Three layer principle

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As the winter draws nearer and the weather is getting colder it is important to dress the children appropriately. To dress them according to the “three layer principle” is to co-operate with the body. The first thing to have in mind is not to have cotton clothes closest to the skin as it stops the moisture from evaporating. Cotton absorbs moisture and dries slowly. Synthetic materials and wool allows the moisture to be transported away from the body and on to the next layer and also dries fast. A dry garment keeps the child warm.

Layer 1 should be a layer of long sleeved and long legged underwear in a fast drying material like synthetic material or wool, never cotton. The garments need to have the ability to transport moisture away from the child’s body and on to the next layer. Cotton does not have this ability so when the body gets warm and releases moisture, a cotton garment will get moist. As a cotton garment gets moist, the child gets cold.

Layer 2 should be a heat insulating, moisture transporting and fast drying garment. It can be a fleece, micro fleece, wool or similar. This layer should be adjusted according to the outside temperature and wind.

Layer 3 is the outer layer that is protecting against wind, rain and snow, so it needs to be water repellent and wind proof. This layer also needs to breathe in order to release the moisture and vapour that has been transported on by layers 1 and 2.

Hats, mittens and shoes are of course important complements to the three layer principle and helps to keep the body heat. When it comes to mittens, a layer approach is recommended here as well. An inner mitten that provides the warmth and an outer mitten that is waterproof to keep the snow and water at bay. Alternatively a lined mitten is good during cold weather. It is also important to make sure the socks are dry. Woolly socks are the best but regular cotton socks work too as children rarely get sweaty feet. Tip of the day! If a shoe or boot gets wet, pour in some dried peas into the shoe overnight, the peas will absorb the moisture and the result is dry shoes in the morning.

The idea of the three layer principle is to create an insulated and ventilating layer of air between the layers. The principle also gives great flexibility. You can simply adjust the three layers depending on activity, temperature and wind conditions