Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To think that British people need to get better at winter?

(279 Posts)
honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 16:40:01

I have noticed lots of people worrying about the cold weather and their DC coming to harm due to eating/sleeping/playing outside.

I am confused as to why in a country that we all know has miserable weather for much most of the year some children don't have clothing that enables them to spend time outside. The risk of vitamin D deficiency, the higher chance of getting ill when inside and childhood weight issues could all be made better if kids were encouraged to spend more time outside.

I know it isn't all families, I have just been supprised at the amount of people worrying about thier children being damaged by winter weather. It doesn't even get very cold in the UK, nothing a pair of breathable woolen thermal underwear and a good coat/all in one wouldn't solve.

I am British but I now live in Sweden, here the kids at daycare/school have to spend at least 2 hours outside by law, it doesn't matter if it is raining, snowing or -10 the kids are still out playing/eating/sleeping. The schools only shut due to weather when the temp drops below -40.

AIBU to think that we need to get better at winter, it does after all happen every year for about 6 months

Notcontent Sat 01-Dec-12 17:49:14

So true HazleNutt. I had a thread the other day, and the consensus seemed to be that 20 degrees was much too warm, that I should have my thermostat on 18. 18 is cold unless you are running around doing housework, etc.

Want2bSupermum Sat 01-Dec-12 17:56:19

DH is Danish. Most people are living in smaller homes or flats (which are about the same size as the houses) which are newer and better insulated. Fuel prices are high but they have an energy efficient wood burning stove that heats the whole flat up so it is toasty. It is just as damp in Denmark as it is in the UK. They just dress better for it.

The other trick is that you have to buy proper clothes. We are in New Jersey and my coat works well to about -20F. My fancy wool coat is ok to about 40F. Also, people use sleeping bag type things that zip around the baby in the stroller. It keeps them nice and toasty. If below 40F all children are running around with hats on. It the hot weather in summer that people are more worried about as young children overheat very quickly.

DD's coat is a puffa jacket from Next with a hood. It was GBP40 but it is an excellent coat. She plays outside for hours and stays warm. I can machine wash it and dry in the tumble dryer so it is ready the next morning. The coats that were half the price are not suitable for colder weather at all. I was shocked that there were coats without hoods.

cashmere Sat 01-Dec-12 17:57:54

YANBU. DS (2) has thermals (from Sainsburys)) or tights under his trousers.
He also has welly socks and wellies or snowboots.
He won't wear a hat or gloves but will put the hood up on his hoody.
He also has waterproof trousers and wears them whenever we play out as they keep him clean as much as anything.

BUT it is partly cost. He has a gorgeous snow suit (navy quilted) from....Primark but it's not actually waterproof so when I undress him he's damp. I nearly got him proper ski wear as I live by a ski shop but the trousers and separate jacket were £70 at half price (and a garish print). I think it's just a case of factoring in cost per wear to make the initial outlay seem worthwhile. For now I'll just put his waterproof trousers over his 'snow suit'!!

BikeRunSki Sat 01-Dec-12 18:01:06

I am English but a hardy country girl and I love winter! My DC are also winterproof. It always amazes me when a cm of snow in the north of England is front page news (as on today's Guardian).

BikeRunSki Sat 01-Dec-12 18:02:35

H&M kids ' ski wear is excellent and well priced. And comes in great colours!

cashmere Sat 01-Dec-12 18:03:24

Oh I'll have a look- thanks!

FundusCrispyPancake Sat 01-Dec-12 18:03:37

People wear crap fashion clothes instead of decent wind/waterproof stuff.

I spend a good part of every day outdoors and people often say 'are you mad the weather is awful' but in a good coat and boots I am toasty warm.

Also city folk don't seem able to drive in snow. Where I grew up in the country we used to go out driving in the ice a snow for a laugh!

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 18:06:09

The houses here are built for the cold more than in the UK, they are tripple glazed and very well insulated.

Also people live in smaller spaces, my family in the UK have huge sprawling (cold) houses with spare bedrooms and dining rooms and sitting rooms whereas people here often live in houses with no spare rooms, kids share rooms and living spaces are open plan multifunctional. People also tend to move to a home that suits their needs so a young couple with no kids would live in a 1 bedroom apartment, have their 1st baby, maybe move to a 2 bedroom apartment, move to a house if they have ore kids and as the kids move out downsize again so you don't get retired old people freezing in a 3 bedroom home they would be in a 1 bedroom apartment.

The heating is included in our rest (it's a strange set up we own the apartment but pay rent which covers broardband, cable tv, heating, hot water, parking, maintenance of the park and swimming pool) our rent is around 300 pounds a month and it never gets colder than 20 degrees, I think it is actually illegal for them to let homes get colder than 20 degrees.

The heating is often produced by local industry so if you live near a dairy the heat from factory get (somehow magically) pumped into the heating systems of the houses and apartments in the local area. There are some areas near cramatoriums that heated by burning bodies which feels a little morbid for me but at least they are warm!

Want2bSupermum Sat 01-Dec-12 18:12:47

If you have clothes that are not waterproof then scotchguard has a spray you can buy that does a great job of making them waterproof. I have used it for DD's hoodie and my workbags. I got the spray for $5 a can off amazon. I have seen it for sale at the local tack shop when I was home but it was more expensive.

OttilieKnackered Sat 01-Dec-12 18:15:23

There's no excuse for not being able to cope with rain since it is a nearly constant weather condition but I hate it when people claim Britain 'shuts down in 2 inches of snow'. We had a couple of years of much deeper/heavier snow which did cause problems.

It caused problems because this amount of snow is very rare. What's the point in spending loads of money on equipment and clothing for weather that happens for a few days each decade, rather than for weeks every winter?

FromEsme Sat 01-Dec-12 18:16:39

OttilieKnackered The M5 comes to a total standstill the minute a flake of snow hits it. It causes much hilarity in Scotland.

ivykaty44 Sat 01-Dec-12 18:18:16

redditch near birmingham swimming pool is heated by the , it isn't just sweden that does this it is done in the uk as well.

LemonMoussletoeandWine Sat 01-Dec-12 18:27:58

I have to admit that NE England often has a snigger at the South when it grinds to a halt (sorry wink ). The little corner of Co Durham where I live is renowned for its snow - so much so that we often get 'Haha, you're from X - still got snow up there?' in the middle of Summer. We are quite a hardy bunch but we do make sure we have the right clothing etc - exceptions made for Friday nights on the town where we slap on an extra layer of fake tan for warmth wink

What bugs me about Winter in the UK is the way we always run out of road salt hmm Someone told me that Scandinavians spray the roads with sea water to melt the snow - is that true Swedish MNers? And if it is why don't we do it here - everywhere in the UK is only about 50 miles from the sea. the person who told me that may have been taking the pee

ivykaty44 Sat 01-Dec-12 18:30:50

salt is car manufactors dream grin it would be better to use snow tyres and in any case salt doesn't work under about -5 degrees c

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 18:32:10

I'm not sure about the salt from the sea thing, it would be a good idea though wouldn't it!

They only use salt when it isn't that cold, I think it is -5 that the salt doesn't work, then they use grit. They sweep up all the grit at the end of the winter and reuse it the next year!

germyrabbit Sat 01-Dec-12 18:35:13

nothing like sweeping generalisations are there!

yes am a southerner who manages to get the kids out in the winter and also can drive in icy conditions, i also don't know anyone who doesn't let their kids out in the winter to play

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 01-Dec-12 18:47:47

Odd, the comment about the houses there. The people I know who live in Sweden have massive houses which I'd kill to live in. grin And the UK supposedly has the smallest average house size in all of Europe (according to QI, anyway).

I agree the houses there are built better. German houses are, as well. Even the double glazing is better there. It's not always down to how many layers there are, it's whether or not the glazing was done properly in the first place. A friend has just had to re-do the windows in her new build house because they'd put in windows which weren't done properly. It's enough to make me want to get in German builders when we finalise the sale of our new house. smile

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 18:50:59

Do the people you know in Sweden live in the countryside greeneggs?

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 01-Dec-12 18:52:51

Yep smile Where do your people with huge sprawling houses in the UK live?

wasabipeanut Sat 01-Dec-12 18:54:52

You see I just don't think it gets that cold. I see ads for Xmas winter wear and know that even if it's sub zero I'll be pulling off those stylish wooly hats & scarves because they make me all sweaty & itchy. It was quite cold for a couple of years but we're now back to the standard issue warm, wet winter. We all have warm coats but having skiwear, snow boots etc. strikes me as a waste of money - am in the South though. If it snows Wellies, coats & waterproof dungies suffice. But it probably won't which is why councils don't spend vast amounts of cash on gritting kit etc. It would lay dormant and they would be whined at for wasting money. Poor buggers can't win.

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 18:55:39

They live in Devon and the home counties.

The houses in the Swedish countryside are extreamly cheap, maybe 30-40,000 pounds for a huge house with land, so I guess it leaves lots of money for heating! The house prices in Stockholm where I ive are simalar to the house prices in Devon.

(I want to move to the countryside but DP is reluctant sad )

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 01-Dec-12 19:02:34

mm that's a shame, maybe you can convince him someday. smile It does seem lovely.

I miss having a basement, myself.

HalloweenNameChange Sat 01-Dec-12 19:03:11

YANBU, couldn't get out of my village the year before last and the year before that because it snowed. Not a blizzard, just snow.

Lived in Germany and the trains always ran and the snow always got shoveled.. ooh lovely

TeddyBare Sat 01-Dec-12 19:15:15

I'm starting to think an official "Winter is coming" warning should be issued every year smile

badguider Sat 01-Dec-12 19:26:41

I'm in southern scotland and most of my friends were out mountain biking in the snow today... i'm doing an off-road duathlon tomorrow that will likely involve running through frozen streams.

We love winter grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now