However, one childcare centre in WA is throwing caution to the wind in an attempt to cure the common cold.
Perth early learning centre, Little Learners has adopted an outdoor sleeping policy for its two to five year old attendees.
Yes, you heard us. The kids sleep outside among the elements – rain, (not quite) hail or shine.
Using tarpaulins, blankets and jumpers in drizzly winter conditions, and bucket hats and sunscreen in the summer heat, Little Learners believe exposing children to the elements during nap time can prevent a number of common cold and allergy symptoms.
Having tracked their attendance figures since the program’s introduction in March, Little Learners found less than one per cent of their 1,179 attendees were absent due to common colds and illnesses.
“We firmly believe that this statistic is a direct result of all of our children being outdoors more often and the older children sleeping outdoors more often, where they are able to breathe fresh air instead of being stuck inside with dry, recycled air that acts as an incubator which can allow the flu, virus and common colds to easily spread among the children,” a press release on the childcare centre’s website reads.
“We found that when the older children slept outdoors they slept longer, deeper and more serenely. When they woke up they were significantly more refreshed, rested and rejuvenated than when they had slept inside.
“In addition, we have noticed a significant improvement in their cognitive attentiveness, alertness and awareness when they have been sleeping outdoors compared to sleeping indoors.”
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While it’s important to note the childcare centre does not force any child, or parent to consent to the outdoor sleeping policy, Little Learners will continue to adopt the policy on a full time basis moving forward and track their attendance results.
In accordance with their policy, children will sleep outdoors if the policy weather conditions (between 17 and 30 degrees and less than a 40 per cent chance of rain) are predicted on the Bureau of Meteorology’s Fremantle forecast by 10:30 am that morning.
They are also “under the watchful eyes of our highly trained professionals who are constantly and dynamically assessing the children and nature on a minute by minute basis,” the press release confirms.
Would you let your kids nap outside rain, (not quite) hail or shine?