Health professionals warn parents against using these blankets on babies.
The cold arrives and we look for the warmest thing that there is so that our baby sleeps warm. Polar blankets are all the rage in the world because they are very warm, soft and very light. However, it would not be the most appropriate to shelter a baby, according to some specialists.
According to the Newsner site, a group of midwives from Whanganui, New Zealand, are warning about the risk of polar blankets for babies. The danger has to do precisely with the reason for which we choose them: they are very hot. But this, beyond appearing beneficial, can be potentially dangerous, and your baby’s body could overheat.
The origin of polar blankets
The polar blankets are made from recycled plastic bags. As we well know, plastic does not breathe. If you look closely at the fabric of a fleece blanket, you will notice that it is too tight; it is as if you are covering your child with a plastic bag. This, on some occasions, can cause a small baby’s body to overheat, as it does not have the necessary autonomy to uncover, as we would if we feel heat.
Why are they dangerous?
Angela Adam, a midwife at a hospital in New Zealand, is alerting her colleagues at the institution about the dangers of using this type of cover. As stated in the New Herald of New Zealand, being made of plastic fibers, polar blankets do not allow the baby’s skin to breathe. When the little body begins to heat up, it then begins to sweat. That sweat has nowhere to evaporate and escape, and remains on the body, cooling it in a dangerous way. This could result in the sudden death of younger babies.
According to the site Guía Infantil, polar materials, in addition to increasing body temperature, can cause respiratory diseases, since they retain the humidity of the air and prolong the child’s contact with that humidity.
So what can we use to keep them warm?
When we talk about children under one month, it is necessary to listen to medical recommendations about children’s shelter. In my case, when my children were just a few weeks old, I wrapped them up a little more than we adults. Later, the temperature of their bodies is regulated and it is no longer necessary to overcoat them.
If you take your baby upa or in a car, and the baby will be immobile for a while, it is necessary that you spread it a little more than you, that surely when walking and being in movement you will feel warmer.
Regarding the material, wool is still the best ally to keep babies warm. It is a natural product that allows air to pass through. It is still warm, soft and will not trap the sweat on your baby’s skin, as in the case of polar blankets.
So should I never use a fleece blanket again?
In my opinion, and according to the recommendations of midwives and specialists, it is more than anything about not overcoating babies and being aware of their body temperature. I think that is the message. My 2 and 4-year-old children both sleep with a thin fleece blanket, and we are going to see how much shelter to put on their beds, according to the ambient temperature.
How to know if a baby is suffering from heat?
Overcoat, or undercoat, is often one of the first concerns when a baby is born. However, it is essential to be alert to some bodily signs that will show us if the child is overcoat or if she is suffering from cold.
Contrary to what common people think, that a baby has cold hands or feet does not mean that he is experiencing cold, but that, as his blood circulation is not yet fully developed, it is normal that his limbs are not temperate.
By touching the baby’s neck or back, you will know if he is hot or cold. If you notice that it is sweaty, then it is suffering from heat; at the same time that you will notice it uncomfortable. When you notice his back and neck cold, then wrap him up a little more.
Now you know, don’t throw away that warm and soft fleece blanket that you have at home, but do try not to wrap your little baby in it. Always monitor their symptoms of heat or cold, and if you have any questions, consult your doctor.