A health expert has revealed that spending time in the snow is more than simply fun for children, it's also great for their health and wellbeing as well as being a great way of bonding and creating memories for families.
The days may finally be getting longer as it gradually gets lighter in the mornings and evenings in the UK, but the winter months mean it's still slightly too cold to properly get out and enjoy the daylight.
It's a freeze that has many wondering how many hours a day the heating should be on, especially considering that the energy price cap has risen by 54%, leaving families worried about how much their energy bills will cost.
But while there is plenty to worry about when it comes to the winter chill, there is at least one upside. That's because, according to a health expert, getting out in the snow 'can have many positive impacts on health and wellbeing' for children as well as opening up the opportunity for loads of fun thanks to the many snow-orientated outdoors activities out there.
“Playing out in the snow can have many positive impacts on our health and wellbeing," Navin Khosla, a pharmacist at NowPatient revealed. "Getting out in the fresh air is important in the winter, seasonal bugs are more prevalent in these colder months and are circulated and passed more easily indoors. By getting out into the crisp air, you are reducing the risk and spread of bugs and infection whilst also clearing and refreshing your mind."
On the wellbeing front, playing in the snow can also help to improve a child's sleep cycle, emotional wellbeing and appetite, Khosla added. "Outdoor activities and exercise are crucial for children and it is advised that they get around 60 minutes of physical activity each day. If they are not hitting this quota, this could impact their sleep cycle, emotional well-being and appetite which can, in turn, negatively affect overall health. Outdoor exercise offers greater opportunities for muscle growth and development, for example, shovelling snow or sledging.
"The winter months also limit opportunities for vitamin D absorption, therefore it is advised to get some outdoor time during daylight hours, even if it’s just 30 minutes in the sun. Vitamin D is important for healthy muscles and bones and is therefore a critical factor in growth and development. A significant vitamin D deficiency can also lead to rickets in children, a bone development condition that can result in bone deformities, weakness and pain.”
While the health benefits are great, it's also vital to understand the importance of 'creating memories' with kids in the snow. Many people are wondering whether it will snow in the UK in 2024 with the current temperature drop seemingly promising the fun weather. But if it does get cold enough for schools to close, rather than staying in and turning up the heating, one expert has urged parents to get out into the snow and create formative memories for the family.
Alex Price, a product expert at Outdoor Toys shared, “Making a sledge together is not only a great way of bonding and creating memories, but it can be a creative task for children to get stuck into. It doesn't always have to cost lots of money to have fun together as a family, and a snow day is the perfect opportunity to do so.
"Outdoor play in the snow can not only create lasting memories, but can encourage social development, collaboration, social skills and more. Having toys can be a lot of fun, but sometimes when you strip it back to something as simple as sledging, it can be even more fun!
"Think back to your experiences as a child in the snow - I bet they are some of the best memories you have. Now is the chance to recreate that for your children and family.”
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Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.
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