To every parent who has given me the stink eye for taking my daughter out without a hat on, I fart in your general direction. As Shannon reported in Morning News earlier this week, scientists have effectively debunked the myth that body heat is making a break for it through the scalp.
With the British Medical Journal as my wing man, I’d just like to introduce judgemental parents to this little phenomena we’ll call the pint-sized stripper.
My kid likes to get nekkid, the more inappropriate the setting, the faster she’ll do it. And that includes ripping off the fleecy hat the minute I get her buckled into the carseat. I have perhaps the only three-year-old who worries about how the winterwear is making her hair look. “It’s messing up my ‘tails,” she shrieks when I try to mash the kintwear over her head and tie the loops around her neck.
I’m more afraid, frankly, of her little ears freezing off than I’ve ever been of heat escaping through the head, but don’t tell the old biddies in the grocery store that. “Aaach,” they say (why do old ladies in the grocery store always sound like they could use a good dose of cough syrup?), “Put a hat on that child.” Sorry Granny, but the story in the Guardian this week puts this as a myth that comes out of the U.S. military (got to love that military intelligence). Researchers explain that the face, head and chest are more sensitive to the temperature change than the rest of the body – so wrapping clothes around them makes you feel like you’re fighting heat loss, even though you’re doing no better than you would by covering the knees or the pelvis.
“If the experiment had been performed with people wearing only swimming
trunks, they would have lost no more than 10% of their body heat
through their heads,” according to the scientists.
So when my little stripper runs out of the house to greet the UPS man without a stitch on? I’ll tell them she’s just testing a scientific theory.