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Minimum Room Temperature


Guest JPH
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Pretty sure its 16 but check on the HSE website, maybe do a forum search as I am sure its been discussed on here before. But my money is on 16, think HSE says 16 unless you are doing manual work then it is recommended as 13 (obviously you build up a sweat doing manual work!)

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not sure for pre-schoolers but classrooms in schools should be 18

 

We are closed due to our village hall being too cold, been a battle with committee though. This is very much a hot subject for us at the moment!

 

HSE definately state 16 for adults but nothing is mentioned about the children. Our temp at the moment is well below 16!!

 

I would be interested if anyone can find an exact temp for under 5s so I can relay the information to the committee.

Edited by Annabell
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HSE say 16 for the workplace

 

My union states 18 degrees for schools

 

Use of area Minimum temperature

Lower than normal level of physical activity, eg sick rooms 21°C

Normal level of physical activity, eg classrooms and libraries 18°C

Higher than normal levels of physical activity, eg gyms and drama workshops 15°C

 

ATL considers that classrooms should be at least 18°C (even though the Approved Code of Practice to the regulations states a normal temperature for workplaces of at least 16°C), as children are less able to withstand low temperatures than adults.

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The EYFS (StatutoryFramework p35) says

 

"Rooms should be maintained at a temperature which ensures the comfort of the children and staff, including non-mobile children" but doesn't give a figure for what this should be!

 

Nona

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Many thanks for your replies. Having a bit of a battle with committee who don't realise that there are other considerations to take into account in this extreme weather, not just the state of the roads. We are based in an old Church building, so keeping the room warm is really difficult.

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I work to 16. I have slight issues with it as we don't stipulate minimum temp outdoors, do we? Even if it's below 16 we have children playing quite happily without coats, and not necessarily very actively either. As we're an old Chapel we work really hard to get the temp up to 16 degrees, especially like today when it was 0.1 degree when I walked in at 8am!!

 

I don't have central heating at home, so perhaps I'm just used to being cool, but I'm well aware that some children are used to 25 degrees at home, and even 20 feels quite cool to them.

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I work to 16. I have slight issues with it as we don't stipulate minimum temp outdoors, do we? Even if it's below 16 we have children playing quite happily without coats, and not necessarily very actively either.

 

Shouldn't we be telling them to put coats on though before they go outdoors when it is cold? I have always been told that young children have not yet fully developed control and awareness of their own bodies and so will play happily in the cold simply because their brains don't process the signals from their bodies telling they are cold the same as adults do. This doesn't mean that they aren't getting too cold and making themselves ill, it just means they don't realise they are. I always make children put their coats on before going outside in the cold weather because of this. Is it not correct?

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The EYFS (StatutoryFramework p35) says

 

"Rooms should be maintained at a temperature which ensures the comfort of the children and staff, including non-mobile children" but doesn't give a figure for what this should be!

 

Nona

 

This is exactly what i was going to quote. unfortunatley it is vague as each person is different and it would depend on how active they are.

Edited by hopscotch
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Shouldn't we be telling them to put coats on though before they go outdoors when it is cold? I have always been told that young children have not yet fully developed control and awareness of their own bodies and so will play happily in the cold simply because their brains don't process the signals from their bodies telling they are cold the same as adults do. This doesn't mean that they aren't getting too cold and making themselves ill, it just means they don't realise they are. I always make children put their coats on before going outside in the cold weather because of this. Is it not correct?

 

 

I totally agree with this - we are vigilant making the children wear coats when they go out and hats and gloves, it's time consuming but necessary. We also have parents who believe that children can catch a cold if they don't wear them!

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Shouldn't we be telling them to put coats on though before they go outdoors when it is cold? I have always been told that young children have not yet fully developed control and awareness of their own bodies and so will play happily in the cold simply because their brains don't process the signals from their bodies telling they are cold the same as adults do. This doesn't mean that they aren't getting too cold and making themselves ill, it just means they don't realise they are. I always make children put their coats on before going outside in the cold weather because of this. Is it not correct?

Cait can, of course, speak for herself - but I don't think she is saying that she doesn't put coats on for outdoor play.....

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I too have a bit of an issue.....with free flow it is difficult to regulate the temperature I try to go with how we all feel as opposed to the wall temperature...I prefer to stick to a more healthy 15-16...some of my staff would like it to be 20!

 

Whenever it is too high everyone is sluggish, moans that they are tired and that's no good to anyone and it feels so unhealthy...I prefer it to be cooler and some children seem love to be outside whatever the weather....I rely on them to fight my corner to the staff about keeping the door open... :o

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Cait can, of course, speak for herself - but I don't think she is saying that she doesn't put coats on for outdoor play.....

 

Absolutely Sunnyday. Particularly in obviously cold weather we'd always insist that children put coats on! What I mean is that a little bit under 16 degrees isn't cold, and children will play happily outdoors in that. We don't have an outdoor thermometer so we can't say, whoops, it's under 16 degrees you'll all need your coats on.

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We are in an old pre-fab building and struggle to reach 16 with the doors shut. I sometimes wonder how we could let them in in the morning without opening the doors.

 

We do go out everyday, but in this weather they must all wear coats, hats and gloves. I would be so cross if someone let my 3 year old out without a coat, which I have heard is happening at some settings if the child doesn't want to.

 

My staff do moan about the temperature but we would be shut for the season if we worried that much. I have just been to Millets today to buy more thermals.

 

I don't quite understand what you are disagreeing with the committee about. Surely you should be working together for the good of the children and it is their children.

Edited by diesel10
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I know of a nursery that was reported to Ofsted by their EYAT because the heating broke in the sleep room and nappy changing room. I would say if the heating in your nappy changing area is only 4 then you need to be looking for somewhere else to change the nappies.

This might be a radical idea but taking into account the needs of the child if the weather has been exceptionally cold as we have experienced recently, i.e. wind chill factor etc then we have not had free flow or indeed taken the children out, or if we have when its not been too cold its been for 10 mins max. I read on another thread somwhere on here that the children were taken out but not for long because children were crying because they were too cold; forgive me but how is that in the best interests of the child?

 

I'm all for free flow and children having fresh air, particularly in a daycare setting, some of our children are with us for 11 hours, but as the adults we do have to make some decisions for the child and use a modicum of common sense; old school it might be but I believe I am putting the needs of the children first!!

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We are a village hall a rather large old one, the heating is rubbish and currently it bearly gets to 14

BUT last week the children loved being with us their parents are going out of their minds being 'Snow bound' and walked to us.

We planned activities to keep warm and have fun! I am not saying it was warm but extra layers can always be put on or off when needed.

We also have outside play (WITH COATS) and have loved exploring snow and ice as I am sure most of you have. :o

We do have an outside play area that requires us to leave the door open for free flow but if children are active and happy they are learning! This is our job and at least we aren't outside doing a nasty job

We have been taking the children out the village hall to our local woods and village green theres so much to see and do at the moment.

 

I know we have to follow H&S but thes young children may never see this type of weather conditions for many years so we should make the most of it! It will be a lasting memory for them and us!

 

Come the summertime are we going to be complaining about keeping the children out of the sun! and it being too hot!?

 

Other countries are out in all weathers having just come back from Norway those children are fine and extremely healthy, Remember ITS THE CLOTHING WE WEAR THAT ENABLES US TO DO THINGS WITH THE CHILDREN NOT THE WEATHER. This should be considered indoors as well :(

 

Sorry but feel stronly about this we all need to not worry about these minor things, and if Ofsted did get here as we are overdue, I would tell them the same and offer them an extra jumper! xD

 

Sue

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I totally agree with this - we are vigilant making the children wear coats when they go out and hats and gloves, it's time consuming but necessary. We also have parents who believe that children can catch a cold if they don't wear them!

 

 

Granny may have been right after all :o

 

http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=8492

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I think the viability of free flow and spending extended periods out of doors in this weather probably varies with where you are in the country. I live on the coast and when I set off to work last week it was -5 and rose above freezing towards the middle of the day. In these conditions then I would certainly advocate donning hundreds of layers and getting children outside in the snow if they wanted to go (any that didn't want to would be indoors obviously). Free flow as well would be viable in such conditions providing the setting was well heated.

 

On the same day though I drove to work which is about 40 minutes inland and the temperature dropped to -11. It didn't get above -5 the entire day and I know we weren't even in the coldest part of the country. In conditions like that (or worse!) I would probably argue against free flow, especially in a poorly heated hall, I would let the children out but again only if they wanted to go and then probably only for a restricted period of time. I'm sure there are setting where the temperature has barely got above -10 on some days and at times like that you have to wonder if our normal British winter clothing is at all appropriate for the conditions! Unfortunately some children won't be sent in with lots of layers on under their coats because they'll come form a well heated home and things like woollen gloves are less than appropriate for playing in wet snow. Additionally you have to think about the health of staff. If there is only two of you then you have to spend cumulatively half your day outside to allow full freeflow. What if one staff member is older or has asthma/poor circulation or whatever. They can't rush around like the children to keep themselves warm so is it really appropriate to be insisting they spend a long time outdoors in such cold weather? Even doing it in half hour shifts isn't ideal especially if you are coming inside to a cold hall afterwards. In such circumstances not restricting the children's time outside might be more irresponsible than throwing the principles of EYFS out the window for a few days.

 

Every setting has to make their decision based on their knowledge of their children, the clothing available for the children to wear and the conditions both indoors and outdoors. The worse thing for the children would be to try and apply a blanket decision to every setting in the country or to try and say that because one setting is managing it all settings should be able to.

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we are planning to open tommorrow for the first time, but our heating is not great. I went in today and with the blinds shut, doors shut it is actually quite warm in there, so we will not be operating free flow tommorrow until we have had a delivery of gas in order for our big heater to be put on and free flow begin again.

 

Clare x

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We were open last week even though the temperature showed 0 degrees INSIDE the hall. We showed the parents the temperature and gave them the choice whether their child stayed or not, it finally reached 10 degrees after two hours. We didn't go outside but only because the paving was slippery due to compacted snow, leaky guttering produced a really icy patch and one child was sent in crocs :o

 

Rachel

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We were open last week even though the temperature showed 0 degrees INSIDE the hall. We showed the parents the temperature and gave them the choice whether their child stayed or not, it finally reached 10 degrees after two hours. We didn't go outside but only because the paving was slippery due to compacted snow, leaky guttering produced a really icy patch and one child was sent in crocs :o

 

Rachel

 

Wow that's brave of you to stick that temperature out! I think as a staff member I might have taken myself home in those conditions! In the cold my hands go white, then blue and then cramp up so I wouldn't be much good working in such cold. Sometimes when I'm in school on days when the heating isn't on I wear fingerless gloves which helps, but only to a certain extent, I hate going in in the holidays in winter when no one else is in and it's freezing.

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