Children need to know hats, coats, mittens are cool way to beat cold

Winter has its own dress code

Posted: Friday, October 19, 2001

Sending children off to school in the winter calls for extra care, regardless of whether they are preschoolers or prep-schoolers. Children will transition between the school building and the outdoors during the day, and proper dress can keep them from getting sick.

"At the elementary level they are going to experience a variation in their temperatures," said Traci Davis, school district nursing coordinator.

"If they're going to wait for the bus, clothing that's appropriate to the weather is good to wear: hats, coats, mittens, layers of clothing and something that's water repellent. Especially in case the bus is a little late."

Waiting on the school bus means children aren't playing or generating heat. Parents should consider that, although kids will need warmer clothes in the mornings, something different may be called for during the day at recess.

"Recess has import health benefits for children," Davis said. "It's important that they go out to recess."

She said layering is important, because kids want to be comfortable when they are in class and also when they are outside at recess.

Although many of the same rules apply for all ages, for older kids it's a little bit different, Davis said. Particularly in high school, there is no recess, so getting to and from school is the primary concern.

"Because some our older students drive, sometimes they do not take into consideration the possibility of breaking down or going into a ditch," Davis said.

"Having clothing available that they may be able to use in the event of an emergency is good."

As children grow older, there's a transfer of responsibility that needs to take place from parents to the students, Davis said.

"As the students are becoming more responsible for themselves, they should understand what they must do to keep themselves warm outside," she said. "Parents should build it into students at a younger age."

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