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Like 'onions': kids complain about the cold in classrooms and experts give advice for studying with open windows


This week, the low temperatures were felt in the City. Layered clothing and hot breakfast, keys to being present in a pandemic.

Penelope Canonico

05/07/2021 12:19

  • Clarí

  • Society

Updated 05/07/2021 12:19

The first cold days begin to creep into the classrooms.

May began immersed in the second wave of a pandemic that forces schools where face-to-face classes are held to have windows and doors open to renew the air and thus prevent the spread of the SARS CoV-2 virus and reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases. . 

"The frost we feel today in our hands has no name", was the general comment among several students of different levels and Buenos Aires educational establishments, repeated several days this week.

Libertad found it difficult to concentrate in class.

He told me that he rubbed his hands all the time and during recess he ran with his classmates to warm up ”, describes Delfina Arimayn by phone as she withdraws her daughter from the Buenos Aires School and points out that, before returning home, will stop by a business to buy

wool gloves or fringe



Libertad found it difficult to concentrate in class because of the cold.

Martina knows that the next few months will have to live with low temperatures.

She went to Rawson school warmer than usual, but in her hands she felt very cold.

That was the topic of conversation with her friends.

They turned red and it was difficult for them to hold the pencil to write.

“Tomorrow I'm going to take the precaution of wrapping your hands with fingerless gloves and a lid.

I try to bolster his defenses with a potent breakfast

of oatmeal, chia seeds, and orange or grapefruit juice.

The idea is that he consumes energizing and caloric foods to improve his immune system ”, his mother, Violeta Alzamora, tells this newspaper.

Layers in onion mode

“Given that in the classrooms we will maintain cross ventilation and we will take breaks in the open courtyards (as long as it does not rain), it is important that each student can attend face-to-face classes with sufficient shelter.

We suggest that they be able to dress in layers

”, was the recommendation that the parents of the Luis A. Huergo Institute received in an email organizing the school week. In that school in San Telmo, several students already chose directly to

take a blanket

to cover their legs during the hours they remain seated in class. 

Jogging with a jacket, a sweater, a diver, a long-sleeved shirt and a jacket are some of the alternatives Melina's son chooses to study at Arlene Fern's private school. In fact, at a parents' meeting, the authorities also asked them to send the students dressed in layers when the cold started. “It is for them

to regulate the temperature

. If they are hot in physical education class, for example, they can take off their covers without a problem. In addition, I send him a blanket so that he can cover himself at rest, which is when he feels the most cold ”, he details.

When the thermometer registers low temperatures, Luisa can change the skirt with can-can socks for a gym uniform, a long pants.

At their school, located in the Palermo area, the directors had already anticipated asking them to come to the establishment with more shelter than in a normal situation.

Open windows.

In a public school in Villa Urquiza, as the protocol indicates.

In a public school in Villa Urquiza, the bubbles on the morning shift are the ones that suffer the most from low temperatures.

"I put on the hood because I'm very cold," says one of the boys at recess who, together with his classmates, asked the director for permission to wear a cap to protect them from the wind.

In another hallway, a teacher asks a group of students to put on their jackets so they are not uncovered.

A few classrooms have air purifiers.

Is that, before the constant air current, the clothes that the students wear to attend class became a priority.

The experts consulted agree on the need to

maintain natural cross and prolonged ventilation within the classroom

to avoid contagion of Covid.

According to her mother, Guillermina complains about her coat but complies so she can continue going to school.

Some educational establishments can counteract low temperatures by maintaining central heating.

This is the case of School N ° 8 DE 2, Dr Arturo Mateo Bas.

Guillermina (10) is uncomfortable wearing so much coat.

Discursively resists, but complies to maintain presence.

"Today he told me that the environment was cool and he did not feel the need to take off his jacket," says Débora, his mother.

A myth known to all

“Bundling up is not synonymous with dressing in 20 items, but rather about

choosing the best quality of clothing possible

. The first layer seeks a 'second skin' effect that is achieved thanks to a thermal undershirt. It is not advisable to wear cotton clothing adhering to the body because it makes perspiration stick and, later, the body ends up cooling. The function of the second layer is isolation, so a good choice is a sweater or wool coat and, thirdly, a jacket that allows movement in the arms ”, suggests Javier Parodi, a clinical doctor.

There is an ingrained belief that we can catch a cold or the flu because we have






But experts refute it and say that children can be exposed to the cold by taking the necessary precautions.

For example, bronchial symptoms could be avoided with shelter measures and a healthy diet that strengthens the immune system.

It is a myth that they get sick because they are cold.

It is true that during these months they are more vulnerable, but we must bear in mind that it is not because of the cold itself, but because during that time viruses that inhabit certain characteristics proliferate.

They get sick if they are exposed to causative agents such as viruses, bacteria, germs or allergens, ”says Celeste Celano, head of Pediatrics at the Sanatorio Modelo de Caseros.

And he adds: "It is likely that this winter, thanks to adequate air circulation measures, even the diseases typical of the time will decrease, since not only will the circulation of coronavirus be prevented, but also of

other seasonal germs


With a jacket and more coat underneath.

Luisa and Justina, going to school.

So, for an infection to occur, the presence of the "bug" that originates it (virus, bacteria) is necessary.

The cold can contribute in some way to making their way easier, but it is

not by itself the ultimate cause of a cold or flu


“In our nasal mucosa we have a kind of villi, called cilia, which act like an internal broom.

The cold can make it not work as it should, favoring the infection.


use of the chinstrap is an advantage

that helps to filter particles, germs and to heat the air so that the currents, from the respiratory point of view, are not so harmful ”, explains Parodi.

How does the cold affect health?

Front of cold, dry, wet or frost.

The only way to combat it is by wrapping up warm clothes, although no matter how much it is implemented, there are times when it is impossible to escape.

"The important thing is that there is

a balance between ventilation and shelter

and let's not forget that every painting is Covid until proven otherwise," explains Parodi.

The cold causes a reduced blood supply to the extremities. This reduction in blood flow causes fewer white blood cells to fight disease. Therefore, with the cold our defenses are less effective and that causes a greater exposure to viruses and other threats that may affect our body.

A temperature below 10ºC can reduce memory, response speed and the executive functions of the gray matter of our brain. “There must be a flexibility in the classrooms in terms of academic demands because attention is always altered in the face of internal or external stimuli. With the cold,

the body does not have the necessary energy to develop the cognitive process

because the blood is distributed to the muscles to combat the low thermal sensation. For this reason, it is essential to keep the heating on despite having the windows open ”, analyzes Gustavo Abichacra, pediatrician and former president of DISFAM Argentina.

"It is important that children, before leaving home,

eat hot drinks and caloric foods

to increase body temperature.

Also, they should have their seats away from drafts.

Families must be careful to send enough shelter, and at the same time comfortable, so that they are protected from the cold and can carry out their tasks with free movement, ”says Celano.


Look also

Santa Fe, the Peronist province that demands the Government for the return to the classrooms

Letter from a teenage girl: "Please don't close the schools"

Source: clarin

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