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How cold is too cold?

How cold is too cold for elementary age children to play outside? The highs here have been in the 40s, which feels really cold to me but I know the schools take them out to recess unless it's below freezing. How cold is it before you make your kids play inside? And how long do you let them stay out when it is cold?

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Asked by missanc at 6:25 PM on Dec. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 43 (163,403 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • We have gone sledding when it was 6. As long as your child is dressed appropriately, and does not have any underlying medical conditions, I don't see an issue

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:27 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • It got to 0 degrees here and I saw my kids outside at school. They dont stay out long and are dressed accordingly...

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:29 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • ditto to above, dress them for the weather and it should be fine. I think they don't stay out as long if it is cold. But can you imagine being inside all day with 30 or so kids that didnt get to go run of some of their energy, or being the kids that had to stay inside at desks all day - no fun

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 6:34 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • As long as the child is dressed warmly it's okay to take them out in 40 degree weather. I took our kids out today and it is 20 outside. We didn't play outside, we ran errands, but still the same. Just as long as they have hats, gloves, warm coats, boots, etc. Only let them play outside for about fifteen minutes before taking them inside.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 7:02 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • I live in Wisconsin and if we stayed inside because it was too cold, we wouldn't be outside for 3 or 4 months at a time. The rule for school, is outside for atleast 15 minutes as long as the temp is over 0. As long as the kids are dressed apporpriately, they will be fine. As kids, we played outside in below zero weather.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 7:04 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Our school allows our children out up until 25 degrees without counting a windsheild...
    I send everything my 8 yr old will need.... scarf, extra prs of gloves, hats, leggings, etc...
    If the windsheild factor brings it below the 25 mark then there is an annoucement that
    all outdoor play is called off....

    Answer by gmasboy at 7:05 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • My dad lived in a part of Canada where the average winter temperature is -20F. Kids walked (and skied) to school, played hockey on outdoor rinks all winter long, and snowball fights went on for months.

    If the children are active, they'll be warmer whatever they're wearing, no matter how cold it feels to someone standing still.

    Answer by LindaClement at 7:58 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Its 17 degress right now on Long Island and windy. I just went to the store and my face stings from the cold. I guess if your a kid running around in the proper gear your fine. I'm sure if a child told a teacher they were cold they would be allowed inside.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:51 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • 40 sounds downright balmy right now (the highs have been in the low 20s the last few days here). My kids aren't even all that bundled up at that temperature, lol.
    I'm pretty sure at their school they go out as long as it is above freezing. But I've heard of schools that take them out as long as it is above 10F. My kids were out playing in the snow the other day. It was about 20F out and the windchill was probably closer to 0F. They were only out for about 20 minutes before they got cold.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 8:58 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • not sure of the conversions....Celsius to F.

    but its been about -10 to -30C for the past few weeks. on the really cold days they stay inside, but on the milder days only the kids who are fully outfitted with boots, toque, mittens, snowpants go outside for recess.

    at home unless its too far below 0 I don't let them out, they're good at figuring out when cold is too cold and come in.

    Answer by hypermamaz at 9:17 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

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