Give a little nod if your whole childhood during the winter was pretty much you and all the neighborhood kids wanting to go sledding all day as soon as it snowed and every mom up and down the street limiting time outside because "you're going to catch a cold." Sound familiar? This notion has pretty much been ingrained into our brains, believing that actually being cold will cause you to catch a cold - when it couldn't be further from the truth.
This sentiment, along with so many other old wives tales has circulated long enough to make parents everywhere believe them. So much so that experts are weighing in to set the record straight about what actually causes a cold during the winter. And um...spoiler alert: you can't catch a cold from being cold. It's what happens whenever the temperature drops (we run and hide inside) that actually causes the cold by being in recycled air with other people who may already have some germs floating around them.
Researchers at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Michigan talked to over 1000 parents who have children in the 5-12 age range specific questions about colds and the verdict is that more people than not are believing untruths that have been passed down by their parents and grandparents.
In addition to the belief about catching a cold from being cold, many people believe that going outside with wet hair in the cold weather can cause you to get sick, too. While we can kinda see where people are coming from, as going out into chilly weather can definitely make you feel like you are freezing, researchers part of the study have explained that in order to actually get sick, one needs to be exposed to an infectious agent.
And lastly, so many people who were part of this survey has pretty strong beliefs in making sure their family is taking extra vitamins and supplements during the winter months, or at least believe that these help battle getting sick. However, whenever a child is eating a well-balanced diet, there is not an actual need for extra vitamins in their system. CNN shared that Dr. Michael Russo, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia notes that supplements haven't been shown to have an impact on cold prevention, so parents should just save their money.
Overall, seven out of every ten families we found to use cold prevention practices that didn't have any scientific proof, so doing your research is crucial!