Worries about effects of children getting less sleep during cold snap
Manitoba’s extreme winter weather may be having effects on children's sleep patterns.
Many schools and daycares have had to keep kids inside. For safety reasons, Manitoba schools keep kids inside when temperatures dip below -25 C.
"It's been too cold to be outside and with the wind chills as severe as they are. It's dangerous, so it's not safe for the children to be out," said Tammy Narynski, a Grade 1 teacher at St. Charles Catholic School.
Teachers said it's harder to get the kids to buckle down in school.
“Sometimes you'll see teachers take their class for a walk around the school, or stop and do stretch breaks or easy exercises to get them moving,” said Narynski.
Trapped inside for most of the winter and fewer outlets to burn off energy, nap time becomes a challenge for some.
“It's just harder and harder to settle each day to settle those kids and then if they don't get enough sleep in the afternoon, it just carries forward for the rest of the day,” said Marilyn Valgardson, director of the Assiniboine Children’s Centre.
Valgardson said some parents have similar problems getting their kids to bed at night. That worries Diana McMillan, a professor at the University of Manitoba.
“There's a whole host of things that come from not getting an adequate amount of sleep,” said McMillan.
She said the key is to find ways to exercise, even if that means doing so indoors rather than at an outdoor school recess.
- with a report from Jon Hendricks