Originally Posted by rabrog
What we from cold climates can't understand is why a child can't have a coat and go outside. That's all. Fresh air is a necessity for children.
As others have explained, poverty is rampant in much of the South. Why spend money on a coat that may or may not be needed at all
when you know
that food and ultilities will be needed regardless.
My kids have a variety of coats, including appropriate wear for very cold weather should it occur. Last winter, we had one ice storm where the schools were closed for a couple of days. Mine were able to get outside in appropriate coats, hats, mittens, etc because we can afford to buy these things.
The reality is, not everyone CAN afford to buy these things, *especially* considering these items may not be needed at all for the entire 'winter'. The coats and accessories that my kids wore last winter on the coldest days (10 days tops) easily cost us over $100 on sale at Costco. That's a lot of money for most families to put out for the few random days it's cold enough to warrant such coats.
As for layering, most people in the South simply do not own a lot of stuff like this. We manage just fine 95% of the time in jeans and long sleeve t-shirts with maybe a light jacket, if that. People just don't put a huge priority on buying a lot of true winter clothing for a handful of days each year.
Add in that most people in the South simply are not used to very cold temperatures.
Like someone else said, people from the north might be appalled at how hot it is here in the summer when that's just our reality. It's got a lot to do with what you're used to.
A funny aside...
My DS was born in Hawaii. When we moved back to TX, he was barely 3. We got off the plane and it was in the low 30's. He starts visibly shaking and says 'Mama, why is it so COLD in Texas?' He was ready to go back to Hawaii that morning. By noon, though, it was 60. Of course, he still thought that was frigid. It was just such a shock to his body.