When mom says, “Button up” – listen, but not because you’ll catch a cold

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When mom says, “Button up” – listen, but not because you’ll catch a cold

Baily Reitz, Media Staff

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As the cold weather approaches, parents remind their children time and time again to put a winter jacket on so they don’t catch a cold; however, experts explain this is a myth.

Cold air may irritate an existing condition such as asthma which can make people more receptive to colds, according to WebMD, but contact with a virus or bacteria is the initial cause.

“It’s always a good idea to dress for the weather,” said SFHS Nurse Holly Coy, “however it is a virus or bacteria that most of the time makes you sick.”

According to the patch.com, when studied by the New England Journal of Medicine, kids without coats did not catch colds, viruses, or any other bacteria-related illness by not wearing a coat outside in cold weather.

“There have been some studies that have shown that since you are out in the cold weather, your mucus membranes in your nose get wet to accommodate for the weather,” said Coy, “ and then there is a better likelihood that viruses may attach to your moist mucous membranes.”

Jackets aren’t technically made for preventing sickness, they’re made to keep people warm in the cold winds.  

While most Doctors agree that cold weather doesn’t cause the illness, a 2015 study by Yale University found that cold weather hampers the immune system’s ability to fight rhinovirus.

“This study…provides an interesting clue to the mysterious connection between cold and colds,” stated an article on PBS.org.

Even though science says mom is wrong and a coat won’t prevent a cold, it will prevent hypothermia and frostbite. So – listen to mom and button up.


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