General Question

nebule's avatar

Do children really feel the cold less than adults? and if so; why?

Asked by nebule (16439points) March 22nd, 2010

it certainly seems so..is there a biological explanation for this?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

JeffVader's avatar

Shows how much I know about kids…. I always assumed they’d feel it worse cos they’re small.

msbauer's avatar

Well actually i’d say lil chilluns are COLDER because they have a higher surface to volume ratio, so they lose their body heat faster than a bigger, fatter adult person would (i.e., larger insides relative to outsides)...So what you’re referring to is probably psychological. Kids just wanna have fun :)

slick44's avatar

They just dont complain about it as much.

Cruiser's avatar

Probably because they have better circulation than my artery clogged body can accomplish.

TheBot's avatar

@msbauer

Oh,kids,
They wanna have fu-un,
Oh,kids,
Just wanna have fun….

Kids,
They want,
Wanna have fun.
Kids,
Wanna have.

They just wanna,
(Kids wanna have fun)
They just wanna….
Oh,kids…
(Wanna have fun….)
Kids just wanna have fu-un.

@lynneblundell

I think kids don’t get cold feet and hands as much because they are generally more active. They run around all day, climb stuff, jump, etc. Adults tend to sit all day in front of computers, then go home to sit in front of a TV. As a result, they probably don’t have as good blood circulation as children.

nebule's avatar

so…blood circulation and psychology…hmmm, that’s what I thought to be honest… but there seems something a bit more fundamental about the fact that they don’t experience it i don’t know…maybe it’s as simple of blood circulation…

msbauer's avatar

@TheBot i appreciate the serenade :D

msbauer's avatar

oh oh another reason they should feel COLDER: less fat=less insulation=chilly body!

nebule's avatar

@msbauer Intuitively one would think so I guess, but this is not the case in my experience and through observations

msbauer's avatar

@lynneblundell hehe i know, i’m just as confused as you! and i guess i’m working through that confusion in the wrong direction.

knitfroggy's avatar

My mom who is a pediatric nurse says that kids feel the same temperature as adults. She always giggles at people in a store or somewhere that will have a little kid bundled all up on a nice day, because they think the child will be cold. She always told me to dress my kids for the same temperature I would dress myself.

I think the reason you will see kids outside playing on a day that seems to cold is because they just don’t notice it as much. Kind of like when my kids want to go out and play when it’s 104 degrees outside and I want to do nothing other than sit in the air conditioned house.

Seek's avatar

Adults are just spoiled rotten and convinced that they’re entitled to a balmy 74 degrees at all times.

Kids aren’t so picky.

Judi's avatar

I was always freezing as a kid and hate snow to this day because of it. That’s why I moved to Southern California.

downtide's avatar

Kids are more active than adults, and physical activity raises your body temperature. If you were running around in the snow for two hours non-stop, you’d feel warmer too.

nebule's avatar

maybe I should try skipping everywhere :-)
would that count as empirical research?

Dougied's avatar

I think activity plays a large part but I think another reason would be that kids have faster metabolisms than adults meaning they produce more heat even when not active.

nebule's avatar

ooooo great answer @Dougied x

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m pretty sure they feel it, but it’s more important for them to just have fun.

alfalfa_sprout's avatar

I remember not feeling cold when I was a kid until I was about 8. I would still show outward signs of being cold (like shivering, turning blue, etc.) but be completely oblivious. I used to get my mum into trouble by showing up to school in summer clothes when it was the middle of winter.

I believe that in order to feel cold, your brain has to process the feelings that your nerves are getting telling them that they are cold. When you think about it, your brain is taking in a lot of information. We hear all kinds of sounds, see all kinds of things, smell everything wafting around, feel everything from out heads to our toes. And yet, it feels like we are receiving a coherent picture of the world most of the time. I think that your brain has to process and prioritise what you will actually be conscious of. And that’s a skill that kids are still developing. Some kids maybe don’t process the fact that they are cold.

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