Why do kids wear shorts

It's freezing, but guys just want to wear shorts! Should you let her?

Whether it's a mild 80 degrees or a frosty 5, some guys insist on wearing shorts.

Parents struggle to bundle children together in winter

Jan. 16,201502: 30 pm

If Cara Schultz allowed her 10 year old son Sam would wear shorts 24/7. Even if Pittsburgh temperatures drop below 10 degrees, Sam will ask Schultz to wear shorts for ice skating. Schultz offered a compromise: he could wear sporty leggings underneath. Sam shied away.

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"He said he'd rather wear pants," she says. He just doesn't like the look of leggings and shorts. While he wears shorts for style, he also thinks they are more comfortable.

"That's the only reason I let him wear shorts - he's a husky build," says Schultz. "I just let him get away with his body."

Schultz is certainly not alone. Alisa Schindler recorded her own struggles with her sons in shorts in the Washington Post that winter.

“That's right, no matter what the weather, my boys are in shorts. Yes, it's a mild 26 degrees this morning, definitely shorts weather, ”she wrote.

Susan Corcoran's twin boys Cameron and Colin wear shorts through the cold, snowy Buffalo winters. They immediately switch to shorts when they get home from school. They would wear shorts to school if they could, but the uniforms call for pants. They say they're hot and shorts keep them comfortable, but Corcoran suspects another reason.

“My husband wears shorts all the time. I think they copy his behavior, ”she says.

Parenting expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa says some children, especially boys, feel warmer.

"Testosterone definitely keeps you warmer, body hair keeps you warmer." But boys may have other reasons for sport pants, she notes. “My son gets a lot of attention when he wears less than normal clothing in cold weather. He can express his autonomy. "

Your winter clothing guidelines: No shorts or light jackets if the temperature is dangerously cold. On temperate days, she will not insist that her children wear pants. She wants them to make their own decisions, and she finds out that after a cold few days they wear pants in shorts without being asked to.

“There is more value in building resilience and responsibility to learn the lesson in their own time,” she says. "I also don't want my children to be frozen rather than agree with me."

RELATED: The Very British Reason Prince George Always Wears Shorts

Schindler also stopped fighting her sons: “I've insisted, taken away privileges, and ruined many mornings until I realized they're not me (I wear sweatshirts in my house with the thermostat at 70). If they are really cold, put on a pair of pants or a coat. And that's that. "

Dr. Elaine Schulte, chair of general paediatrics at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, takes a tougher line: she believes parents should keep their children wearing pants in cold weather despite protests, at least until their teenage years.

The temperature at which someone develops frostbite or hypothermia varies, says Schulte. It depends on whether it is raining or snowing, how much muscle and fat the child has, what his metabolism is like and how much of the body is exposed.

“There is no exact [temperature]. I think we just have to use our common sense, ”she says.

RELATED: The Winter Coat Bug That Can Endanger Your Child

Schulte has not treated children who developed frostbite or hypothermia from shorts in winter, but she does see children with frostbite from skiing. They are often well covered, but because they were outside for so long, they suffered frostbite. Long-term exposure could make wearing shorts dangerous. A walk to the mailbox is probably okay, while playing in shorts could be a problem on a snowy day.

While it is difficult to pinpoint an accurate dangerous temperature, adults can become hypothermic in temperatures as high as 40 degrees if they are also wet.

“I would emphasize the security problem,” says Schulte.

This story was originally published on TODAY.com on January 14, 2015.