There are many myths versus truths when it comes to staying warm and playing outside on a frigid winter day. Just like the myth that it takes you longer to bundle up than the amount you actually play outside. Wait. That is a truth for me. I just spent 15 minutes getting the kids and myself all dressed to go outside and play in the snow for a whopping 5 minutes. Insert eye roll. The things we do as parents to make our children, or at least in my case, one of the two, happy.
Getting ready to go outside when it is cold, snowy and the wind is blowing is a task of its own. Plus, we are willingly going out there to brave the elements and play. The fresh air is good for everyone, plus the little bit of vitamin D that we may get from the few peaks of the sun is great too. But I often worry about little fingers, toes and noses when we are out in the cold.
Don’t fear the weather. Get outside but be sure to follow the truths instead of the myths!
Myth: It doesn’t matter what you wear. Just layer up.
Truth: From your head to your toes, layers are super important. If you are planning on staying outside for an extended period of time, you should also consider what material your layers are made of. Cotton, a typical everyday kids clothing material, is not as warm as wool or fleece. Even silk is warmer, believe it or not. Remember not to get carried away on the layers. Usually three shirts, two pairs of pants and two pairs of socks work just fine under a snowsuit. Don’t forget to wear a good pair of snow boots too. Traction makes a big difference when you are trying to walk around on slippery ice and snow.
Myth: Most of your body heat escapes through your head.
Truth: Cam hates wearing hats for long periods of time. Sometimes he does want to wear a ball cap, but when we were getting ready to go outside today, he wanted nothing to do with his snow hat. It is important to keep our heads covered at all times because body heat does escape from our noggins, but not at a faster rate than any other extremity on our bodies.
You should also take precautions for little ears and hands. Make sure hats cover the ears or get some ear warmers/ear muffs. And mittens are better than gloves because you keep your fingers together. There is nothing worse than frozen ears and hands!
Myth: You’ll get sick if you play outside in the cold too long.
Truth: You don’t get sick from playing outside. You get sick from viruses. I think we all should know that by now. Grandma was wrong when she said I would catch a cold from going outside with wet hair! But you do need to take care of yourself when you are playing outside in the cold wear. Make sure that you are warm at all times and are staying hydrated (sure…eat the snow).
Myth: You don’t need to wear sunscreen in the winter.
Truth: Just because the sun isn’t shining as bright as it does in the summer doesn’t mean you aren’t being exposed! The sun’s UV rays bounce off of snow and ice, still hitting your uncovered, unprotected areas. Don’t forget that if you are up on a ski mountain, you are also closer to the sun! And the ozone layer is thinner during the colder seasons so it is protecting you less. Let’s not forget about windburn while we are on the sunscreen subject. There are sunscreens available that can also help protect your skin from windburn. So lather up, and don’t forget to re-apply, even in the winter time
What are some other myths versus truths that you have heard of for playing outside when it is cold out? Do you brave the elements and play in the wintertime with your children?