With much of the U.S. currently experiencing severely cold temperatures, many families, school administrators and childcare providers are limiting kids’ outdoor activity. During extreme weather conditions, it’s a good idea to keep kids indoors. However, over the course of the winter season, it can be difficult at times to determine when children should stay inside or play outside.
Rules about outdoor play are included in statewide childcare center licensing regulations. Some states categorize weather conditions using a color code system to help childcare providers assess the weather before allowing children to go outside:
The green, yellow and red conditions are only general guidelines for outdoor play in cold weather. Each child will have a different reaction to various temperatures.
Before letting children go out to play in cold weather, be sure to take the proper precautions:
How’s the weather where you live? Are you aware of any regulations in your state that restrict children’s outdoor play in extreme weather conditions?
 Child Care Weather Watch, Iowa Department Public Health, Healthy Child Care Iowa, Produced through federal grant (MCJ19T029 & MCJ19KCC7) funds from the US Department of Health & Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration, Maternal & Child Health Bureau. Wind-Chill and Heat Index information is from the National Weather Service.