Bundle Up

Why it's important to wear a coat this winter

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Back to Article

Bundle Up

© UW-Madison

© UW-Madison

© UW-Madison

Tenley Wright, Staff Writer

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With teeth clenched and arms tightly crossed across their bodies, students quickly jog into school, looking to get out of the brisk winter weather. Hardly any of them are wearing coats, a garment necessary for keeping warm in the winter.

While this winter isn’t predicted to bring record low temperatures to Omaha, it’s still important for people, especially children and teens, to wear coats and other weather-appropriate attire as the temperatures start to drop.

You’ve probably seen it before; peers walking into school in the cold with nothing but shorts and a sweatshirt keeping them warm. They may tell you that they just simply aren’t cold. However, this is flawed. Without coats and the proper clothes to keep them warm, people are in more danger than they think.

When the human body drops to 95 degrees or lower, blood is pulled from extremities in an effort to keep the core warm. This is called the shell effect and is the reason why your hands and feet freeze first when cold. Cold weather also dries out the lining of your nose, leaving you more vulnerable to infections and illnesses. While being cold is not, by itself, going to make you get a cold, it is going to increase your chances. Some research suggests that prolonged exposure to the cold may suppress the immune system. In intense cold, without adequate clothing, the body is unable to compensate for the heat loss and the body’s core temperature starts to fall. The sensation of cold followed by pain in exposed parts of the body is one of the first signs of mild hypothermia. When someone goes jacketless in the cold, they are at a higher risk of contracting illnesses such as Norovirus, Raynaud’s, the common cold, and the flu. They are also susceptible to Hypothermia and lung irritation.   

So, why is it that so many people resent wearing coats in the winter?

There’s a wide variety of reasons as to why a good chunk of people don’t wear coats in the winter. For starters, many think that they simply aren’t comfortable. Winter coats can be bulky and awkward to wear. Something too thin doesn’t keep them warm, and something too thick can cause them to overheat and feel uncomfortable. The challenge of finding the coat that’s just right has caused many to just go without one.


Photo via Odyssey

Another reason, most common in teens and children, is that they simply don’t enjoy competing with the changing temperatures. They may be cold in the morning, but as the day goes on it starts to warm up. By the end of the day, it’s too warm for coats. Constantly trying to keep up with the temperatures can be annoying, compelling people to leave their coats at home.

With the added task of finding a way to carry them around when they’re not in use, people have decided to ditch their coats in whole.

This has become a problem in many middle and high schools, including Millard West. Many students think that carrying a coat with them from one class to the next is an added hassle that can easily be fixed by simply not wearing their coats. Since students are able to carry their backpacks with them, they don’t use their lockers, an ideal place to keep coats during the day. Without a coat to keep them warm, students are left to shiver their way through the walk from the parking lot into school.   

Whether it ruins the outfit, or isn’t comfortable, leaving your coat behind is never a beneficial idea.

It’s important to stay warm this winter and every winter. Bundle up.

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