Can Playing in Cold Weather Make You Sick? Screen Time and Cold Weather

Playing outside: does cold weather make you sick?

There is a definite correlation between the winter months and illness, especially in children. But, does playing outside in the cold actually make you sick? And your kids? Everyone will tell you that cold weather makes you sick…what’s the truth?

sick child. does children playing in cold weather mske them sick?

“It’s cold here and I’m stuck inside with my kids. What can we do other than watch TV?”

Well, there are lots of things you can do inside besides watching TV, but there is no good reason to confine yourself or your kids to the house on cold days, even wet and snowy days.

Much of the correlation between winter and sickness actually comes from kids spending too much time inside. You read that correctly.

When it’s cold outside, parents tend to keep their children inside and take them to indoor activity places. Spending time in close contact with sick people is what makes you sick.

That’s right; it is a total myth that cold weather makes you sick. Cold air, rain, and snow don’t carry viruses, people do.

Young children aren’t the best at remembering to wash their hands, cough into their elbows, or blow their noses. This is why cold and flu season affects them disproportionately.

It’s worth mentioning, though, that there is scientific evidence that respiratory illness transmit more readily in cold weather.

This does not need to influence your decision to take your children to play outside in the winter unless it’s with other families.

But baby, it’s cold outside

Growing up in Illinois, I know about cold weather. And know that some of my fondest memories of my childhood had to do with cold weather.

Sledding, snowball fights, building snowmen, sledding, and my dad digging us forts for us to stay in. Coming into the house for some hot cocoa…the best memories.

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When we were older, we lived in the south. My memories from bad weather there consisted of sitting on the porch and waiting for the rain to come and getting in bathing suits and playing in the rain; stomping around in the mussy grass and having a blast!

Sometimes it was warm and sometimes it was cold.

But, the old wives tale that “cold weather makes you sick” never came to fruition. We never got sick from this.

Tv and cold weather

children playing in cold weather. Does it make them sic?

I’m not saying TV is bad. I’m just saying that you don’t have to keep your kids inside and in front of the TV because of the weather.

Screen time and bad weather don’t have to go together. There is fun to be had outside in almost any weather.

I used to be in the mindset that kids can’t play outside in “bad” weather. Even with my upbringing in the outdoors, when I became a mother I shielded my children from playing in the heat, cold, and rain.

But when I enrolled my first child in a progressive elementary school, I got a letter from her teacher prior to the beginning of the school year.

It read, “We will be walking to the library, playing on the playground, and going on outdoor field trips no matter what the weather, so dress your child accordingly”

This made me so happy!

That’s the key; dress your child accordingly. Sun, rain, cold, and snow…kids can play, learn, and have fun if they are prepared!

So, in most cases, your kids can still play outside. No need for an inside “TV day”.

I say “in most cases” since there are times (I’m from Illinois, remember?) when the temperatures are low and the wind whips your face so hard it hurts. That’s the time to stay inside.

When you have to stay inside because of the weather

Be it a tornado, hurricane, or blizzard, there are going to be instances where you just can’t your kids outside to play. These are times when you can use indoor climbing equipment and/or indoor activities to help your kids expend their energy.

Here are some favorite things for my kids and the children of my friends to spend their energy on. (All of these are awesome sauce for cold indoor days!)

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So, no. Cold weather does not make you sick, nor do your kids. Dress your kids properly and get outside and play!

Cold outside? Snowing? Raining? The fun has just begun! Your screen-free or screen-limited goals can totally be achieved during the winter months!

And if you falter…it’s so easy to get back on track! Remember, screen time isn’t inherently bad. It’s the lack of balance that can be detrimental.

So, balance it out! A little cold weather play, some indoor play, and a little screen time (if that’s what it comes to)!

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5 thoughts on “Can Playing in Cold Weather Make You Sick? Screen Time and Cold Weather”

  1. There is snow outside and we are expecting more. When my little one wakes up I know she will want to go outside and play. She has new boots and snow pants and a warm hat and gloves so why not? Some of my best memories were playing in the snow with my best friend.

  2. Bad weather sucks for sure. I think for me, it’s more than just the fear of getting sick (I come from a long line of overbundlers) but also that I don’t want to be outside in bad weather. My child may not care, but I sure do. Lol. We definitely try to make the best of our bad weather days and limit TV. But sometimes there is nothing better than cuddling under a blanket and turning on your favorite show on a rainy day.

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