In our section «Ask an expert a question», reader Victoria asks:
«My daughter is two months old. We try to walk at any temperature, even in frosts. But there are doubts whether it is necessary to cover the child’s nose and mouth with a scarf? Isn’t it scary that the baby is breathing cold air?»
«At negative temperatures, the child should breathe through his nose — it is the nose that can warm the air. When breathing through the mouth, cold dry air gets directly into the bronchi, and this is quite risky, says Dr. Komarovsky.
If the child does not breathe through his nose, no scarf will warm the air. Rinse your nose or stay at home.»
The pediatrician explained what happens to the body if it is very cold outside and the nose starts to freeze.
«There is a protective reaction — a spasm of the vessels of the mucous membranes of the nasal passages. The nose actually loses the ability to warm the inhaled air, — says Komarovsky. — The scarf, which covers both the mouth and nose, holds the exhaled warm air near the face and warms the nose in this way. Vascular spasm does not occur, therefore, you can continue walking.
How to properly cover a child’s face in the cold?
A scarf is usually not needed if the child is in a closed stroller — the exhaled air noticeably increases the temperature in the confined space where the head is located, plus there is no wind exposure.
A scarf will not hurt if the child is in an open stroller, on a sled, when there is a real frost, a strong wind.
If your nose is freezing, this is a reason to think about a scarf for the child and for yourself.
Close both your mouth and nose. Only the mouth doesn’t make any sense.
The fabric should not irritate the skin when rubbing, should not fit too tightly to the face.