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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

wonkylegs Sat 01-Dec-12 17:12:59

I don't think all of Britain deals with winter badly. We live in the NE and fwiw I'm not sure some Geordies even register the feeling cold. Wearing a coat is seen by some as registering defeat especially in party season. My DS certainly doesn't feel it.
Even in that bad winter a few years back when most of the country came to a standstill both DH & I still drove to work on the snow. My DS's nursery only shut for 1 day and my plumber still came out to fix my boiler even though he couldn't get the van to the house .... Because we had no heating despite it being -12. (btw I love our plumber)
Our icy park was full of kids this morning mainly using the paths as an icerink!
However I am a southerner and my family phone at the slightest hint of a snowflake to say how terrible it is. I think it is a bit of a regional thing.

LtXmasEve Sat 01-Dec-12 17:13:32

Boomerwang, I used to find that when I lived in Germany. It was an awful lot colder than UK, but it didn't feel that way.

Now that I'm back here I think it is that UK has a damp/wet feel when it is cold, and it kind of seeps into your bones. Overseas it seems more 'dry' cold, a lot crisper maybe?

All three of us have got fab waterproof and windproof winter jackets and we never seem to suffer as much as our friends do. But then they are wearing what I call 'fashion' winter coats, that just aren't as good. OK so my Northface may not be stylish (and is in fact probably about 8 years old) but I'm not the one moaning about being freezing!

Bluestocking Sat 01-Dec-12 17:14:15

Hazlenutt, I'd love to keep my house superwarm all the time, but unfortunately we can't afford to use that much gas. sad
I do however have a proper warm and waterproof coat and boots!

TreadOnTheCracks Sat 01-Dec-12 17:15:14

I'm with you. People need to get a grip and stop worrying about fat face, hollister and joules and get into millets grin

I work in a school and this week people have been sending their DC in skirts and ankle socks with tiny, flimsy, little ballet pump shoes. We are outside for 3/4 hr a day.

I bet these people drive their children to school and never think about play time.

Others send their children in with just a hoodie, no proper coat. It makes me so sad.

I love my thermals and have an extensive collection. The problem I find is that it's so flaming hot in the classroom, I am almost stripping down to my thermals while inside, but freezing outside. Layers is the answer, but not so easy to organise for young children.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 01-Dec-12 17:16:15

Alcohol free mulled wine?! shock


What other winer warmer drinks do they have in Sweden?

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sat 01-Dec-12 17:16:40

Amazes me when they interview people in their homes talking about price hikes for heating, how they are invariably wearing a tshirt.

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

they have snaps, that warms you up and you need it to cope with the pickled fish for christmas dinner wink

crazycanuck Sat 01-Dec-12 17:18:33

YANBU OP. I'm from that frozen wasteland known as Canada and I am often gobsmacked at how poorly people here (Jersey) dress for inclement weather. The number of times I have seen people in teeny tiny jackets in a downpour with gale force nine winds, and they are trying to use an umbrella FFS! Get a proper long raincoat with a hood, you numpties, it's not like it never rains while blowing a gale here! And the day I was driving to work and on the radio they were doling out tips on how to deal with the cold weather. Tip #1 was 'Put on a coat'! Really? I thought we were all adults and learned to put a coat on when we were in primary school! Though going by what I was reading on another thread where a poster wanted to send her son to school in shorts in this weather confused, maybe people aren't actually learning to dress for the cold from childhood over here.

FlappingToad Sat 01-Dec-12 17:19:19

OK, Swedish and Icelandic sistas, we need to know of these stylish yet warm snow clothes you talk about. Where do you buy them, how much are they and everything. <passes round mulled wine with alcohol in> grin

MariaMandarin Sat 01-Dec-12 17:20:16

Agree that they don't feel the cold in the North East. I've been wearing my coat up there before and seen a baby in a buggy wearing shorts and T-shirt. The sun was out but it was still bloody cold. They obviously do it by starting them young.

FlappingToad Sat 01-Dec-12 17:20:47

Canadian mns too. what do you wear when it is minus 20?

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 17:31:18

First you need some cosy thermal underwear, wool is good. Then a top/jumper, whatever you'd usually wear. Jeans/trousers on your legs if you are just going to the shops or doing the school run, if you are going on a snowy walk maybe snow trousers. Woolen socks and some snow boots, not uggs they need to be waterproof. Gloves, hat, scarf, if your skiing or going for a windy/snowy walk you can wear a boof that covers your mouth.

For kids the all in one snow suits are great. Also thermal underwear, you can get some fun stripy/dotty ones. hats scarf/waterproof gloves. Snowboots and woolen socks.

Babies have an åkpåse, it means travelbag and it's a warm sleeping bag. They recommend you are careful not to overheat the baby so it should be ok in normal clothes and a jumper in the åkpåse, they don't put them in an åkpåse with a snowsuit on at the same time.

Meglet Sat 01-Dec-12 17:31:45

I made the DC's wrap up warm and eat their hot midday meal outside today. They were quite happy.

Obviously, this did have a little to do with the ex-outlaws popping round today and me wanting to keep the floor clean grin.

Agree that Milletts / Blacks / TK Maxx are your friends for decent winter / ski clothes. No silly fashion stuff once it gets cold and wet (and this is coming from a very vain fashiony person).

TBH I hate winter and love heatwaves, which is why I'm putting so much efford into keeping warm.

TheseGoToEleven Sat 01-Dec-12 17:32:38

At -20C I have on a parka-type coat, gloves inside mittens and a thick hat. Snow pants if there is the slightest chance of getting snow on my legs (ie, I am doing an activity or the snow is especially deep). Boots (I don't have them but Bogs are especially popular here). I don't much care what I look like but I am warm!

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 17:34:55

Oh and a jacket, a good jacket that probably won't look very flatering but it will be a nice supprise to see your figure once you take it off smile

crazycanuck Sat 01-Dec-12 17:35:02

I wear my Helly Hansen snowboarding jacket with a wooly touque (hat) when it's -20, and North Face sell some nice longer jackets jacket that are a bit pricey but I have seen cheaper versions on the high street that are still warm. Everyone here seems to wear those short fake wool jackets that gape at the neck and they look frozen. I agree with all the posters who find it colder here than in their native northern countries. It's the damp eh, it just permeates your bones!

crazycanuck Sat 01-Dec-12 17:35:58

Cripes yes, Uggs are useless.

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 17:36:40

Millets do amazing sales on thermals at the end of winter it is worth buying a few sizes for kids if it's really cheap.

Mrsjay Sat 01-Dec-12 17:37:55

went into Mountain wearhouse yesterday got myself a 'good jacket' dds some wellie/boot socks and some thermal gloves im all for function over fashion so are my Dds it is cold here we need to be warm sa w a young teen on friday with a blazer skinny jeans and ballet pumps and BLUE FEET it was below freezing silly girl will catch her death

Mrsjay Sat 01-Dec-12 17:38:06


Notcontent Sat 01-Dec-12 17:43:21

I think HazleNutt makes a good point. In the UK our houses are quite cold. It's more expensive to heat the average house, because the quality of the housing stock is not great. It's lovely to have a brisk walk in very cold weather and then come home to a warm house....

Also, it's quite difficult to buy really warm clothes. If you go to the average shop to buy children's stuff for example - primark, gap, m&s, etc. - the coats and shoes they sell are ok for weather down to about 7/8 degrees, but not for lower. For warmer stuff you have to buy European brands which are too expensive for many families.

LadyBeagleBaublesandBells Sat 01-Dec-12 17:44:20

It's all very well having warm houses, but I'm all electric and the cost of heating is scary.
Are fuel prices different in Sweden, or are the houses just built better?
Having said that I live in a new build, very well insulated HA house but it still get's cold.

HazleNutt Sat 01-Dec-12 17:45:33

In my country, kids will indeed go to school with -25, but they'll be sent back home if school is colder than 19 degrees, as this is considered unacceptably low. I have read threads here where UK people call 19 toasty and warm..

evilhamster Sat 01-Dec-12 17:46:14

Millets do some good things, but really you need to look for the shops selling ski gear/mountainy things, they generally have good coats and trousers. Waterproof trousers for the kids are vital, the snow gets on them really easily, which is wet and makes them cold.

Glove-wise, not enough people have good gloves! When it snowed the last few times when we were in Wales, people in our village had the non-waterproof gloves which are good for keeping you warm, but with snow they're basically terrible, and even for scraping the car, waterproof gloves are a must.

mercibucket Sat 01-Dec-12 17:46:54

Blah blah northern europe blah blah smile

Ever been to morocco or tenerife or the costas or greece in winter?

Guess who it's full of!

Northern europeans who live there all winter

It's not the weather, it's the clothes my arse. The only ones left are the nutters who like the cold. All the sensible ones migrate for winter

(Tongue in cheek btw)

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