Wear a coat or catch a cold — learning about cold weather, if you can catch a cold from having wet hair in the cold, is it true that you should wear a hat in the cold because you lose so much heat through your head and more with this fun family podcast episode from Parent Busters!
Where to listen to the Wear A Coat or Catch A Cold Podcast Episode
Learning About Colds & More!
Want to add virus lessons, winter activities, or learning about cold weather myths and facts to your learning with kids?
Podcast Episode References and Resources
- Cleveland Clinic
- National Institutes of Health
- Mayo Clinic
- Cleveland Clinic (another source)
- NY Times
- My Health Alberta
- Houston Methodist
- The Meat Eater [some explicit language]
Wear A Coat or Catch A Cold Podcast Episode Transcript
Welcome to parent busters, a fun podcast where parents and kids can learn about weird things together,
The fresh brand new out box mint condition, uh, still wrapped in silvering podcast that is coming to you now or where, and ever comes out. I don’t know.
Okay. So today our episode is wear a coat or catch a cold, which is every parent’s argument. But before we do anything else, we’re going to give you our two truths and a lie.
[sound effect]: (00:31)
Please hold for a very important message.
Okay. So two truths and a lie works like this. Each episode we start with you August it two and one lie about the topic.
You guess, which two things are true. And the one thing that’s a lie,
Then listen to the podcast and see if you can determine which are the truths and which is the lie and listen to the end because we’ll give you the answers.
Oh, and Hey parents, if you haven’t already pause the podcast right now, head over to parent busters.com and download the free Buster deduction sheets so that you can use it with each podcast.
There’s a place on there where you can write down the true truth and lie for this topic. Guess your answers before you listen and then write down other fun things you learned during the podcast.
It’s just another fun way. You can learn together with your kids. Okay? Let’s get started Our two truths and a lie for today’s episode. I’m gonna read three of them and then you have to determine which two are true and which is a lie. Okay? You ready? You don’t lose a lot of heat through your head. Number two is there are only around 17 viruses that cause the symptoms of a cold and number three, fungus and bacteria can grow in wet hair.
Wait, wait, wait. I think I know that one its up.
No it’s for them to determine which two are true and which one is a lie. Oh, and don’t forget, write ’em down, uh, on your Buster deduction sheets. Okay.
Before, you know, I end up ruining it exactly
Before Ella tells you the answers. Um, all right. So let’s start with, should you wear a hat in the cold because you lose so much heat through your head and you do lose heat through your head, but not as much as people think.
Yeah. So I have this kind of excerpt from, uh, a January, February edition of a web D magazine from 2011 and I have a quote. Okay. And it reads, the head only represents about 10% of the body’s total surface area. So if the head were even to lose like 70% of the body’s heat, it would have to lose about 40 times as much heat per square inch as every other part of your body.
Wow. I think a lot of people always say, um, tell their kids to wear a hat because they say you lose 50% of your body heat through your head. And, and that’s definitely not true. I have, uh, I did a little research and I’m quoting from the university of Rochester medical center. The ratio of the surface area of the child’s head relative to the child’s surface area is greater than an adult. I know,
On, we’re getting into some homeschool stuff here. I’m so excited. So actually children do lose proportionally more heat through their heads, but that’s because their heads are bigger and their bodies are. So, you
Know what? That makes a lot more sense why I can’t fit into the hat of the hats.
Huh? So the hoods and the hats are, are important to especially little kids because of that. Um huh. So how much of the heat you lose? Depends on how much of your body is covered and how much is exposed. Yeah, actually it’s all has to do with surface area and believe it or not, I’m gonna put some lessons about surface area over on parent busters.com. So you can actually
Keep learning about this. So covering your head during the cold can help, but it’s definitely not the main source of your heat loss, especially as you grow up and get older and bigger.
Yeah. So, so here like an example. So if you go out in the winter wearing like a sweater and like coat full on covered, except your head you’re of course you’re gonna lose more heat through your head. That’s the only thing that’s exposed, right? Like you said, but if you went out wearing a hat fully covered, covering your face and you’re wearing shorts, oh, then lose more heat through your legs. I mean,
Mean so all teenagers probably already know that. Right?
What is with that?
I don’t know. You tell me
I wear shorts a lot. I don’t get that.
Um, here’s a little fun fact for you. Did you know that shivering helps generate heat when you shiver it actually rapidly contracts, your skeletal muscle and that’s what helps generate heat.
I love that, but why is skeletal muscles such a creepy sounding thing?
I don’t know. You tell me. So I did a little more research and I found out where that myth came from about people, uh, thinking that you lose more heat through your head. You ready for this? Uh,
Think for me, are you impressed that I did more research?
I’m not surprised you are the master of research.
Okay. So I did a little more research and actually I read this article on the New York times. And um, after each of our episodes, we include all of our resources over on the episode, uh, notes on parent busters.com. So be sure to head over there, if you wanna know where any of this other information came from, or you wanna do a little more research with it, but this is from the New York times. And it says that the myth actually came from military experiments that were conducted like 50
Years ago. I found the same thing. Come on, no joke.
This doesn’t make you better than me.
It makes you equal.
Okay. So what did you find? Did you write it down? Is my big
I did. Where is it? In my notes? I am the worst at writing notes. I have several pages that are all very oh yep. Here it is. Ha ha. Hi. I’m a, I’m a mess. Okay. So I have a few different things about this.
Uh, so something in interesting I found is that in the official 1950 us army field manual, it said 40 to 45% of body heats lost through the head in the official army manual. So
That’s probably where that 50 ish percent statistic first came from then. Exactly.
That’s crazy. You know, there’s also, uh, just like the experiments which you’re talking about. Do you wanna explain what more that’s about?
Sure. So they did this experiment, um, where researchers dressed subjects in the military, in these Arctic survival suits and then exposed them to frigid conditions. And this sounds like a really fun experiment.
It sounds like the best type of
Swimming volunteered for. Yep. Um, but the problem ’em with the whole study was the suits only covered the subjects from the neck down. So naturally the heat, the most heat escaped through their head because it was the only exposed part. So if you did the same experience, experiment with someone, for example, wearing a swimsuit, guess what? Only about 10% of the heat loss is gonna come from their head because they have many other places exposed. So there was a fault in the experiment in that, of course that’s where heat escaped because that the head was the only thing exposed. So, um, they went on to say that the face head and upper chest are up to five times as sensitive to change in temperature as other air areas I’m quoting here. And this creates the illusion that covering up those areas traps in more heat, but clothing, another part of the body does just as much to reduce the O overall heat loss. Yeah. So there was a flaw in the original study and it’s been bumping around with that statistic for 50 years.
Oh my okay. Goodness gracious.
I know that’s a lot.
Yeah. I mean, I feel like they would’ve thought that through if you’re like packing someone in like the kid from Christmas story full on snow. So
His name is Randy. Thank you.
I I’m sorry. I don’t always know these I probably somewhere and, uh, brain trivia part of my brain. I probably knew that right now. I don’t apparently, uh, if you’re just packed in like Randy from a Christmas story, uh, but you’re not wearing earmuff or a hat. Yeah.
The whole thing is it is important for younger kids, especially to wear a hat because their heads are bigger in relation to their bodies. And we are laughing every time we say big heads because we joke about the two of us always having big heads. We have a hard time getting hats to fit.
I just wanna wear hat fits, man.
So we’re laughing. That’s why we’re laughing every time we say that. Um, but also we found out that it’s a myth that 50% of your body heat escapes through your head. So I think we can bust that part of the myth, right?
Yeah. I’m gonna say that’s busted.
Okay. The next thing is, should you wear a coat or catch a cold or can you catch a cold by not wearing enough clothes? And this is something that your grandma says to you. Oh,
Every time, every time we love
Her very much. I love she’s amazing. Look,
Okay. I love my grandma am so much. And, but every single time she is over, I feel like even she does this in the summer, I go out and I’m like, okay, I’m gonna go play outside or I’m gonna like, go get the meal. And she’s like, well,
She tells you to wear a coat because you’re gonna catch a cold.
Yeah. Because I’m gonna catch a cold or it’s something like that. It’s just like,
So is that true? Can you catch a cold by not wearing enough layers? Or can you catch a cold by being outside in the winter without wearing a coat?
That’s not how colds work. There are viruses.
That kind of can enter through like mouth knows anywhere that’s open. And though you’d be touching eyes and if you’re outside and it’s cold and your nose is running and then you’re touching your nose, you’re rubbing, you’re wiping your nose with your hands gross or sorry, but facts. And if you’re with another kid
Who you’re saying, if someone else does that, cuz you don’t, uh,
At all, do that,
Not at all. Uh, and your someone else who is doing that and you like touch hands and then you touch your face. Technically you’re getting cold from that. If they’re sick
From the virus spreading that way. Right. So let’s just get that out of the way. You can’t catch a cold virus us from not wearing enough laters.
Aw, poor mammo.
But why? I mean, let’s just take a step back though. Why does it seem like then you get sicker faster during the winter, especially if you’re go outside and you’re not dressed appropriately viruses act differently, but all viruses don’t act the same. There are some viruses that, that multiply and transmit faster when they’re cold, as opposed to warm. Ah, really. And then also when you’re cold, your body is in a weakened state just generally. So it’s less likely to be able to fight off the germs. So it might seem like you’re getting, well, you may get sicker faster when you’re cold, but it’s not because you’re not wearing a coat. It’s because it’s weakening your body’s immune system. Huh? Um, also you’re to just exactly what you just said. You’re spending more times indoors during the winter or cold months. And uh, you’re being exposed to germs that might live longer on surfaces and you know, like the game controller or like, um, all those dishes piling up in your bedroom. I
Feel personally part of, okay. As the person who does the dishes, I have the right to be messy with my dishes. Miss I don’t leaves 27 cups in the bathroom.
That’s how it works. I don’t think that’s how it works, but okay.
Okay. Do, as I say, not as I do. Okay.
Um, I’m supposed to say that not you, but let’s move ahead cuz I have a fun fact for you. Ooh.
I love fond facts. Me
Too. Uh, according to the national institutes of health, there are quoting 200 different viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold, an estimated 30 to 35% of all adult co colds, however are caused by the rhino virus. Not the rhinoceros virus. It’s the rhinovirus. Okay. That answered. But there are over 200 different viruses that are known to cause the symptoms of the cold. That’s kinda crazy.
Why are you, why do you sound excited about that? That terrifies
Me. Um, healthcare.
So yeah, weirdo. Uh, there’s also, I also have something weird to tell you, which I love.
I love even. Yes.
I love a good, weird fun fact. This comes from the university of Southern California and I’m quoting again, cold feet may lower your immune response. And this was, they found this through a study at the university in England, in the study, researchers placed the feet of 90 students in cold cold water for 20 minutes. Excuse me again. Another super fun,
Experiment to be involved in spa day. And then these students, it says these students were much more likely to get cold over the next five days compared to the students who didn’t get their feet wet. The researchers theorized that chilling the students feet caused the blood vessels in their nose to constrict wait, which lowered their immune response. Wait,
How did the
Isn’t that bizarre? Right? Anyway, while being cold or other factors like being indoors a lot can affect your ability to fight off a cold catching. A cold is caused by
Viruses, especially like the isn’t it rhinovirus.
The rhino virus is a big one and it’s not caused by not wearing a cold, like a coat in the cold, not wearing your favorite cold.
That is, do you like the rhino virus or other the
Other 200. So, but not wearing a cold can reduce your immune system so it, you can get sicker faster. Huh? So wearing a coat outside. Busted.
Yes. Well I think, yeah, well, yeah.
Because technically you should still wear a coat,
But I mean not wearing a coat causes the, a cold.
Yeah. That’s that’s busted.
Okay. Because you get colds from
Speaking to all the other teenagers out there though wear a coat. I know personally, I don’t like to wear a coat even when it’s snowing because I’m a,
Wear a coat because it can lower your immune system and there’s over 200 viruses out there. So you wanna, you wanna stay safe, you know, hand sanitizer, wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.
This moment brought to you by it. Uh, low Wilson. That is correct. Let’s move on to the third one. And the third thing that we to bust is if you go outside with wet hair, does it make you sick again? I think this goes along with what we just talked about. So getting sick is caused by germs or viruses or bacteria, right? And not by something like having wet hair
Being in the cold.
Yeah. Or not wearing enough thing,
You can’t catch a cold by having wet hair in the cold. And by the way, that’s another thing that your grandma used to tell me when I was growing up. Bless her. However
We love here. We can’t.
She’s amazing that she’s amazing anymore.
Although you can’t get sick by having wet hair in the cold, something really gross to think about yay. The Cleveland clinic says there’s a risk to having wet hair. So like sweaty hair sleeping with wet hair. You know why?
Because having wet body parts and hair and lower your immune system, like the feet thing.
Okay. So that’s valid. But here I’m talking about keeping your hair wet or like having sweaty hair and going to bed or sleeping with wet hair, bacteria and fungus. Oh No. Drive in moist environment.
Why did I know the answer
To, and um, according to Dr. Goldman of the Cleveland clinic and I’m quoting here, if you happen to bring fungus or bacteria home with you and deposit them onto your pillows or sheets, there’s a chance they will survive and thrive the recurrent heat from your head on the pillow or body on the mattress and sheets. Especially if the head is wet, either from bathing before bed or overnight, sweating can lead to fungal and bacterial growth.
Pretty gross. Right? Oh, so going outside with wet hair, can that give you a cold?
Well busted that one.
We busted it, but can bring bacteria into your home. Well,
If, if you’re already bringing bacteria or fungus in,
It can help spread it.
It can help grow fungus. You can get fungus in your head. Well, if you
Wanna fungus garden, then now you know how to,
I don’t recommend it.
We also busted our two truths in a lie.
Do you wanna hear what they were?
Yes. Let’s repeat them
For the listen. Okay. So I’m gonna list them off. So if you’re falling along with your Buster deduction sheet, get them back out and you can say, if you got them right or not, you don’t lose a lot of heat through your head, true or false.
You do not.
That was true. So that was a truth. Uh, you lose some heat, but definitely not 50%. Like a lot of people say no,
Especially not the, you know, army field manual.
Yeah. Weird. Yeah. The, the second number, the number two, two truths and a lie that we gave you, there are only around 17 virus that cause symptoms of a cold.
Is the lie. Why there are about 200. So that’s the lie, which means fungus and bacteria can grow in wet hair is actually our truth,
Which is still terrifying
And still weird. Yeah.
So all in, all worry more about covering up fingers, nose, cheeks, ears, chin, because that’s usually the first places you get frostbite, you know? So make sure to worry about that more, uh, still wear coat cuz that’s very important. And you know, just like how an elephant loses heat through its, uh, ears. It’s giant ears…
I feel like that should be another Buster parent Buster episode.
Yeah. We can cover that in another episode.
Well, I think you already hold us so…
Sorry. Sorry. I’m dropping my amazing knowledge. Uh, we also have ways we regulate our temperature, which is mainly through the places I just mentioned, which help? Not only cool you down, but warm you up too. So keep those places safe. Keep them warm in the winter and yeah. Have a good day
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