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Parents and Guardians Forum>Playing Outside In Cold Weather
Unregistered 06:59 PM 11-01-2008
HI

I work at a daycare and my 2 year old daughter and 2 1/2 year old nephew attend there. The director is requiring that we take the children out in the mornings around 9:30 if the temp is not below 32 degrees. This is outrageous to me! That is freezing! There is ice on the grass at that temp. She seemed irritated like I was undermining her authority when I told her I didn't want them out, that it was too cold. I took the rest of my class out though. My question, in Alabama, is there a minimum temperature they can go out and for how long? Does anyone know? This really bothers me. It is a conflict being a worker and a parent at the same time.
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tymaboy 03:05 PM 11-02-2008
On my website I have a PDF that both the Child Resource & the CACFP gave me to go by what is suggested for outdoor play. It is located at the very bottom of the page.
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Unregistered 08:22 PM 12-13-2008
i am also a daycare worker and my son is only 2 I watch all ages of children and they are not going outside if the windchill is too high and it's more then -25. we do go outside everyday and it's only for 30minutes!
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Unregistered 05:50 PM 12-15-2008
I am a licensed in home provider in Alaska. We are required to take the children out unless it is colder than 10 degrees (also considering windchill factor). This is my business, so I t out with the parents. I have never met a parent that wanted their child out in such cold weather. What we decide in our daycare is between us and the parents. There are some codes not followed completely (like playing outside in 10 degree weather, big snow depths, big amount of snow coming down, etc...). Our municipality said they don't care what we or the parents want, they want us to do what they say. They are trying to take over our businesses and control everything (beyond their jurisdiction) .

Everyone have a great Christmas
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Unregistered 06:55 AM 01-17-2009
If you want fat kids, keep them inside all the time in-front of the tv. If you want them to nap, playing outside for a thirty minutes to an hour in cold air is not going to be an issue. When I was a kid we played outside in the rural area south of Buffalo,NY for hours. I recall digging tunnels in a blizzard and sweating in a snow suit. We played regularly when the outside temperature was 10-32F for hours. Only high winds would keep us inside. As long as you dress for the weather, you do not get cold.
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Unregistered 09:20 AM 01-18-2009
I grew up in Colorado and remember, as another poster said, digging tunnels in blizzards and playing outside for hours. I operate a licensed daycare, and if the kids want to go outside for a bit, then they are allowed to do that. However, many of the parents dont bring appropriate clothing for some of the kids to go out. I've been wanting to say something to one of the parents who brings her child in a lined windbreaker with a hood, and a beanie cap and that's it for outerwear. But, if they dress appropriately, they will be fine outside for a short time. School aged kids in the elementary schools here are required to be outside before school, during recess, and they have to leave the building immediately after school, too. There are no school buses, so if the kid lives four miles away and nobody picks them up, it's their problem to get home, no matter their age and no matter the weather.

I personally dont like going out in really cold weather.
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Leon718 04:51 AM 01-25-2009
I think that taking kids outside is very important on many levels. What is important is having kids dressed appropriately. There is nothing wrong with playing outside in cold weather, provided that it is done correctly. At A to Z Daycare, we take kids outside for about 30 minutes. It promotes good health, and strong immune system, and kids sleep better! But again, as long as kids are appropriately dressed!

A to Z Daycare Center and Afterschool Program, Inc.
Brooklyn, NY
www.a2zdaycare.com
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Michael 12:10 PM 02-26-2009
We posted a new article on the weather question at:
https://www.daycare.com/news/daycare_and_weather.html
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Unregistered 06:13 PM 01-10-2012
My son attends a daycare that, when I interviewed them, stated that they take the children outside every day unless it's below 30, "too hot," or excessively windy (because of some old trees on the property). I've since discovered that they almost NEVER go outside, not on warm days, not if they think it MIGHT rain later in the day, not if it rained YESTERDAY, not if they're "too busy" . . . not in the strollers, not in the playground. I'm lucky if my son goes outside once every 3 weeks and they actually told another parent that the children will not go outside until the spring . . . even though it's been 50 degrees in our area. And not rainy. And not windy. It's a complete travesty and as much as I badger them about it, nothing is getting done. I am now working less and keeping him home with me more just so I can take him outside every day. Meanwhile, I'm on a wait list for another day care/preschool (where I actually witnessed them taking the children outside on a 24 degree day, happily). Children should be outside. They need to be outside. They need to experience weather. Rain, snow, wind, cold, heat, and sun are actually good for them!
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Sunchimes 07:24 PM 01-10-2012
I'm not arguing, because I honestly don't know. I wonder if this would vary according to where you live. In some places, 32 isn't a big deal. Here, it's a cold we aren't really use to. And snow. Shuts things down and our systems aren't adjusted to that kind of cold. And we don't have the right clothes. None of my kids even own boots.

I take mine out unless is too cold. I have one that has a lot of problems with her ears. If it's cold and windy, I don't take her out. I know we should go out more, but I get so tired of following them around the play yard and taking the rocks, snails (shudder) sticks, and leaves out of their mouths. I don't care how much I police the yard, they seem to go straight to the one thing that shouldn't have! We have pecan trees all over our yard. Luckily we didn't have a crop this year. I'm hoping that by the time we have a crop on the ground next fall, they will be old enough not to put them in their mouths.
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mac60 12:20 PM 01-11-2012
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
My son attends a daycare that, when I interviewed them, stated that they take the children outside every day unless it's below 30, "too hot," or excessively windy (because of some old trees on the property). I've since discovered that they almost NEVER go outside, not on warm days, not if they think it MIGHT rain later in the day, not if it rained YESTERDAY, not if they're "too busy" . . . not in the strollers, not in the playground. I'm lucky if my son goes outside once every 3 weeks and they actually told another parent that the children will not go outside until the spring . . . even though it's been 50 degrees in our area. And not rainy. And not windy. It's a complete travesty and as much as I badger them about it, nothing is getting done. I am now working less and keeping him home with me more just so I can take him outside every day. Meanwhile, I'm on a wait list for another day care/preschool (where I actually witnessed them taking the children outside on a 24 degree day, happily). Children should be outside. They need to be outside. They need to experience weather. Rain, snow, wind, cold, heat, and sun are actually good for them!
As your child's parent, then why don't YOU take them out if you feel it is so important your child experiences all the variables of the weather. Since when did it become the daycare providers responsibility to make sure "your" child experiences all the variables of the weather, you Are the parent.
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greenhouse 12:49 PM 01-11-2012
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
My son attends a daycare that, when I interviewed them, stated that they take the children outside every day unless it's below 30, "too hot," or excessively windy (because of some old trees on the property). I've since discovered that they almost NEVER go outside, not on warm days, not if they think it MIGHT rain later in the day, not if it rained YESTERDAY, not if they're "too busy" . . . not in the strollers, not in the playground. I'm lucky if my son goes outside once every 3 weeks and they actually told another parent that the children will not go outside until the spring . . . even though it's been 50 degrees in our area. And not rainy. And not windy. It's a complete travesty and as much as I badger them about it, nothing is getting done. I am now working less and keeping him home with me more just so I can take him outside every day. Meanwhile, I'm on a wait list for another day care/preschool (where I actually witnessed them taking the children outside on a 24 degree day, happily). Children should be outside. They need to be outside. They need to experience weather. Rain, snow, wind, cold, heat, and sun are actually good for them!
This is one of the reasons I pulled my son from a center day care and became a provider. It was in their curriculum that they had outside time every day, when I pushed one of the workers on the issue she admitted to me they RARELY take them outside because it is too difficult. I take my kids out for 30-60 min a day, plus they can play outside one the deck whenever. I don't take them out below 32f or in very windy weather since it bothers them. Getting sun year round and being able to run wild and explore nature is part of a healthy childhood.
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youretooloud 01:44 PM 01-11-2012
I think the kids should go outside too. But, I think they should adjust the recess time til the lawn thaws at least.

I grew up in Chicago, with below zero wind chills, and we STILL had to drag ourselves into coats and boots and go outside. It seemed completely normal.

*said the lady who now lives where it's rarely below 60 degrees and can't imagine going outside in cold weather now*
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Blackcat31 02:09 PM 01-11-2012
Originally Posted by Sunchimes:
I'm not arguing, because I honestly don't know. I wonder if this would vary according to where you live. In some places, 32 isn't a big deal. Here, it's a cold we aren't really use to. And snow. Shuts things down and our systems aren't adjusted to that kind of cold. And we don't have the right clothes. None of my kids even own boots.

I take mine out unless is too cold. I have one that has a lot of problems with her ears. If it's cold and windy, I don't take her out. I know we should go out more, but I get so tired of following them around the play yard and taking the rocks, snails (shudder) sticks, and leaves out of their mouths. I don't care how much I police the yard, they seem to go straight to the one thing that shouldn't have! We have pecan trees all over our yard. Luckily we didn't have a crop this year. I'm hoping that by the time we have a crop on the ground next fall, they will be old enough not to put them in their mouths.
That's exactly what I ws thinking....32F in the winter is a heat wave for us! LOL!! Unless the numbers on the thermometer have a minus sign "-" in front of them, we are outside everyday.
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AnneCordelia 05:06 PM 01-11-2012
We go outside every day of the year. We go outside so long as the temp is above -10*c (15*f). We run and play and have a great time. When you include the school run, we are outside for more than 2 hours a day. Today was 3 hours and it was 28*f. Beautiful day!
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Hunni Bee 05:45 PM 01-11-2012
My goal is get my kids outside at least 3 days a week. I realize they need outside time daily to grow, and it helps their behavior when they get that gross motor time...

BUT...if 50% of us have green slime coming from our noses, we're not going. If its under 35 degrees (35 degrees in VA feels a lot colder than 35 degrees in Michigan), we're not going. If several of us didn't have coats on when we came to school, we're not going. One of my four-year-olds is currently in the hospital with pneumonia because his mom thought a sweatshirt was sufficient outerwear for 18 degree weather. We found and put a coat on him, but the damage was done.

In the spring, summer and fall, we're out there twice a day faithfully.
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Blackcat31 08:47 AM 01-12-2012
Originally Posted by Hunni Bee:
My goal is get my kids outside at least 3 days a week. I realize they need outside time daily to grow, and it helps their behavior when they get that gross motor time...

BUT...if 50% of us have green slime coming from our noses, we're not going. If its under 35 degrees (35 degrees in VA feels a lot colder than 35 degrees in Michigan), we're not going. If several of us didn't have coats on when we came to school, we're not going. One of my four-year-olds is currently in the hospital with pneumonia because his mom thought a sweatshirt was sufficient outerwear for 18 degree weather. We found and put a coat on him, but the damage was done.

In the spring, summer and fall, we're out there twice a day faithfully.
When kids have green snot is EXACTLY when they should be getting some fresh air. Fresh air is as good for an illness as rest and good sleep.

As far as the child in the hospital, he didn't catch pneumonia from being outdoors or from being dressed improperly, he caught it from a virus or from an infection, neither of which come from being outdoors or being cold.

Getting sick BECAUSE of cold weather is a myth. Illnesses are caused by viruses, infections and germs.
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infecti...mmon/cold.html
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Meyou 09:03 AM 01-12-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
When kids have green snot is EXACTLY when they should be getting some fresh air. Fresh air is as good for an illness as rest and good sleep.

As far as the child in the hospital, he didn't catch pneumonia from being outdoors or from being dressed improperly, he caught it from a virus or from an infection, neither of which come from being outdoors or being cold.

Getting sick BECAUSE of cold weather is a myth. Illnesses are caused by viruses, infections and germs.
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infecti...mmon/cold.html

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Ariana 10:08 AM 01-12-2012
Wow 32F is only 0C here in Canada! Thats a nice day here We'd NEVER go outside if that was the rule. My rule is we don't go out if it's colder than -17C so 1F. A little frost and cold air never hurt anyone. I remember as a kid playing outside for hours when it was -20C or colder.

This thread makes me a little sad because a sign of good quality childcare is getting outside at least once a day weather permitting. I try to get out 2X a day.
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Hunni Bee 05:16 PM 01-12-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
When kids have green snot is EXACTLY when they should be getting some fresh air. Fresh air is as good for an illness as rest and good sleep.

As far as the child in the hospital, he didn't catch pneumonia from being outdoors or from being dressed improperly, he caught it from a virus or from an infection, neither of which come from being outdoors or being cold.

Getting sick BECAUSE of cold weather is a myth. Illnesses are caused by viruses, infections and germs.
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infecti...mmon/cold.html
I honestly didn't know this. Thanks for enlightening me! I guess I'd been going by what I heard all my life growing up...it was 70 degrees here today (!) and someone said "this is pneumonia weather!". I'd always thought you caught or made worse stuff like that by being in the cold or not dressing properly.
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Blackcat31 05:29 PM 01-12-2012
Originally Posted by Hunni Bee:
I honestly didn't know this. Thanks for enlightening me! I guess I'd been going by what I heard all my life growing up...it was 70 degrees here today (!) and someone said "this is pneumonia weather!". I'd always thought you caught or made worse stuff like that by being in the cold or not dressing properly.
I was told the same thing all my life too. I just learned it wasn't true when I started doing child care.

I wish it was 70 here... we are expecting -12F before sunrise so we won't be going outside tomorrow, that's for sure.
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JennyBear 10:57 AM 01-18-2012
I'm in Ontario, Canada. It can get pretty cold here. I just bundle up the children accordingly and off we go. I may have to reduce the amount of time were out there but for the most part the kids have a blast (especially the older ones). The fresh air really does make a difference and getting outside is so good for them.
This morning we went sledding with another local home daycare and we all had a blast. My group are currently sawing logs!!
I see nothing wrong with going outside, just use common sense and dress appropriately.
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Meyou 12:51 PM 01-18-2012
43 (6 C) here today and we spent a total of 3.25 hours outside. It was lovely. For Nova Scotia. lol
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Blackcat31 01:05 PM 01-18-2012
Originally Posted by Meyou:
43 (6 C) here today and we spent a total of 3.25 hours outside. It was lovely. For Nova Scotia. lol
-6F here. We walked to the mailbox again but that was it. I actually had to get my winter coat out yesterday. Wind chills have been in the -20F 'ies. I think the actual low temp for tonight is suppose to be -22F. Hope the sun at least shines! LOL!!
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Sunchimes 01:22 PM 01-18-2012
I can remember when I was a kid, they made us go out if it was above freezing. I don't remember it being fun. What I do remember is that we all huddled against the side of the building until the teachers made us move. Then we sort of did the group sidle a few feet. If you were lucky, you managed to stay in the middle of the huddle where it was a little warmer. ;-) I see my little ones doing that now.

We don't have the proper clothes. We don't have boots or tennis shoes or even heavy socks. None of my kids have proper heavy coats--they need them so seldom that it isn't unusual for them to outgrow the coat before they've worn it. Most of the time, we wear hoodies.

We go out most days, but not when it's that cold.

>"When kids have green snot is EXACTLY when they should be getting some fresh air" The only thing more fun than green snot is frozen green snot.
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Blackcat31 01:27 PM 01-18-2012
Originally Posted by Sunchimes:

We go out most days, but not when it's that cold.

>"When kids have green snot is EXACTLY when they should be getting some fresh air" The only thing more fun than green snot is frozen green snot.
Oh, we don't get frozen green snot here.......your nostrils freeze shut so it can't get out!
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Countrygal 03:41 PM 01-18-2012
I think in WI the recommended temp is 20 degrees or warmer, but then, we're used to it..... that's pretty warm in the winter up here. Thankfully this winter has been SUPER, but most winters hardly get above 20 from Dec through Feb. :P

I would think it would be hard to make kids go out when it's that cold in a warmer climate. I wouldn't think all of them would be well enough dressed!
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Gavin's mommy 09:43 PM 01-22-2012
Being a daycare teacher for 5 years and living in a southern state 32degrees to us is freezing! I Cantrell u right now that it is the middle of January and my son was outside in a tshirt in 76degree weather! Our children are not use to cold weather like that! On days when we felt it was too cold to go outside we did activities inside to get the kids moving arround a lot! Our children do not mind playing in 100 degree weather simply because they are used to it but anything below 50degrees in the south is cold to us and that's when are children start getting sick do to the fact that our body's are not used to that cold of weather! We probably only experience that cold of weather 2 months out of the year!!! I simply say if u feel it is too cold to take the children outside than play some games inside that will get there lil body's moving and exercising!
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Bookworm 05:47 PM 01-23-2012
I completely agree with Gavin's Mommy. I'm in the south too and to us, 50 degrees is freezing. My state has a 42 degree "guideline", but because I personally hate the cold, I won't do less than 50 degrees and even then no longer than 30-45 min. Once again, Southern kids aren't used to the cold
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Blackcat31 06:20 PM 01-23-2012
Originally Posted by Gavin's mommy:
Being a daycare teacher for 5 years and living in a southern state 32degrees to us is freezing! I Cantrell u right now that it is the middle of January and my son was outside in a tshirt in 76degree weather! Our children are not use to cold weather like that! On days when we felt it was too cold to go outside we did activities inside to get the kids moving arround a lot! Our children do not mind playing in 100 degree weather simply because they are used to it but anything below 50degrees in the south is cold to us and that's when are children start getting sick do to the fact that our body's are not used to that cold of weather! We probably only experience that cold of weather 2 months out of the year!!! I simply say if u feel it is too cold to take the children outside than play some games inside that will get there lil body's moving and exercising!
Originally Posted by Bookworm:
I completely agree with Gavin's Mommy. I'm in the south too and to us, 50 degrees is freezing. My state has a 42 degree "guideline", but because I personally hate the cold, I won't do less than 50 degrees and even then no longer than 30-45 min. Once again, Southern kids aren't used to the cold
You ladies are absolutely right! The number on the thermometer really has nothing to do with how cold or hot it is, it has more to do with what you have been accustomed to enjoy.

We grow them tough up north, my kiddos played outside this afternoon in freshly fallen snow from 11:45 until 3:45. They slid down the hill, made snow angels, dug a tunnel, sprayed the snow a rainbow of colors and shoveled paths around the yard.

Then they came in and had hot (well, warm) cocoa with marshmallows and cinnamon toast while their hats and mittens dried on floor vents and made the whole house smell like wet dogs....LOL!!
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Hunni Bee 07:38 PM 01-23-2012
Originally Posted by Bookworm:
I completely agree with Gavin's Mommy. I'm in the south too and to us, 50 degrees is freezing. My state has a 42 degree "guideline", but because I personally hate the cold, I won't do less than 50 degrees and even then no longer than 30-45 min. Once again, Southern kids aren't used to the cold
I guess it's the other way around for Blackcat and the others. 90 degrees is a reason for them not to set foot outside til nightfall, but that's a typical May afternoon to us.
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Meyou 02:43 AM 01-24-2012
Originally Posted by Hunni Bee:
I guess it's the other way around for Blackcat and the others. 90 degrees is a reason for them not to set foot outside til nightfall, but that's a typical May afternoon to us.
It really is. 90 here is HOT, HOT, HOT July day. We would head to the beach in the morning and maybe play in the shade in the afternoon but I would really watch how hot they were getting.
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MissAnn 03:32 AM 01-24-2012
Originally Posted by Hunni Bee:
My goal is get my kids outside at least 3 days a week. I realize they need outside time daily to grow, and it helps their behavior when they get that gross motor time...

BUT...if 50% of us have green slime coming from our noses, we're not going. If its under 35 degrees (35 degrees in VA feels a lot colder than 35 degrees in Michigan), we're not going. If several of us didn't have coats on when we came to school, we're not going. One of my four-year-olds is currently in the hospital with pneumonia because his mom thought a sweatshirt was sufficient outerwear for 18 degree weather. We found and put a coat on him, but the damage was done.

In the spring, summer and fall, we're out there twice a day faithfully.
Cold air does not make you sick......we all need fresh air.
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MissAnn 03:36 AM 01-24-2012
Originally Posted by Gavin's mommy:
Being a daycare teacher for 5 years and living in a southern state 32degrees to us is freezing! I Cantrell u right now that it is the middle of January and my son was outside in a tshirt in 76degree weather! Our children are not use to cold weather like that! On days when we felt it was too cold to go outside we did activities inside to get the kids moving arround a lot! Our children do not mind playing in 100 degree weather simply because they are used to it but anything below 50degrees in the south is cold to us and that's when are children start getting sick do to the fact that our body's are not used to that cold of weather! We probably only experience that cold of weather 2 months out of the year!!! I simply say if u feel it is too cold to take the children outside than play some games inside that will get there lil body's moving and exercising!
Children are getting sick in the winter months because you are indoors, in a heated facility.....just where germs love to flourish.
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Kaddidle Care 04:39 AM 01-24-2012
Our group loves going outside and they rarely even notice how cold it is. If it's really cold we'll just do 15 minutes or so - until the Teachers get too chilled. The kids are running like nuts and they NEED that time to get the wiggles out.

There are varying degrees of 32* depending on how damp it is out. Also the wind has a lot to do with it.

Our playground has that foam/rubber square material which actuall absorbs the heat so it's usually warmer than other areas. Good in the winter, not so good in the summer.

We use scooters, hopping balls and a big bounce house indoors when the weather is bad as our recreation time. The kids LOVE the bounce house - it's huge and can fit 4 at a time but I only allow 3 depending on how crazy they are in there.
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Unregistered 09:51 PM 01-25-2012
Originally Posted by MissAnn:
Children are getting sick in the winter months because you are indoors, in a heated facility.....just where germs love to flourish.
What I'm saying is in when a child is used to warm weather and than all of a sudden it's cold outside that is when our children in the south get sick! It was 74 degrees tomorrow but tomorrows hi is only 58 degrees! That's when the noses start running and the coughing starts!
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MissAnn 08:05 AM 01-26-2012
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
What I'm saying is in when a child is used to warm weather and than all of a sudden it's cold outside that is when our children in the south get sick! It was 74 degrees tomorrow but tomorrows hi is only 58 degrees! That's when the noses start running and the coughing starts!
Children do not catch colds from being cold or even from changes in temperature. Colds and other illnesses are caused by viruses and bacteria which thrive in warm places. 58 degrees? You keep them inside at 58 degrees? Kids need fresh air....daily. Runny noses keep sinus infections at bay. I doubt that playing outside caused a cough.
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MyAngels 07:04 PM 01-26-2012
I've always heard that while being cold doesn't cause a cold, that being chilled can lower your immunity, causing you to be more susceptible to being infected.

This article talks about a study that was done about it: http://articles.cnn.com/2005-11-14/h...r?_s=PM:HEALTH

That being said, we go outside even in the cold weather, we just make sure we're all dressed correctly for the weather.
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Cat Herder 06:03 AM 01-27-2012
I am in the south. I have no issues with cold. I LOVE going up north during the winter...the air is crisp, clean and feels amazing!!

Cold and wet is a different story.... We have not had a dry day on the playground in over a month!!! The ground stays saturated... we squish when we walk on grass or mulch. That is the NORM for this season. Every trip outside requires a COMPLETE change of clothing to include shoes and socks. It burns the skin like fire.

It is HARD to find water resistant winter gear, in stores here...

I order offline, so have no problems finding what I want ANY time of the year.

My clients, generally, still won't shop online...

Without EVERY kid having PROPER gear for the weather, it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to get them outside for any length of time without tears and begging to go inside.

I can't tell you how many times parents have sent in fleece HOODIES and say they are COATS.

I just buy everything myself, but not everyone has the ability or desire to.
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MissAnn 09:42 AM 01-27-2012
we squish when we walk on grass or mulch

My yard has a slight downward slant. Just enough to drain off water. I'm so thankful for that. Now, if I could just get more shade!!!!!! This may be the year for getting a shade structure.....hopefully one my DH will make.
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Tags:outside play winter, weather, weather policy
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