When Is It Too Cold To Go Outside?


Spending time outdoors should be incorporated into every child's day, but sometimes during the colder months it can be tough to tell if the weather is appropriate for heading outdoors with the kids.  

When considering taking your children outdoors in the winter months, keep these guidelines in mind:

1.If the temperature, including the wind chill factor, is higher than 20 degrees F, it is generally safe to be outdoors if proper precautions are taken. If it is colder than 20 degrees F, or feels like it due to the wind chill, plan on staying indoors.

2. When the temperature is between 21 to 32 degrees F, limit outdoor time to 20 to 30 minutes for older, mobile children and 15 to 20 minutes for younger and immobile children.

3. If you do decide to head outdoors in the colder weather, keep these tips in mind:

  • Plan your outdoor time for the warmest part of the day.
  • Dress in layers. Thermal underwear, a  turtle neck, pants and shirt, a jacket, hat, neck warmer and gloves are great for cold days. Choosing materials that are wind and water resistant can help keep the kids warm and dry. Consider putting younger children in a balaclava, a one-piece head and neck warmer to keep them extra warm (I purchased a custom, handmade one that I absolutely love from Goga on Etsy – http://www.etsy.com/shop/goga).
  • Remember infants and children who are not yet mobile will get cold faster, so be sure to check their hands and face frequently for coldness.
  • Use sun protection. Protect your children from the sun by using sunscreen and sunglasses.

In the winter weather when cabin fever sets in, heading outdoors gives children the opportunity to run, play and let out pent up energy. If weather permits, even in the colder months, aim to spend a few minutes outdoors each day.