Middle Tennessee brings cold and warm weather all in the same week, so have you ever wondered what all the ups and down temps do to a kid’s immunity system?
Cold Weather, More Colds?
Contrary to popular belief, kids actually don’t get more colds in the winter because of colder temps.
“What we typically see is that during the winter months children get more colds because of their exposure to more germs,” says Dontal Johnson, M.D., CPT, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Meharry Medical College. Germs run rampant at large gatherings of people and the holidays cause that to happen.
“The close proximity with others increases the likelihood children will come in contact with viruses that cause colds,” adds Johnson.
Dressing for the Weather
With shifting temperatures, how do you know how to dress the kids? Layer ’em up, Johnson says. “An appropriate sized coat in the morning and possibly a long sleeve shirt should keep kids warm.”
But is wearing a coat the answer to a kid not getting a cold?
“The coat won’t affect whether or not kids catch a cold,” says Johnson. “Wearing a coat is advised because it helps prevent hypothermia. Gloves, mittens and a hat are also advised.”
Don’t Spread That Cold
There’s nothing worse than a sick child coughing and sneezing openly around others. Teach your kids to sneeze into their sleeves or to hold up their elbows over their noses when they cough or sneeze. And teach your entire family about the importance of hand-washing, says the CDC. Perhaps an easy rule of thumb for kids is to teach them to wash their hands several times a day, but definitely before eating and after using the toilet.
Dealing with the up and down temperatures in Tennessee can be tricky when it comes to dressing kids and keeping colds at bay; be sure to model these things yourself for your kids for the best results.