Coppie’s Corner: Outside in the Cold
The recent frigid weather raised questions for all of us about children out-of-doors in cold weather, so we asked two pediatricians for opinions.
Both made the point that parents in Maine and Minnesota (not to mention Canada or Alaska) can have no such questions. As long as children are warmly dressed and active, short periods of outdoors even in very cold air can do no harm. Heat loss during exposure to the cold is more of an issue if one is inactive, which cannot be said of our children!
To quote an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics “like adults, children produce metabolic heat at sufficient ratios during exercise in cold air to compensate for the heat lost to the environment. (Suitable) clothes help prevent excessive loss of body heat. In fact, even on very cold days, metabolic heat often exceeds heat loss and results in heat storage.”
On bright cold days the children benefit from their outdoor time. They come in rosy, relaxed and ready for the indoor curriculum. (Sometimes they would like to stay out longer than adults wish!)
In allowing for cold weather outdoor time, we are guided not so much by numbers on the thermometer, but by those more accurate comfort indicators – the sun, the wind and the rain!
~ Coppie, GNCS Founder