This summer, feel free to munch a sandwich right before jumping in the pool, and don’t panic if you swallow a watermelon seed at a picnic, say experts who want to dispel some common myths about healthy behaviors.
The Washington Post reported June 18 that authors and pediatricians Rachel C. Vreeman and Aaron E. Carroll say that it’s smart to check such folk wisdom, which even many doctors believe. “Myths stick with us because they make sense to us, on some level,” says Vreeman. “When you’ve heard them from your grandmother and mother and important adults in your life, you believe those things.”
Well-meaning health advice you can ignore this summer includes:
- Swallowing watermelon seeds is bad for you. No, they won’t cause a plant to grow in your tummy, and will pass naturally.
- You can catch poison ivy from someone who has it. Only touching the oil from the plant will give you a rash, not the oozy blisters that it causes.
- If a jellyfish stings you, urinate on the wound. This is not only icky, it can actually make the sting worse by making the wound swell. Use vinegar instead.
- Don’t swim for 30 minutes after eating. You could get a cramp, but you won’t drown. And there’s no magic time limit: swim when you feel comfortable doing so after a meal.
(Photo © Moreno0101 via Flickr)