If for any reason whatsoever, you plan on leaving her in a locked car, then you should know how to keep your baby cool in a car seat. To date, I cannot take the pictures of the footage off my head – the news coverage of how the life of a 5-months-old baby was saved from the parking lot of a popular supermarket by the police.
According to security footage, the mother of the baby – who was out shopping, had left the baby buckled up in a car seat for over two hours under scorching temperature. Passersby who heard the baby crying from the back seat of the car alerted the police.
The mother of the child was arrested for child endangerment and the infant was handed over to a relative. It is a sad story – and it could have been worse. What if no one heard the cry of the child in time? Perhaps I would have been ending my story with a different narrative.
As a mother or caregiver, you should do everything humanly possible to prevent leaving an infant in a car alone. But if you have no other choice, there are a few tips you can employ to make sure that you keep the baby cool in the car seat.
Ways to Keep Your Baby Cool in the Car Seat
If you have decided that you are left with no other option but to leave your baby in the car seat while you take a few minutes to attend to something important, you have to tread cautiously.
One thing you have to know is that this is not a decision you can just make on the spot. You will have to have prepared beforehand to make sure you have all it takes and you are mentally alert to make the decision
We have highlighted ten ways you can keep your baby cool in the car seat and minimize the risks of suffocation and exhaustion, while you dash out for a few seconds. Let’s go on and check them out!
10 Ways to Keep Your Baby Cool in the Car Seat
1. Use Baby-Friendly Tinted Windows for Your Cars
Tinted windows prevent Ultra-Violent rays and sunlight from penetrating directly into the car and heating it up. In many countries and states, it is punishable by law if you have a child in a car without tinted glasses – at least on the side where the child is positioned.
So, if you had thought that the only use of a tinted glass window was to prevent people from seeing through what you had in the car. Well, you were wrong. They go a long way to protect your infants from direct sunlight and keep them cool in the car seat.
2. Pay Attention to the Colour of Your Baby’s Car Seat
Yes, quality and durability are two things on your list when you are choosing a car seat for your baby. But do you know what else should be top on your list – the colour of the car seat. The colour? Yes the colour of your baby’s car seat!
You may ask what has colour got to do it with – well, everything. Dark colours attract and absorb more sunlight which will in turn translate to more heat for the baby; whereas bright colours will repeal the heat and light. Don’t overthink it ladies, its science! So, forget whether black is your favourite colour, this is not the time for that!
3. Make Use of Your Rear Air Conditioning Vents
Cars have rear air conditioning vents that should be directed towards the baby in the rear of the car. I was once guilty of this also, but after I was informed of the purpose of rear air conditioning vents, I have never looked back since.
You should also make sure to regulate the air conditioner so that it is not too much or too low for your baby – whether you are in or out of the car. In modern SUVs, there are special child-care vents positioned at the back for babies, make sure you study the car manual carefully or research online on how best to use them to keep your baby cool in car seats.
4. Always Use a Breathable Car Seat Liner
You should be familiar with the term ‘breathable materials’ if you have considered getting items for an infant. Breathable materials are made up of fabrics that allow air passage through them easily as against non-breathable materials.
When buying a car seat liner, make sure you go for the one made from breathable material so that it can keep your baby cool in the car seat when you are out of the car running errands or attending to other things.
5. Use a Car Seat Shade for Your Baby
Regardless of the air-conditioning in the car, at the time you chose to step out of the car, use a car seat shade for your baby when you are stepping out of the car – and on sunny days
The car seat shades help to re-direct the sun from directly falling on your baby and this can go a long way to prevent the baby from overheating. If your car seat does not come with a car seat shade, consider buying one separately.
6. Make Use of Freezable Baby Seat Cooling Mat
If you have not heard of freezable baby seat cooling mats, you should read about them. These mats are specially formulated to keep a baby’s seat cool when you are not in the car to attend to important tasks.
I recommend that you take your time to read the instructions on the products before using them. The mats are not supposed to be used when you are in the car and you are not required to place the infant on the mat – but to place the cooling mat beside them when you step out of the car.
7. Always Try to Pre-Cool Your Car
One way you can keep your baby cool in a car seat is to pre-cool the car before stepping out with the baby. What this means is that you should allow the engine and air conditioner to run for some time before you drive out with your baby. As insignificant as this may seem to you, it goes a long way in keeping the baby cool in the car seat.
8. Plan Your Trips
Planning your trips goes two ways actually. First, it involves trying to schedule all your trips that involve going out with your baby for mornings and probably evenings, when the sun is down and the weather is favourably cool.
Secondly, it involves planning the trips to speed as little time away from your kid as possible. For instance, you should call beforehand so that your groceries are packed and ready for pick-up before you get to the store. Rather than having to shop one item at a time.
9. Dress the Baby Light
I have always told mothers, except it is a snowy day, you have no business padding p your baby like a space astronaut. Dress up your baby in breathable light material to prevent them from overheating especially in the car seat.
Come to think of it, on a hot sunny day, why should you dress your infant in thick clothes – especially when you know you will be leaving them in the car for some time?
10. You Need a Noggle
Ever heard of a noggle? Well, this is a fun baby gadget that is fast becoming popular in America, UK, and Europe. It is a toy-like lightweight funnel used to redirect air from the vehicle’s air vent at the back seat directly unto the baby’s seat.
Trust me when I say baby’s love it!! The noggle can also be used in winter to keep the baby warm. You need to see a baby playing with a noggle – how cute!
Can your Baby Overheat in Car Seat?
To answer the question directly – yes, your baby can overheat in a car seat. Not only can this cause discomfort and heat rashes for your baby, but it can also lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There have been cases of infants found dead in their car seats due to overheating and more deaths are reported daily across the globe. If you didn’t take this seriously before, you should. Your baby can overheat in a car seat and it can lead to death.
Surprisingly, according to recent research, it has been found out that a baby can experience overheating even when a car is packed under a shed. If you leave a baby in a car packed under a shed, chances are that the baby will begin to experience overheating after two hours.
So, you should not make the mistake of leaving your little one for longer just because you have packed your car under a safe shed that protects them from direct sunlight. As the famous saying goes, to be forewarned is to be forearmed – keep your little ones safe and protected at all times.