Marquilla Hood: Too cold to play outside

To the editor:

When is it too cold for children to play outside at school?

According to the Moffat County School District, it is 10 degrees with wind chill. I believe that is too cold for children.

I know that my kids are not going to play outside at home in that weather, and I don’t believe they should at school, either.

I feel other parents may feel the same way. I am just wondering how many parents there might be.

For me to try to get school policy to change, I need support from others.

How many parents think that 10 degrees is too cold for elementary children to be outside for recess?

If you or your children have grown up here, parents should have some kind of say when it is too cold for their child to be outside at school.

Kids need and should be kids, but in appropriate weather.

Marquilla Hood

Comments

kindraann 3 years, 5 months ago

I have two boys who attend elementary school in Craig. One is now in 5th grade and one is in 3rd grade. Both of them were born here and have attended school here since preschool. I absolutely do not feel that 10 degrees is too cold for them to be outside playing. Of course, I also make sure they have adequate cold weather attire so they are not cold. My boys wear snow boots, snow pants, heavy winter coats, gloves, and hats when it is winter here (which by the way encompasses 7 to 9 months of the year). The school does not let children play outside at warmer temperatures than 10 degrees if they do not have proper attire. If you ensure your children are properly equipped for cold temperatures with adequate clothing, there is no reason they cannot have fun outside when it is only 10 degrees outside. Plus, think of how miserable both the students and staff would be if we raised the minimum temperature to play outside to say 30 degrees; there are simply not that many days that it is 30 degrees or warmer in the winter. Our kids need fresh air and need to expend some energy to promote effective learning. It just so happens that it is cold in Craig, Colorado, which is something we must adapt to and teach our children to adapt to; the only other option is to move where it is warmer.

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valleylocal 3 years, 5 months ago

Perfectly stated 'kindraann'! Hopefully, Maquilla Hood doesn't get a strong backing of support to her request. One thought just came to mind, if she doesn't want her children outside, i'm sure the school would allow them to 'sit' in the Principals office during lunch, recess, and P.E.

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eieiolrighty 3 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree! Our kids need that time outside to get fresh air, run, get rid of that energy, the teachers need that time to themselves. I can't imagine being a child or a teacher here in the winter and not being able to go outside...WOW that would suck!! I feel like there are so many germs lingering inside the schools during the winter, let them get out and get fresh air....kill those germs. Our kids would never get to go out if the school district raised the temperature. If you want snow days or cold days move to Denver, I hear they have them all the time there. I for one don't want to have to make those days up at the end of the year. My kids do chores in the cold, walk in the cold. It has never hurt them!

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cag81625 3 years, 5 months ago

If the sun's out and the wind isn't blowing, 10 degrees really pretty pleasant, especially if you're active. My kids, properly dressed, have a greater tolerance for cold than I do. My son is always bummed when Sunset puts the red flag up.

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David Moore 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree with the above posters and would not support a change in the policy. My kid goes out, in fact insists on it, even when it is colder than 10 degrees. As long as she has the proper attire on, it's not a problem. I wonder how long the author of the letter has lived in Craig? SoCal transplant maybe?
Heck, I'll wear shorts until it goes below 0, I hate pants.

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kindraann 3 years, 5 months ago

My boys always tell me " We had to have inside recess because it was too cold today." They are always totally bummed when they get stuck inside and then when they get home they are totally wound up because they haven't used any energy. When they get wound up like that I tell them to get their snow gear on and go outside to play. My boys go completely crazy when they are cooped up and frankly, so do I. I also agree with "eieiolrighty" about the germs. We certainly can't prevent exposure to germs, but keeping kids cooped up inside will certainly not minimize exposure. In response to "DavidMoore" you are not the only one who wears shorts until it goes below zero. I see lots of people who do.

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Denise Bagley 3 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree! I did not grow up here, but I have lived in the Yampa Valley for over 20 years. My three kids were born in Steamboat Springs and here in Craig. My oldest is 16 now and doesn't have recess anymore, but my two younger kids still do. I have always thought that 10 degrees was too cold to force the kids to play outside. I have relatives down in Colorado Springs, and their kid's schools don't allow them to go outside if the temperature is lower than 20 degrees. I work for the school district and have also been a substitute teacher in the schools. There are many kids who just don't have the proper outerwear to be out in that weather. I have subbed on frigidly cold days when some kids wore little more than a light jacket. They do try to help the kids find coats, hats and gloves, even resorting to going through the lost and found to find something appropriate to wear. Of course whatever was taken from the lost and found was returned after the recess, but I think that's ridiculous! On the other side, because of our geographic location, we will have many, many days where the temperatures fall just above 10 degrees. I'm sure there will be arguments that the kids would rarely get to play outside during the winter if the rules were changed. I'm not sure they will change that rule, but you are not alone in your thoughts. You do have the support of other parents.

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Denise Bagley 3 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree! I did not grow up here, but I have lived in the Yampa Valley for over 20 years. My three kids were born in Steamboat Springs and here in Craig. My oldest is 16 now and doesn't have recess anymore, but my two younger kids still do. I have always thought that 10 degrees was too cold to force the kids to play outside. I have relatives down in Colorado Springs, and their kid's schools don't allow them to go outside if the temperature is lower than 20 degrees. I work for the school district and have also been a substitute teacher in the schools. There are many kids who just don't have the proper outerwear to be out in that weather. I have subbed on frigidly cold days when some kids wore little more than a light jacket. They do try to help the kids find coats, hats and gloves, even resorting to going through the lost and found to find something appropriate to wear. Of course whatever was taken from the lost and found was returned after the recess, but I think that's ridiculous! On the other side, because of our geographic location, we will have many, many days where the temperatures fall just above 10 degrees. I'm sure there will be arguments that the kids would rarely get to play outside during the winter if the rules were changed. I'm not sure they will change that rule, but you are not alone in your thoughts. You do have the support of other parents.

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George Robertson 3 years, 5 months ago

I did grow up there, and at 21 below zero we were out ice skating and sleding. Kids are quite resilliant and 10 degrees in Craig is down right balmy.

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wellwell 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, if teachers are aware of the problem of inadequte clothing for the weather I am confident that they do what they can as posted earlier. Again it is the parent or child's caretaker to be responsible for the the proper cold weather apparel.

If the person responsible for the child's care cannot afford apparel, please contact social services, Love INC, etc. Don't let the child suffer.

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xrsareus 3 years, 5 months ago

Was born and raised here some 50 years ago. When we were kids our parents would have to force us to come inside summer and winter we didn't care how hot or cold it was. Remember skating at the park were the wave pool is now at way below -0 for hours and then walking home??? Kids these day's sit at the TV playing video games and never go out. They would not even think of walking anywhere. They are not accustom to extreme temps. We have a niece and nephew that when they come to visit it is like pulling teeth to get them to go outside even in the summer.

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GreyStone 3 years, 5 months ago

xrsareus ,

I remember that skate rink in the park, walking from the West side of town over to the park in -30 deg. weather as the lower temperature made the ice on the rink much better. We were outside skating for hours in -30deg temps, no one died or got sick… low temps do not cause one to get sick.

When is it too cold for children to play outside at school?

In my opinion -50 deg. can be a little challenging if one is not dressed properly… do not stick your wet hands in anything wet.

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