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Thread: How cold is too cold for children to be out playing?

  1. #1
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    The high today was 12 degrees. My daughter's pre-kindergarten teacher took the kids out to play today. Boy is she going to get an earful from my dh in the morning. Our daughter has had serious lung problems from being a premie and getting pneumonia when she was a baby, so we have asked for her to NOT be taken outside to play when it is this cold. My middle school kids didn't even go out today after lunch, so it obviously was much to cold for small children. I love where we have her, but this is so frustrating because we have had this conversation before with her teacher. She even told the teacher she wasn't supposed to go outside.

  2. #2
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    The school should have a policy that covers this. Check with administration on it. My school does not let kids be outside if the temperature with wind chill is less than 18 degrees. However, if your daughter has medical issues, the school should respect that. If the teacher is disregarding her medical issues, I would speak to an administrator.

  3. #3
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I am wondering exactly what their policy is because the elementary school kids didn't go out at all today. It is a private Christian school that has an early learning center and a k-8 school. My son and she have been there for three years and this is the first year we've had an issue. I don't think the teacher this year knows that she has had all the health problems, but we have asked her to NOT take her out in the cold. We will be talking to her boss tomorrow.

  4. #4
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    This sounds like my daughter but the opposite it was the heat. She was not to be taken out if it was hotter then 80 she would get a rash and run a fever. at 24 when in the heat the same thing happens. But the teacher's ( yes this happened most of grade school) would take her outside anyway. I would get a call after recess that she was ill. I would tell them to give her a drink and she would be picked up. I can't count the times that while she waited to be pick up NO ONE had the brains to give her the drink I told them to give her. To be honest I think most educators need to be re educated in common sense. OHHHH........... My sister was director of education for sufflok county and my EX was also an educator so i guess I am permitted to say that.

  5. #5
    Super Member NorBanaquilts's Avatar
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    I work for a non-profit that has 22 early education centers. We have policies that cover both heat and cold and when the children can go out to play. If your children's school doesn't have a policy they should!

  6. #6
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
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    DEPENDS...on how much they are getting on your nerves INSIDE.........JOKE JOKE JOKE lol.

    Margie

  7. #7
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I don't know if there are any rules here, but I've been skiing in -40 temps... Wasn't pleasant though.

  8. #8
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    The schools here all have rules, if it is too cold or too hot then they don't go out, and if she needs special consideration they have a medical questionaire to fill out when they are registered for just such things including any allergies whether they be food or otherwise,

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I can't believe that they did not pass on her medical history to the teacher!!! I would bring it up and let them know that it won't be tolerated in the future!!

  10. #10
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    We have policies here, although the final decision is left to the school administrator because of factors such as wind and/or sun. It is discouraged to send kids out at temperatures less than -20C (-4F). We're probably acclimatized better, though. I heard on the radio yesterday that blood actually thickens in cold temperatures!

  11. #11
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Our kids didn't even go to school because it was too cold. I'm sure all you northerners are going to laugh, but our school is called off if the temp is in the single digits.

  12. #12
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I teach in a middle school and we don't let the kids out if it is below freezing. So, I guess I didn't think I would need to give explicit directions to NOT take her out in the cold, because I assumed no person in their right mind would take a group of 4 and 5 year olds outside when it was 22 degrees below freezing. I only found out because she had on a different shirt when I came to pick her up and she said it was because her shirt was wet from playing outside. Her winter coat had not been zipped up far enough and the heavy sweater I put on her in the morning over a T-shirt had been taken off earlier because she was too hot. They didn't put it back on her before she went out, so she just had on a T-shirt under her coat. Her mittens were still wet four hours after they had gone outside. I couldn't even put them on her when I picked her up because they would have been worse than going without.
    Fortunately, she has not had too many problems with her lungs in the last year, so I haven't been too worried about her getting sick, but I just don't want to take chances.

  13. #13
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    School has been canceled here for the last two days and tomorrow too. It's just to cold. She isn't going out to play either.

  14. #14
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    If she were my child, I would be in the teacher's face about it. Call the school board and see if there are any regulations.

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    I teach 5th grade. The kids were inside for recess for all but yesterday. There is a policy on temps/wind chill, but I'm not sure what it is. I bet that teacher isn't aware of what the wind chill is when she heads out. I wouldn't know--the admin decides for us and calls the shots. She needs to know what it is and know what's appropriate before taking the kids out. How long were they out?

  16. #16
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltMania
    The school should have a policy that covers this. Check with administration on it. My school does not let kids be outside if the temperature with wind chill is less than 18 degrees. However, if your daughter has medical issues, the school should respect that. If the teacher is disregarding her medical issues, I would speak to an administrator.

    I only got this far, as I was definitely thinking...since this teacher is ignoring your requests per her medical issues, I would go right over her head!
    Don't worry that she might be a nice teacher, or be afraid that she will take it out on your daughter. You can keep an eye on that too!
    This is...I can't think of the words, but I don't blame your DH. I hope he fills both ears on this one!:evil:

  17. #17
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    When I came to pick my daughter up the next day, the teacher was waiting for me. (She usually leaves about half and hour before I pick my daughter up.) She already knew that we were upset because my husband talked to the director earlier in the morning.She explained that they went for a short walk and that it pertained to a conversation about the weather. They were only outside for about ten minutes.
    I did explain to her about my daughter's health issues and she said she had no idea because it was on the longer medical form I filled out three years ago, not on the short one I update each year. She said she would make sure to not take my dd out again in the cold. She will just go into the 3-4 year old classroom when her class goes outside. (I almost feel like I am punishing my daughter now.) From the sounds of it, I wasn't the only parent upset about the kids going out in the cold.

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    It's the parent's decision when too cold is too cold for small child to be outside. Although I don't think being in the cold for a short time will make a healthy child sick, the teacher was out of line or lacks common sense.

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    This reminds me of an incident that happened way back when I was in 4th grade and my brother was in third. Mama had written a note and told me to give it to his teacher. He had been ill and she didn't want him outside in the cold weather. His teacher grabbed me and banged my head off the brick wall in her classroom. She was yelling all the time my head was bouncing off the wall. "What does she think I am..........." The next morning she found out what Mama felt because she was at the school before the doors opened.... A few months later I started sufffering with seizures as a direct result of the assault. We found out later that her husband had committed suicide by gunshot in their back yard and she found him. The school knew about it and let her return to teach with no time off... At that time, we were really country folk and knew nothing about talking with lawyers, etc. Teachers were the "say so and all that". I'm so thankful things have changed in that tealm.

  20. #20
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    They don't let them go out if it is below 32 here.

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    I think it depends on what you're used to and where you live. In Alaska I've read the kids go out and play in below zero with no problems. I was baby sitting my cousin's kids in St. Louis, and on the way out the door dad said "It's only supposed to be 11 degrees today, so don't let the kids outdoors until later in the morning." And one of the kids actually fell through the ice on the koi pond (it was off limits) and got wet, but they snuck in the house and didn't tell me until they were dry! LOL

    Cold air, per se, doesn't cause problems, unless a person has a medical condition. Don't know of any lung conditions that are made worse by cold air, but if a parent doesn't want a kid outside for a particular reason, and has put it in writing, the schools should respect that.

  22. #22
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I guess my husband and I are pretty protective of her because she has had some close calls with her lungs. She spent a lot of time in the hospital with breathing problems and lung infections. We almost lost her when she was a month old and again when she was two.

    My sister stopped breathing and her heart stopped when she was five. My mom called the neighbor (who had been a medic in Vietnam) and he was able to get her breathing again before the ambulance arrived. Then, it happened again when they were flying her out of the small mountain town we lived in. The doctors, after twelve days in the hospital, could not figure out why her heart stopped twice. After that experience, my mom was almost paranoid about the smallest health issues with my sister.

    I think that we don't want to ever feel like something we did or didn't do would cause her to have more health problems. We know teachers are human (especially since I am one) and therefore make mistakes. As long as they are willing to listen and understand where we are coming from and then make the effort to meet our reasonable requests, then I am able to overlook a lapse in judgment.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyMarie
    After that experience, my mom was almost paranoid about the smallest health issues with my sister.

    I think that we don't want to ever feel like something we did or didn't do would cause her to have more health problems. We know teachers are human (especially since I am one) and therefore make mistakes. As long as they are willing to listen and understand where we are coming from and then make the effort to meet our reasonable requests, then I am able to overlook a lapse in judgment.
    j


    I understand where you're coming from, Misty. But put it in writing so that it has a little more "oomph" if you know what I mean.

    The thing about your sister reminds me of a patient I had at Children's in DC years ago. That patient had a very rare familial heart problem that baffled docs for years. Finally a good pedi cardiologist figured it out.

    Good luck with your munchkin. Sounds like you're a great mommy!

  24. #24
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Duty of care and a large dose of common-sense should be mandatory for all persons in care of children. Some good advice here and I understand perfectly how you feel about your little one....wish all parents were as competent and caring as you obviously are.

  25. #25
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    Our students were out for recess when it was -31*C with the wind chill. (about -25*F). They are allowed to come in as needed to warm up, but most of them were running around having a great old time. If we kept our students in when the weather was below freezing temperatures, they would be in for five months and everyone would have long ago gone nuts! The next two days, it was too cold for them to go out -37*with the wind chill. Everyone can hardly wait for the weather to warm up a bit.

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