What To Do About Chilly Kids in Winter

Finding thermostat settings that can keep the entire family comfortable often seems like an impossible task. No matter what temperature you choose, someone is always too warm — and others are too cold. If this is true of your children, there could be several reasons why they feel chilly when everyone else is comfortable. This winter, instead of bumping up the temperature, follow these tips to get to the heart of the problem without touching the thermostat.


Help Them Stay Active and Sleep Well


chilly kids in winter

Image via Flickr by gfpeck


Feelings of coldness often go hand in hand with fatigue and lethargy, so make sure your kids are getting enough sleep and exercise. Without enough sleep, every part of the body struggles to function normally, including the hypothalamus—not to mention the body’s entire metabolism, which similarly helps regulate body temperature. Exercise has several temperature-related benefits, too: It increases circulation to warm up your extremities, and the muscle you build will produce heat and boost your metabolism.

If your child still seems cold and tired for no discernible reason, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with your pediatrician. These complaints could be symptoms of a more serious underlying condition that requires medical attention.


Watch Their Eating Habits and Water Intake

Even beyond too little sleep and exercise, there are several medical explanations for why someone might always feel cold. Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as of B12 and iron, can lead to anemia, hypothyroidism, and other conditions that will leave your child shivering. People who are low on protein or who have too little body fat will also have trouble warming up.

Hydration also affects your body temperature in a few ways. For example, water helps your body trap and retain heat. What’s more, your metabolism works faster when you’re well hydrated, because hydration increases your body temperature. Making sure your kids drink enough water will help them stay healthy and warm.


Buy Some Blankets and a Space Heater

Once you’ve addressed diet, sleep, and exercise, you can move on to external solutions. It’s possible that all your child needs to warm up is a plush throw, a thick sweater and socks, an electric blanket, or a small space heater. Fortunately, these are all relatively cheap investments compared to the cost of heating your entire house to a higher temperature.


Tighten Your Home’s Thermal Envelope

Finally, consider making some energy-efficient improvements to your home’s insulation and weatherization so that the warm air your furnace generates will stay inside. A perpetually chilly house could be a sign of insufficient insulation in your attic, walls, ceiling, or basement. You can also tighten up your home’s thermal envelope by installing weatherstripping around doors and windows and by sealing any cracks or holes that allow outside air in.

Don’t spend this winter engaged in a family struggle over the thermostat. We all know how expensive monthly energy bills can be during the winter, and increasing the temperature every time someone complains will only add to the cost. By figuring out why your kids feel cold, you may be able to solve the problem and save some money on your heating bill.

kate sutton


* This post is in collaboration with Laura Ashbury, freelance writer.

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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