Kids benefit so much from playing outdoors, keeping them inside is not really doing them a favor. But many parents are afraid of taking the kids outside in the cold weather, fearing they’ll will freeze or catch a cold. Actually, a bigger problem is that the kids get too warm! Parents tend to dress the kids when they are cold themselves, forgetting that kids actually run around and play when outdoors. So they get hot and sweaty, while we clutch our take away coffee and dream about the fire place.
In Norway, kids at daycare and schools are only kept inside if the temperature drops under 14 F. This is possible with proper clothing, starting with the base layer in soft merino wool. Continue with layers to protect against cold wind, rain, snow or mud, whatever the season and elements require. Make sure shoes are big enough to fit thick socks, cold feet are no fun. Finally put on a balaclava, that covers more of the head than a regular hat, or a neck warmer and hat. Mittens on those tiny fingers and you are ready to go out.
Smaller children that don't move that much or fast, need to be checked regularly. Stick your fingers down from the neck and feel if the skin is cool or warm. Also, if the kid gets tired, grumpy and inactive, it might be time to head home. Remember that the nose, ears, fingers and toes have little blood circulation, and are more exposed to frost bite, so keep an eye on these body parts especially. If feet and hands get too cold, warm them up slowly under lukewarm water, or preferably with a parent’s body heat. Place ice cold fingers and toes under your sweater on your stomach or in your arm holes. It’ll warm them up and the physical contact is always good when cold, tired and in pain. Never wrong!Remember: good mom and dads need to dress for success also! Don’t bring the kids inside because you are freezing, wool comes in grown up sizes too!
Kids benefit so much from playing outdoors, keeping them inside is not really doing them a favor.