Stroller safety alert: Why you should ditch the blanket on hot days

NEW YORK -- There's a warning for parents on these hot, humid summer days.

Could a walk outside put your little one's health at risk?

Katie Finn enjoys taking her 5-month-old for strolls through New York City, but on a recent warm, sunny day, that stroll put her daughter in danger.

"I'm covering the front of the stroller with a blanket to create more shade, but as I'm doing that I'm realizing I'm probably making her more hot," Finn said.

Baby Bridget started fussing quite a bit, and it was all because the inside of that stroller, which is supposed to be a safe space, was instead hot and stifling.

"So I took her out of the stroller and carried her and in less than a minute she calmed down," Finn said.

Thursday's temperatures were in the low 90's in New York, but inside the stroller, covered by a thin cotton blanket, in just a few minutes in the sunshine our thermometer read 104 degrees.

That's especially dangerous for small children who can't cool off as easily as adults and can't communicate their distress.

"When it's hotter outside than inside the body, it impairs the mechanisms we have to expel heat," said Dr. Elan Levy, Lenox Health Greenwich Village, Emergency Room.

Dr. Levy says the first thing to do is get overheated children to a colder environment and watch for improvements.

But if you see these signs: lethargy, vomiting, seizures, not acting right, not wanting to feed, not wetting diapers, it's a heat-related illness.

You should call your pediatrician immediately and a visit to the ER may be necessary.

Finn was able to get Bridget comfortable again and now never leaves the house without a stroller fan on warm days.

And on the hottest, most humid days those walks are abbreviated or even put on hold.

"At the end of the day better to keep baby inside because there's only so much you can do to keep cool," Finn said.

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