Urgent warning over life-threatening mistake most parents make in hot weather | The Sun

PARENTS have been urged to avoid covering their little ones' prams during the heatwave as it could raise the risk of overheating.

Temperatures are set to soar this week, with the mercury expected to reach 33C today.

But experts have warned parents not to cover prams with a blanket or light cloth – urging them instead to use a parasol or sunshade clipped to the side of the pushchair.

Gurus at the Lullaby Trust said overheating increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The condition is the unexplained death of an infant that occurs when they're asleep.

Temperatures are set to peak today at 33C as Brits rush to grab their spot on the beach.

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The Met Office said highs of 33C are expected in some areas on Monday afternoon, with central, southern and eastern England all experiencing the rising temperatures during the heatwave.

It could mark the hottest day of the year so far, with the UK's record high for this year currently standing at 32.7C. It was recorded at Heathrow on June 17.

The warm weather is expected to continue through the week in the high 20s for most until the weekend, when the mercury may rise again to 31C in places such as London, Reading and Oxford.

This means parts of the country will be hotter than some of the world's top beach destinations, including the Maldives and Marbella in Spain.

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The National Childbirth Trust said it's a good idea to keep your baby out of direct sunlight and in a cooler place from 11am to 3pm- when the heat is strongest.

"When you’re out and about, try and find a shady spot to sit or walk in.

"Although putting a covering like a muslin or a blanket over the buggy might seem like a good idea to keep the sun off your baby, it stops the air circulating and can make them too hot.

"Instead, it’s better to use a clip-on parasol or a sunshade designed for your buggy," a spokesperson told The Telegraph.

A Level Three Heat Health Alert has been issued by the Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) from 9am on Monday to 9am on Friday in the east and south-east of England, with the rest of the nation having a level 2 alert in place.

It means the threshold for a heatwave has been met – and healthcare services will need to be on high alert to help high-risk groups.

Met Office advice states: "Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions. 

"Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.

What are the signs of heat exhaustion?

The signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • A headache
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • Excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
  • Cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • Fast breathing or pulse
  • A high temperature of 38C or above
  • Being very thirsty

"Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol, dress appropriately for the weather and slow down when it is hot."

The heatwave temperature threshold varies in each country – in the UK it is between 25C and 28C.

While a Level 2 alert warns the nation to prepare and "get ready" for a heatwave, Level 3 requires "heatwave action".

In England there are around 3,000 heart-related deaths every year, with babies, the over-with the most vulnerable being at risk.

This includes the elderly and babies.

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Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: "During periods of hot weather, it is especially important to keep checking on those who are most vulnerable, such as older people and those with heart or lung conditions.

"Make sure to look out for signs of heat exhaustion and follow our simple health advice to beat the heat."

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