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3yr old recess at school in freezing New England weather

My daughter is 3 at preschool and they go out for recess everyday in the freezing 20-30 degree weather. Shes had a cold and the other day I sent a note stating to keep her in when the kids go out for recess because it is too cold and she has a cold already. Well the day after my daughter started telling me "mommy I am not sick anymore..see.. Im not coughing anymore" She didnt like staying in while the other kids played outside. She keeps telling me its not cold outside and she wants to play outside with her friends. I dont want to keep her from having recess fun but its just too cold for that. I step outside and Im freezing! I cant imagine how these little 3 yr olds feel. Im not sure if I should continue having them keep her in the nurses office while the other kids play, or suggest that they keep the kids in because its too cold, or am I overreacting and the weather is fine to play out. I feel as though they should take them to gym for indoor fun during recess time and not outside where the kids are freezing cold, coughing and runny noses.

what should I do?


Asked by KayGia0704 at 12:46 PM on Jan. 8, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (16)
  • i am a preschool teacher, and am very sensitive to what the parents may think if i take the children out. It's a difficult choice, but preschoolers have to have large motor skill movement sometimes. Boys especially have to get that large motion out so they can retain what they learn, so, it's hard deciding what to do. Some things that help are: sending ear muffs, gloves, hats, or doubled pants and shirts if your worried about her being cold. Also she will be running and playing, so she is active while outside (and slightly warmer from the activity), and not standing still and cold. If she is staying in the nurses office, then the staff may not have the people to watch a group inside, and that may be the best way to handle the group at that time. Like everyone said, a cold is caused by a virus, but if she has respiratory problems the cold can make them worse. My personal rule of thumb is nothing below 45 degrees.

    Answer by Ms.Wendy83 at 3:17 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • Here in MN, the Twin Cities, kids go out for recesss until the temoerature is BELOW ZERO.
    20-30 degrees feels like a spring day here. Consider yourself lucky.

    Answer by kerp1960 at 12:48 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • Let her play outside. The cold don't make you sick germs and bacteria do so not letting her play outside isn't really accomplishing anything it's just keeping her out of the good fresh air. :0) I am sure they don't stay out for long periods in the really cold weather.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:49 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • I think you are overreacting. Its good for her to get out and play. The fresh air will help her get better, that's what my kid's pediatrician always says. Just make sure she's dressed for it.

    Answer by gramsmom at 12:49 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • Catching colds has nothing to do with how cold the temperature is outside. In the schools in England where I am they send the kids out no matter what the weather providing it is not snowing or raining heavily. I agree with this because children need to get their energy out or they are restless in school. As long as they have a decent coat they're absolutely fine.

    Answer by leah_rai at 12:49 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • shes not gonna get a cold from playing outside you catch a cold from a virus. Let her play outside its good for them i let my 20month old outside and its been like 20 degrees around here. Just make sure your sending her to school with a nice heavy coat and a hat and maybe mittens. Kids dont care its cold like we do. Its good for her to get some fresh air.

    Answer by Jaxsmommy09 at 12:52 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • Same here in Northern Michigan, only colder, and the kids have always gone out for recess. Let her play, the cold weather does not give a person a cold. Besides, who is being inconvenienced by your asking her to stay in? Someone is. Either someone is not getting a break, not getting a lunch, not getting time to prep or time to clean, something. If she's too sick to participate in all of the activites of the school day, she's too sick to go to school at all.

    Answer by justnancyb at 8:45 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • i agree that kids should play inside when the weather isn't appropriate. it depends on what climate we're acclimated to. for example i live in florida, it gets colder in northern florida than the area i live (usually swamp like, humid and muggy here) but we get some cold winters sometimes. we're not used to 20 degree weather and winter of 2009 was brutal here. the vegetation all died because it froze. but the daycare my 4 year old (then 3) was going to, they still went outside. my daughter is very sensitive to getting colds and i had to keep her out all the time because she'd come home with eye, ear and sinus infections and being out in the cold wind would aggravate her symptoms. i didn't want to keep her in either and be unfair. i wished they would've stayed in and i think they should have. even her doctor said they should have, she wouldn't have kept getting sick if they stayed inside!

    Answer by tnm786 at 12:51 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • wow. I just re-read my answer. How about the cold *doesn't* make you sick. That was bad even for me... :0)

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:53 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • tnm my daughter keeps getting sick too! She is a 'floridian' this is her first real/full winter and I feel she is still not accustomed to the brutal coldness here. She CONSTANTLY has a cold.

    Comment by KayGia0704 (original poster) at 12:53 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

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