In Chinese Medicine terms, children are yang beings. Yang energy keep us warm so when we adults are struggling to stop shivering despite our layers of fleeces and coats, it is probably a fair cry when our child says "But I am boiling hot, mummy." Unfortunately though, feeling warm is not the same thing as being well protected from the cold.
There is a type of qi (energy) which roughly equates to the part of our immune system which protects us from colds and coughs. It's called Defensive (Wei) Qi and in Chinese Medicine it is to do with the Lungs. Lung Qi is inherently weak in children up to the age of about 7 or 8 and therefore there is not so much Defensive (Wei) Qi at the surface of a child's body protecting him or her from the elements. Therefore it really is important that our children wrap up warm in the cold weather.
You may also have noticed that only 5 or 10 minutes after protesting about putting on extra clothes, a young child may be crying that they are too cold and they want to go back home. This is another reflection of their Defensive (Wei) Qi being weak. Defensive (Wei) Qi not only protects us from external pathogens but also keeps us warm.
So, though it may be tedious to have to coax children into wearing appropriate clothing at this time of year, it is usually worth the energy spent on it. It will not only mean that they are likely to get fewer coughs and colds, but it also has some longer term benefits too. And that will be the subject of my next post! In the meantime, with one of the most severe storms in decades battering the south and west of the country, wrap up warm!