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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

FromEsme Sat 01-Dec-12 16:42:19

Can we change that to English people? In Scotland, we are fine at winter. I now live in London and was amazed 2 years ago when people didn't go to work because there was about an inch of snow. The trains were still running, they just didn't go.


Theicingontop Sat 01-Dec-12 16:43:46

YANBU, but I'm a total wimp. Trying to instill a hardier attitude into my DS and putting a brave face on it. Secretly inside I'm dying and it's not even proper winter yet. Yikes.

squeakytoy Sat 01-Dec-12 16:43:54

It only seems to be this generation that is precious about winter weather. I grew up in Lancashire, and the winters there are harsh.. but it didnt stop us from playing out and most of us didnt have central heating either in the 70's.

Fresh air and exercise is vital for your health, and I also suspect that the soft attitude we seem to have nowadays contributes to the obesity levels in the UK.

MammaTJ Sat 01-Dec-12 16:45:06

I agree! The whole country comes to a stanstill because of rain or a bit of snow.

Children do not melt in the rain either.

Latara Sat 01-Dec-12 16:45:11

I think YANBU, I have a Swedish friend who owns thermals, crampons, woolies of all kinds & walks in snowy / cold / icy weather.

She always dresses stylishly, looks good & doesn't get cold or fall over.

This winter i'm copying her.

Got the crampons (ice grippers for shoes) in case it's icy; just need the thermals.

Latara Sat 01-Dec-12 16:46:55

As a kid i used to play out in the snow & ice, it was great. Doesn't get so cold down here, but children still play out & walk round if it snows even these days.

5madthings Sat 01-Dec-12 16:49:23

Yanbu at all. My kids go out in all weathers, they also walk to and from school, half hr walk each way regardless of the weather. They just have appropriate clothing!

ouryve Sat 01-Dec-12 16:52:08

The problem is that we don't always get a lot of wintry weather. It might get a bit frosty for a few days and never snow all winter. Just the same as we might have a week or two of 30C in the summer, or it might rarely get above 20C. That variability makes planning for our weather extremes harder. Yes, people could put snow tyres on their cars in late November, but then might not actually need them all winter. You could buy snowsuits and boots for the kids, which are expensive, and might never get worn before they're grown out of.

Our only certainties are grey skies, wind and rain. Lots of rain. And we're so bad at rain, even with lots of practice (my kids are the only ones I ever see in waterproof trousers) that we don't stand a chance of ever being good at snow and winter.

HazleNutt Sat 01-Dec-12 16:52:10

It's the houses. I'm from Northern Europe and it gets cold indeed, but you know that at some point you will get home to a nice, warm house. Nobody would even imagine keeping a house at 17 degrees and only putting heating on for a few hours, or wearing winter clothes indoors instead of heating. I don't mind being cold temporarily but the constant cold, outdoors and indoors, is just miserable and of course you don't want to get even colder then.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Sat 01-Dec-12 16:52:25

Also in Sweden. It's been a real eye opener how prepared individuals are. People don't rely on the state to keep things clear and moving, they rely on themselves. Proper clothing, shoe spikes, snow tyres on prams, snow tyres on cars etc. My neighbours are so prepared they've even clubbed together to buy themselves their own snow plough (about the size of a ride on lawnmower).

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 16:52:52

I'm glad I'm not completely unreasonable!

My familily has already started the annual worry about if they will be able to fly to visit us to go skiing, there is never problems here it is the flight out of the UK or the drive to the airport that causes the worry.

I think it would be great if father christmas brought thermal underwear to all the British (English) kids who don't have it!

Boomerwang Sat 01-Dec-12 16:54:20

(Another Brit in Sweden) I went to the supermarket the other day and found the ground just outside was extremely slippery. I commented to my boyfriend that I hope the supermarket didn't get sued if someone fell over and hurt themselves. He didn't know what I was on about. I told him that schools close, people stay at home and the transport grinds to a halt in two inches of snow in the UK. He reckoned if they tried that in Sweden the whole country would fall apart pretty quickly.

The odd thing is I find it colder in the UK with a -3 temperature than I do in Sweden with a -15 one. It's just the wind chill factor which makes the big difference, really, and Britain has a lot of wind!

Boomerwang Sat 01-Dec-12 16:56:01

Also wanted to point out that we're currently over 9 inches of snow that has fallen in under four days and it looks beautiful outside :D

mercibucket Sat 01-Dec-12 16:56:51

It's not going to do a thing for your vitamin d levels to be outside between october and april

mercibucket Sat 01-Dec-12 16:56:52

It's not going to do a thing for your vitamin d levels to be outside between october and april

Meglet Sat 01-Dec-12 17:01:12

yanbu. Over the last couple of years I've basically thrown money at decent waterproof, snowproof clothes for us all. The dc's have warm snowboots from sainsbuys, proper winter coats from trespass / blacks, thick welly socks, thermal vests, gloves sewn onto coats and several hats. I'm kitted out in a ski jacket and thick winter boots.

We're very lucky as we can do school, nursery, work and town on foot if their is a huge dumping of snow. Hence the small fortunes worth of warm clothes.

Oh, I have a snow shovel too. I love it!

Mrsjay Sat 01-Dec-12 17:01:28

scots get a winter every year we are used to it and are well ard grin although i am bloody freezing my dc do have winter weather clothes ,

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 17:02:41

That's so true about the supermarket boom, also the kids at school make ice slides on the rocks, they poor water down the rock and it freezes then they slide down on their bums wearing their all in one suits. Looks fun but a bit scary! I told my DP's family about the way the UK shuts down with snow and they actually think I am making things up.

I understand that it is hard to prepare for snow in the UK when we can go for years without snow, I am from Devon and I didn't know how to walk on snow when I first moved to Sweden i had just never seen it. But the rain we have no excuse about, it is pretty much a given that it is going to rain lots. those rain trousers are great that you mentioned ouryrv!

They have a saying in Sweden "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing"

WildWorld2004 Sat 01-Dec-12 17:02:48

Im good with the cold. I wear layers & appropriate footwear. My dd is out no matter the weather.

However i suffer from S.A.D so find winter hard.

Meglet Sat 01-Dec-12 17:04:28

hazelnutt that's interesting about Northern European houses being warmer than ours. Mine is set to equator levels, usually 24 degrees (but it's a tiny house). As you say, it's not so bad having a freezing cold walk when you know you'll be warm and dry as soon as you get home.

You need to warm your bones up properly to keep warm IMO.

Rooble Sat 01-Dec-12 17:08:56

We don't dress appropriately for winter at all. Whenever you go abroad during winter you can spot the British tourists a mile off because they are wearing plimsolls, thin coats/no coats, no gloves or hats - and generally look cold and miserable.
I really don't understand it (but also don't understand "fashion" winter coats with 3/4 sleeves) because I feel the cold and couldn't spend a winter in Converse. Madness.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 01-Dec-12 17:10:57

We are great at winter! We have mulled wine.

evilhamster Sat 01-Dec-12 17:11:55


I'm from Iceland, lived there until five years ago, so I know a lot about cold weather! We currently live in Snowdonia, and we have a fair amount of snow, although nothing like home, and in six months we'll be moving back to Iceland!

DH suffers the most though. He's from the Middle East, but spent the last six years before meeting me in Iceland, in Nigeria. He hates the cold.

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 17:12:32

Outraged that is true, they do have mulled wine in Sweden but they serve it in cups the size of egg cups and it is often alcohol free shock

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