Winter myths busted

Blog Image for article Winter myths busted

When it comes to the change of weather, parents are often concerned about illnesses spread through childcare and how they're going to cope when their children get ill. It's a valid point and one we have worked on with educators for years - tackling everything to in care life to preventable actions you can take at home to help. 

Let's explore

Childcare illnesses

Myth: Childcare children are sick all winter! 

Truth: While that’s not 100% accurate, it sure feels like it a lot of the time. The truth is that your child will be exposed to more germs that they otherwise will not have been exposed to in childcare, so yes, they will have more opportunity to be ill. Having said that, your child is also given the opportunity to build their immunity to those bugs, lessening the chance of recurring illness. 

What you can do: Of course, you will need to keep them home for the relevant exclusion periods throughout their illness but not every bug your child contracts will have them excluded. Talk to your provider and get the policy on exclusion periods. You might also think about emergency care or a backup childcare plan for the first year, until your little one has some good resistance in place. 


Getting outdoors

Myth: Children will get a cold from playing outside in the winter

Truth: Colds and the flu are caused by viruses, not by being outside in the cold. If your child is playing with other children that are unwell, they may very well also become unwell but it won’t be caused by being in the cold. 

What you can do: Rug up and embrace being outdoors. It’s always great to make sure everyone is dressed appropriately, particularly in water proof clothing if you’re engaging in activities like puddle jumping. Thermal gear is better if you’re in the snowy climate and keeping ears out of the blistering winds with a beanie is favourable. But just as you wouldn’t go to the beach on a hot day in thermal gear, you wouldn’t head outside in the snow wearing your bathers. Enjoy the weather!

Burning question

Myth: You can’t get sunburnt in winter. 

Truth: Sunburn isn’t caused directly by the sun. Sunburn is caused by the UV rays of the sun and can get you anytime of year. It’s a fact that snow is more reflective of the UV rays than water so you’re even more likely to get burnt engaging in snow activities in winter than you are in water activities in summer. 

What you can do: Always remember to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide! Slip on a top, slop on your suncream, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on your sunnies! Be SunSmart all year round and protect your family from sun damage. 

Vitamins and minerals

Myth: You should take extra vitamins to fight off illness.

Truth: A healthy diet, full of variety will provide you with the right amount of nutrients to get you through the winter. 

What you can do: That’s not to say that you shouldn’t look to increasing the vitamins and minerals for fussy eaters but it’s not always necessary.  If you have any concerns around your child’s dietary requirements, check in with your GP.

Dry it off!

Myth: Going out with wet hair means you will catch a cold

Truth: Not at all! Going out with wet hair will make you feel colder, especially if there is a bit of wind around but it’s not going to give you a cold. As above, the only thing causing colds is viruses transmitted through bodily fluids and poor hygiene. 

What you can do: Sure, dry your children’s hair before they’re heading out in the winter weather, give them a beanie and cover their ears for the sake of warmth and comfort but don’t panic if you have to head from swimming classes to the car without having time to dry their hair. 

Just keep swimming!

Myth: Swimming classes should stop in winter

Truth: Why? Don’t remove your children from their vital swimming classes for a quarter of the year because of fear. As mentioned, children exposed to all kinds of germs earlier are likely to build a stronger resistance to said germs and be healthier primary schoolers when the time comes. 

What you can do: Embrace the weather. Keep them learning and rug up between the centre and the car. 

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