I know cold weather/ wet weather doesn't cause cold or flu, but what if your child is already sick? Does playing outside in cold/ wet weather cause a mild cold to turn into something worse?
The sun came out today and so I bundled the boys up and let them outside. Both have mild colds (no fever, no lethargy, good appetite, etc). Then, being Oregon, in a flash it started raining (torrential downpour)! They were having so much fun, I didn't make them come inside. Instead they played for almost 2 hours in the rain (with intermittent sun breaks in between).
Brought them in, gave them a nice hot bath, warm jammies... Now I'm questioning my judgement a little...
Google is no help.
What do you all think?
If they're willing to try, I'd say let them try. At worst, they'll feel badly enough to come back in. At best, the cool air gets them going and some fresh air and exercise makes them feel better.
Or at least feel less bored!
My daughter would much rather feel badly outside than feel badly inside. If she's going to feel badly either way, I'd much rather her be where she's happiest!
I'm not sure if there are any studies on this or not...but I think it really depends on your kid. In general, I don't think playing in the rain is a good idea (if you're not wearing rain gear, and are getting wet) if you're sick. Kids' enthusiasm for having fun overcomes their feelings of cold often. That doesn't mean it's good for their bodies. On the other hand, how sick do your kids get when they're sick? My ds tends to start wheezing when the cold is in his lungs, and he's had pneumonia, bronchitis...and with him I am definitely very careful, because then it takes weeks to get him healthy again. I am much more aggressive with keeping him warm and doing treatments for him when he's sick. My other son seems to not get colds into his lungs as much, so if he wants to wear less clothes than I feel comfortable with, I'm ok with it. I don't know if I'd let either one play in the rain though when they're sick.
It is a little bit of a trial and error though with kids...if they've still got mild colds only after the rain, then you can probably do it again in the future; if they come down with something worse, then you'll be more careful...I don't think there's a hard and fast rule, really.
I let ds play outside if he is up to playing outside. He'll let me know if he's too sick.
I do think that getting cold and miserable makes kids get sicker, but it is more the "miserable" that does it. The other day ds was not dressed warmly enough and we ended up having to wait outside for someone for a long time and he was miserable. He had just been a little stuffy, but once we got home he needed to lay down, under blankets, and drink tea. I thought he was going to completely relapse into sickness. He didn't and rebounded after an hour or so, but it was the extreme cold and misery that really made him *feel* all of his other aliments again.
However, if there's a bad cough, wheezing, asthma, etc., I'd be a little more reluctant if it's very cold or whatever.
I read your post yesterday but didn't have much input. I do let me wheezy kid play outside in the cold and wouldn't regard it as a problem bc when he is wheezing the first thing I do is take him outside in the cold!
Anyway, I ran across this article and it make me think of your post. An interesting read, at the very least.
The babies who nap in sub-zero temperatures
Wow what an interesting article! I had forgotten that nordic parents do that... Thanks for the link!
Thanks for the input everyone. There really wasn't any information to be found on the internet about my question, so I appreciate you all weighing in!
My boys so rarely get sick, and when they do it stays pretty mild. I've never really had to be cautious with them in that regard. Today they are no worse for wear, so we spent some time outside again. Today the rain held off, and it is sunny and spring-like- I didn't want them to miss out on the sunshine!
Being in Oregon, I try to take advantage of the sun when it comes out. I would have let the kids play outside unless they were deathly ill or likely to be contagious.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds 10yo dd 8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds
for my dd i have found playing outside actually helps her feel better and recover quickly. always has.
in warmer weather she plays in the river. in colder weather we hike by the river. or she just plays outside.
honestly i dont even consider a milk cold - sickness. from 2 to 4 every winter dd always had a continuous runny nose from oct to february/march. after that maybe a couple of colds or so.
when dd was really sick playing outside helped her recover. in fact in her recovery period i even took her to a movie - just change of scenery and doing something she enjoyed helped her recover quickly. i think you can get kinda stuck in recovery feeling horrible.