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Who Knew: Coats don't help prevent colds, doctor says

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jan 29, 2020

Did your mom ever tell you, "Wear a coat, you'll catch a cold!"? Well guess what? Doctors say she's wrong.

"What I've found is half the things your mother tells you are wrong, and one of them is that the cold gives you a cold," said Dr. Dan McGee , a pediatric hospitalist at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

"We do see more colds in the winter months, and that’s because we’re all inside, closed in, and with the windows closed, doors closed, coughing and sneezing on each other," McGee said. "Also during the cold weather, the air is drier and colder, and that means your skin will crack, the lining of your nose will crack and that makes it more susceptible for viruses to enter."

Colds are caused by viruses.

Once you're sick, you get other people sick. That's how colds are contracted, Layers and layers of clothing outside won't prevent that.

"Obviously, if you’re outside too long without a coat on, you can risk suffering from hypothermia, but you probably won’t get a cold," explains Dr. McGee.

"And not only that, you don’t have to dry your hair before you go outside! That’s not going to give you pneumonia."

No pneumonia, but there are still some reasons to grab a coat.

"I think the best way to think about dressing for a cold winter day is to dress in as many clothes as you feel comfortable," advises Dr. McGee.

"Obviously, if the wind is blowing and it’s cold outside you want to cover up and not have any bare exposed skin, because although you won’t get a cold you may run the risk of getting frostbite."

So coats DON'T prevent colds. Who knew?