Outdoor Recess and Colder Temperatures
With the winter season coming near, we wanted to notify you of our procedure for outdoor recess. Currently, students remain inside when temperatures dip below 25 degrees including wind chill. The U.S. Department of Education states there is no national temperature standard for when to keep kids inside during the winter months. Decisions are made at the local level, either by principals or school districts. In fact, an article in the USA Today showed temperatures ranged from 40 degrees in Southern states to 20 degrees below zero in states such as Minnesota as to when children are brought inside. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds and flu tend to be more common in the winter when children are in school and are in closer contact with each other.”
Encouraging children to get outside, get moving, and connect with the natural world are all ways to reverse childhood obesity rates. But, the benefits don’t stop there. Kids who play outside are happier, healthier, and stronger. According to health experts (Fjortoft 2004; Burdette and Whitaker 2005), children who play outdoors regularly:
- Become more fit and lean
- Develop stronger immune systems
- Have more active imaginations
- Have lower stress levels
- Play more creatively
- Have greater respect for themselves and others
Time spent outdoors is also the best way to get vitamin D. According to the journal Pediatrics, 70% of American kids are not getting enough vitamin D, which can lead to a host of health issues. Time spent outdoors is also shown to reduce myopia (near sightedness) in children (Optometry and Vision Science, 2008).
Outdoor play is not just FUN, it’s good for our kids. Please be sure to dress your children appropriately as the weather continues to get cooler. If your family is in need of appropriate winter clothing, please contact your school’s counselor.
If you have questions, contact your child's principal.