Sorry Moms Everywhere – According to Science, Being Cold Does NOT Cause a Cold
Since the dawn of mankind, parents everywhere have warned their children about the dangers of going out into the cold without enough clothing. We've all heard it before (we've probably even said it ourselves) - "Don't go out there without a coat, you'll catch a cold." The same kind of logic applies to going outside with wet hair - don't do that either, unless you just want to get sick.
I feel like that logic 'should' make sense, but I think I've just convinced myself because I've heard it for over 40 years. But, really, what does one thing have to do with the other? What does simply being cold have to do with getting sick, and what does science have to say about it? Let's turn to an expert.
Libby Richards is an associate professor of nursing in Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences. She specializes in public and population health nursing, including the importance of vaccinations, flu safety and exercise. In regards to why people tend to get sick more often this time of year, she says,
Many viruses, including rhinovirus – the usual culprit in the common cold – and influenza, remain infectious longer and replicate faster in colder temperatures. That’s why these viruses spread more easily in winter. Wearing a heavy coat won’t necessarily make a difference.
Simply put, the funk is out there, waiting to get us, and we're just as likely to get sick in a t-shirt and shorts as we are in jeans and a sweater. And the virus doesn't care if we dried our hair before we left the house either. Read the rest of Libby's article here.
So, sorry moms, it would appear that you're just wrong about this one. Having said that, you (and all of us parents) should still encourage kids to dress warmly, we just need to eliminate the threat of getting sick.