Should Your Kids Play Outdoors in Winter?

With the coldest months of the year at our doorsteps, most of us are all packed up and ready to say goodbye to outdoor activities till next summer. According to popular belief, going out in the cold can cause a cold. Restricting ourselves and our kids indoors has become the popular way of being cautious and making sure we sail through the winter months without falling sick. However, by doing this, we could unknowingly be causing our families more harm than we thought possible. How? Studies have shown that kids and adults who spend long hours of their days in artificially heated and poorly ventilated indoor spaces are more susceptible to colds and other ailments. This is because germs thrive in warm temperatures and being in closed spaces, they get easily passed on from one person to the other.  What, then, is the solution? Fresh air!

Embrace the Outdoors, Brace the Cold

Fresh air even in winter, do I hear you ask? Yes! Unless it is extreme weather, we all stand to benefit from a walk, a stroll or a run outdoors, even when the mercury is dropping. Just make sure your kids are appropriately clothed to brace the temperature. Fresh air in the winter season might be cold but it does not circulate germs like the air trapped in a room does. Since children are not breathing the same air when outdoors, the chances of them getting infected and falling sick reduce considerably. So, if your kids are making a fuss about going outdoors to play, let them. Not only will they be breathing in cleaner, less infected air, they will also get an opportunity to exercise their muscles. There is also a good chance that the change in environment will perk up their moods. A win-win situation all the way!

Breathe Better Indoors – Here’s How

Like all good things, there is a limit to how much fresh air you can get in a day. Overdo it and you could end up with problems more severe than a runny nose and a bout of sneezing. It is advisable to try and make the air inside as healthy as one possibly can so that the right balance between indoor and outdoor air can be struck. Here are a few measures to help you improve the quality of air in your homes:

  • Allow cross-ventilation by opening all the windows in the house for a few minutes a day. Be careful not to open them too wide if there are toddlers in the house
  • Make sure there are no dark, damp and dusty corners in the house
  • The kitchen should be well-ventilated at all time
  • Do not crank up the heating too high. The optimal temperature should range between 65° and 75° F
  • Restrict the use of chemical cleaners to the bare minimum
  • In case any member of the family is already suffering from cold or other infections, make regular hand-washing a rule of the house

So, this winter, let your kids play outdoors and help them stay fitter through the biting cold. If possible, join them in the fun and make the most of the season.

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