Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Grab Your Coat and Get Your Hat, Birmingham

It’s cold outside, and your children are not wearing coats and hats.  Neither are you.  Every winter, I see you in parking lots, in parks, on the street, hugging your t-shirted torsos with bare blue arms so chilled I can see every hair as you hurry to get out of the cold.  I see your children shivering, with red ears and drippy noses. Their ragged coughs and sniffles are all the evidence I need to deliver my verdict:  unacceptable.

Dressing warmly in cold weather is one of God’s little “best practices” for staying healthy. Sure, it takes a little longer to get ready to go out, and it means you have to keep up with jackets and hats, scarves and gloves, but people all over the world do it, and so can you.  Alabama winters are the envy of the rest of this snow-beleaguered country, but it’s still cold here in February, in case you haven’t noticed or are in denial.

Send your kids to school dressed warmly, with layers they can shed indoors and put back on when they go out to the playground.  Every time you get out of your car on a cold day, make sure everyone has their jackets on, preferably zipped up.  No more running across a parking lot coat-less because you “won’t be outside for very long.” Set the example and your kids will follow.

And make sure your kids wear hats.  Cover their ears.  Protect your children by dressing them warmly.  You’ll save money on doctor visits; you’ll miss fewer work days because you have to stay home with a sick child. 

It’s winter, friends, so put away your flip flops and tank tops.  Put on a sweater.  Get some knit caps and mittens for the little ones.  Button up, zip up, stay warm, and have a healthy winter!