Reasons Behind The Belief That Wearing Hats In Cold Weather Prevents Illness
Parents sometimes worry about the number of colds their children catch every year. These individuals wonder if they can do something to make their youngsters less vulnerable to respiratory infections. During the child's annual checkup, a pediatric physician can answer all health-related questions that parents have. One question might be whether a child who doesn't wear a hat in chilly weather is more likely to catch a cold.
A Traditional Belief
The idea that wearing a hat is important for preventing illness has been a traditional belief for generations. Many people continue to believe this, while others realize this isn't logical. The common cold, after all, is caused by a virus. What difference does it make if someone wears a hat or not?
The word "cold" that people call these infections has no direct connection to being physically cold. Yet long ago, people noticed that everyone seemed more susceptible to these illnesses during the winter. However, going outside without a hat is not the problem. Instead, people generally are inside a lot more during the cold weather months and outside a lot less. Numerous people cooped up inside buildings are more likely to spread viral infections to one another.
Losing Body Heat
What about the idea of the body losing most of its heat through the head? This particular aspect does have some merit and mainly for children. That's because a child's head size compared with their body is much bigger than is the case with teenagers and adults. Thus, children do lose more heat through their head surface, but adults do not. Adults can lose the same amount of heat from any part of the body that is exposed to the cold.
These issues are not related to catching a respiratory infection, though. Instead, covering exposed parts of the body in cold weather keeps both children and adults comfortable. Excessive cold on exposed skin can even become painful. A more serious reason to cover the skin is to prevent frostbite and hypothermia in freezing temperatures.
A pediatrician is happy to address this type of concern and any others that parents of young children want to ask. The doctor can reassure parents with information about how many respiratory infections might be expected each year for someone in this age group. Mothers and fathers should never feel hesitant or embarrassed to request information about health-related matters that could affect their youngsters. For more information, reach out to a pediatric physician.