When parents think of rainy day activities their main objective is usually to stay inside and keep their child dry. However, some education experts believe you should include playing outside on that list of activities. While we keep our children inside on days that we deem too cold or rainy to keep them from getting sick, it is actually unhealthy for them to be cooped up inside all the time.
Won’t my child get sick?
Although cold and flu season occur during winter months, medical professionals have found no causal connection between going outside in cold weather and catching a cold. The flu and common cold are caused by viruses. Children tend to get sick more often in the winter months because they generally stay inside where viruses circulate more easily in the dry air. Inside air tends to be drier when it is cold outside, and people tend to turn up the heat, which dries out the air even further. This makes it easier for germs to pass from one person to the next.
Remember to instill good hygiene habits by encouraging your child to wash their hands often and maintain social distancing. There are many benefits to allowing your children to go outside regardless of the weather:
In the winter, children can be outside to run around with friends, explore nature, and play games. All of these activities get children moving and get their hearts pumping. It is also important for your child to get Vitamin D, which is provided by the sun. With just 10 to 15 minutes a day, Vitamin D can help promote energy levels, memory, better moods, and more.
Childrens’ imaginations need exercising too! Outdoor environments provide limitless options for your child’s imagination to take over in dramatic play. Many outdoor activities also promote problem-solving skills and cooperation. If they are learning how to get along with others or cooperating towards a common goal, they are involved in problem-solving.
Letting your child play outside in dirt or in cold weather helps them build their immune system. Health experts now say that the more children are exposed to bacteria on a regular basis, the less likely they are to develop allergies. Here are some safety tips so your child can make the most of their outdoor play:
- Dress children in multiple loose layers so they stay dry and warm
- Set time limits and have children come inside periodically to warm up
- Drink plenty of water to keep your children hydrated