air-conditioning so that they can cool down.
It is harder to keep babies cool when away on holiday and travel can disrupt routines, so it is important that all safer advice is followed on holiday as well. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) babies should be slept on their back on a firm, flat, mattress for every sleep day and night.
For more advice on safer sleep for babies click here