A Lot of Hot Air
Winter fun is filled with cold outdoor activities that kindle warm memories, from building snowmen to sledding, snowball fights to skiing. But when the winds of winter pick up—and give your little snow angels colds and coughs—you don't want those frigid gusts blowing inside your house. You close the door tight behind you to keep the cold air out. You switch your screens for storm windows. The heat blasts through the vents, and the fireplace is the favorite family gathering spot.
By January, the furnace-induced warm air of winter has settled into your home—or, more accurately, it has been locked in like a prisoner. The fresh air that was able to breeze through open windows and screen doors in spring, summer, and fall is left outside. The imprisoned air is sucked of its moisture by the furnace and fires. It is dry, dry, dry.
That's not a good thing for those colds and coughs. In fact, it may be part of the cause of those illnesses. Dr. Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician in private practice in Santa Monica, California, says, "The reason kids get sick in the winter isn't the cold weather. It's the warm, dry air indoors."