Why Do You Get Sick When You Don’t Wear a Coat?

Mom was right when she told you to wear a coat. Putting on a coat before you go outside in winter is a good idea when it is cold. Tweet This It could protect you against getting sick, but maybe not for the reasons that you think.

How Does a Wearing a Coat Help Prevent Getting Sick?

Here are four ways that a warm winter coat can lower your risk of getting a winter cold or worse.

Surface Area and Perspiration

Running about in cold weather, or even just walking through layers of snow can trigger your body’s response to perspire. As this sweat evaporates in the dry air, it can chill you very quickly, and the chill can lower your immune system, making it more likely that you will get sick. Tall adults and children both have more relative skin external surface area and less insulating fat, making these groups especially vulnerable to getting a chill.

Inflammation and Exposed Skin

Exposed skin can become irritated and inflamed when exposed to the cold air, wind and snow or ice. Thin clothing will not offer enough protection from the winter elements. Not only is sore skin uncomfortable, it can also crack and allow bacteria to get in under the surface, leading to infection.

Circulation and Organ Protection

Without a warm coat, a body exposed to the cold goes into hibernation mode. It redirects warm blood to the vital organs, leaving the fingers, toes, nose and ears more vulnerable to frostbite, even if gloves, footwear and a scarf cover them. Keeping your core warm reduces the risk.

Cold and the Immune System

There has been a lot of back and forth over whether or not exposure to cold air affects the immune system. Every few years, a new study seems to cancel out the old one. The most recent research done by British cold researchers found a connection to cold exposure and illness. They say that nasal passages may be more vulnerable to infections when exposed to cold air. This is a great reason to add a warm scarf to your warm winter coat when you bundle up.

 

Receive stories of warmth, confidence and hope and learn how you can help children in need. Join the Operation Warm monthly newsletter!

Sign-up

Related Articles

Students pose for a picture on a cold day outside wearing their brand new Operation Warm coats.

Operation Warm Aims to Provide 36,000 Brand New Coats to Philadelphia Kids in Need this Fall

With temperatures soaring high into the 90’s for most of the summer in Philadelphia, it can be tough to remember how unbearably cold last winter was. But according to U.S….

Read More
On The Table - Acting Up Award

Operation Warm Selected as 2018 “Acting Up” Grant Award Recipient

Operation Warm has been selected as a recipient of a $5,000 award on behalf of The Chicago Community Trust Acting Up awards to pilot a new program concept: Operation Warm…

Read More

Stay Connected