Outdoor Play in Winter

-- from February 1999 issue of CCA's The "Ten" Times Newsletter


Every year, as cold weather arrives, some parents dispute the need for their children to play outdoors. Many parents believe that children catch colds from being outside in cold weather because more people are ill during winter months.

Cold weather outside is not directly the culprit. But because of the cold, people spend more time inside where close contact encourages the spread of germs. Today's tightly insulated homes prevent heat loss, therefore allowing less fresh air into buildings. The air tends to be dry and overheated. Brining fresh air into the facility and taking children outside to play allows nasal passages to return to normal, helping them to breathe more easily. Taking children outside, even in winter, is a healthy part of their daily routine.

But children must be dressed appropriately for cold weather. Shorten the time spent outside when the temperature is colder than 40 F, and do not take children outdoors if there is danger of frostbite! With appropriate dress and well-planned activities, outdoor play can be a safe and exciting part of a winter day's routine.


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