November 15, 2021

Dressing Children for Colder Weather

Children in child care settings are required to be taken outdoors daily. As colder weather approaches, providers must ensure that children wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.

Safety in the Cold

Children should play outdoors when the conditions do not pose any health and safety concerns such as a significant risk of frostbite or heat-related illness.

According to the National Weather Service, weather that poses a significant health risk includes wind chill factor below -15°F (-26°C) and heat index at or above 90°F (32°C). Child care providers should monitor weather-related conditions.

Open spaces in outdoor areas encourage children to develop gross motor skills and fine motor play in ways that are difficult to duplicate indoors and promote better nighttime sleep. Generally, infectious disease organisms are less concentrated in outdoor air than indoor air. This is particularly true for COVID-19.

Cold weather dressing tips

  • Children should wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.

  • Outer garments, such as coats, should be tightly woven and be at least water repellent when rain or snow is present.

  • Children should wear a hat, coat, and gloves/mittens kept snug at the wrist.

Providers: Remind parents that according to 55. Pa Code §3270.114, §3280.114, and §3290.114 relating to outdoor activity, weather permitting, children shall be taken outdoors daily.

Image: A young child slides down a play obstacle, with their hands holding them up gently.