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If you happen to visit the Nordic countries of Finland, Sweden,Iceland, Norway or Denmark, you may encounter a rather strange sight - Babies napping in their strollers outside homes, daycare centers and coffee shops even, during mid-winter when temperatures are below freezing.
However, this is not because Nordic parents or nannies are negligent caretakers, but because they are strong believers that fresh air, even the freezing kind, is healthy for babies and that providing them with as much of it as possible, makes them less prone to catching colds and other illnesses. Not only that, they maintain that the babies sleep longer and better outside, compared to when they are put to nap in a warm room.
Though this may seem counter-intuitive and even cruel, because parents in most other countries bundle their babies and huddle them into a heated room the minute they see the first flurry of snow, leaving their babies to 'freeze' has been part of the Nordic culture for many generations and, they are sticking to it!
The babies are of course well- bundled and the strollers weatherized so that they do not let the cold air seep in. But the sight is still enough to send shivers down most of our spines. So are these babies healthier than the 'wimpy' ones that are not allowed to get out even during mildly cold weather?
Nobody knows - That's because no extensive research as been done on either theory. And until there is, both sides will staunchly maintain that they are doing the healthier thing - What do you think? Be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below.
Resources: treehugger.com,bbc.co.uk, foxnews.com