TIP of the WEEK: Cold Weather Clothing
February 12, 2016
It is not uncommon for parents of kids with PWS to spend winter mornings wrestling, I mean gently persuading, their children out of shorts and short sleeve shirts even when the temperature dips below 20 degrees. Some may argue that if the child isn’t cold or uncomfortable then let them wear what they want however our kids have poor temperature regulation and high pain and discomfort thresholds so that argument is invalid for us.
It is very possible that long pants, jackets, hats and gloves are maddening for a child with sensory issues. That is real and needs to be taken into account. Here are some things you can do to make winter dressing more bearable:
1. Try sweats or cotton pajama bottoms. It’s possible that your school has a dress code banning this type of clothing. If the pajama bottoms are a solid color you may get away with it. Also try thick fleece pants- they look nice and generally don’t bother the sensory sensitive child.
2. Wash, wash, and wash again. New clothes can be intolerable- the more you wash the softer clothes get.
3. Out of sight out of mind. Well, this may not work but it’s worth a try. Remove all of the summer clothing from your child’s room so shorts and short sleeves are not even an option.
4. Go big. Get jackets and hats a size up. It is the constriction that is difficult for kids with tactile issues as much as it is texture. Soft and big may be the answer.
Seasonal transitions are very challenging for our kids. The same coat you have spent months trying to get on your child is the same coat that you will be prying off of him or her come June! We would love to hear how you manage cold winter dressing in your house.
Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices.