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Norwegian Olympic Secrets: Babes In the Cold

Could a bizarre childcare practice be the reason for Norway’s dominance at the Winter Olympics in Sochi? North Americans may be shocked to learn that Norwegian childcare workers and new moms place their children in buggies outside their homes to nap.

Tour a neighbourhood in Norway and you might see a half dozen carriages lined up just outside the patio doors. Closer inspection might show that young tots occupy most of them. Crazy!

Researchers, even in Norway, don’t seem to be able to offer any scientific proof that the odd practice is beneficial to child development. Dr Kai-Håkon Carlsen, a Norwegian child allergy specialist believes the only reason parents and child workers continue to put children outside to nap is tradition. In an interview with Norway’s largest newspaper, Calrsen said: “As far as I know, there is no research to support this issue.” He continued: ” Inhalation of very cold air can be harmful to a child’s airways…Very cold temperatures can also cause frostbite unless the baby is properly dressed.”

So why continue with the tradition? Norwegians are strong believers that fresh air is healthy for development – even cold air.

But there are limits. Most childcare groups in the Scandinavian country freeze the practice (sort of speak) if temperatures drop to minus ten or colder.

MINUS TEN! Geeez louise.

Even if this practice is a distant reason for the recent Norwegian success at the games, would you really want to subject your child to those kind of sleeping conditions. We think not.

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