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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bundle Up Before Going Outside

Kids enjoy playing outside. No matter the time of year whether hot, warm or cold weather kids want to get out there and play. It seems at times when it is cold and snowy weather they desire to stay out even longer. As long as they keep bundled up they should stay warm and dry and be able to play outside in even the cold weather.

Does cold weather cause colds?? That is the age old question parents have struggled with for years. Cold weather goes hand in hand with sniffles very often. However, there is no link between the chilly temperatures and the onset of a cold.

There is little evidence to support the claim that old folk wisdom believed about the dangers of cold - season. Colds are caused by the rhinoviruses which spreads through contact with infected people or bodily fluids. The cold air does not make any difference in spreading the virus. In addition, exposure to cold weather may actually boost infection fighting white blood cells.

This boost will help fight the viruses that may be around during the cold weather. Dry air is often present in the cold weather. This could be from the environment or forced air heat Viruses thrive in dry air. Heating systems are often the cause that circulates the common cold virus.

Low temperatures may stress a child's body out just a bit causing them to have a natural surge to their immune system function. This statement alone shares the idea that a healthier child may be the one playing outside. So bundle them up and head outside to play.

When children are getting dressed to go outside and play in cold weather they should:

  • dress in layers
  • cover heads and necks
  • wear mittens and gloves
  • wear lined and waterproof boots
  • each piece of the body should be covered head to toe
  • choose a synthetic fiber as the first layer covered up by a knit middle layer that offers insulation is perfect as it can be removed if the child gets too hot. The outer layer should be synthetic and rugged to block wind. 
  • Snowsuits help repel water and wind but if a car ride separates you from the play area then perhaps putting the suit on when you arrive is a better idea. 
  • Boots should be large enough so that toes can wriggle around. Feet grow so ensure this is the case every year
  • Air temp and wind chill makes a difference when playing outside. Children often get colder faster than adults and often lose more heat through their heads so be sure they are wearing a hat and continue to check to make sure they keep their bundled up clothes on and stay warm
  • Skin care is important as well. Young skin can be damaged by the sun not matter how cold or hot the weather is. Sunscreen should be used along with petroleum jelly to prevent cheeks and lips from chapping.”
There are a few more things you can do to ensure your child's health. Basic infection - control such as washing hands frequently, teaching children to sneeze and cough into their elbow and avoid transmitting germs through the air or on their hands. 

Cold weather is not responsible for colds. It is however, the root of many temperature related illnesses. Frostbite and hypothermia can often happen in cold temps when children play outside. The bundling up tips should be followed to help protect them against related illnesses. 

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