Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Childhood medical myths debunked: Experts weigh in on 5 common warnings

Share


Join Fox News for access to this content

Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive.

Please enter a valid email address.

Mothers might know best, but it’s not always easy to separate fact from fiction when it comes to health advice.

A new report from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health has broken down several common wellness myths that children often hear while growing up.

Fox News Digital spoke with experts who revealed the truth behind common medical misconceptions.

PSYCHOLOGISTS REVEAL 7 WAYS PARENTS CAN DRIVE HAPPINESS BY HELPING KIDS FIND THEIR PURPOSE

Here are five.

Myth 1. Ginger ale relieves stomach aches

While actual ginger can help ease a stomach ache, most commercial ginger ales don’t actually contain the real thing, Michelle Jaelin, a registered dietitian practicing in Ontario, Canada, told Fox News Digital.

A new report from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health reveals the truth about several common wellness myths that children often hear while growing up. (iStock)

This childhood myth persists as parents give ginger ale to children because it’s sweet and bubbly, she said.

“It makes parents feel better that they are doing something for their child when they aren’t feeling well, and the myth persisted as a drink that helps a stomach ache,” Jaelin said.

The carbonated beverages could actually make the stomach pain even worse by increasing gas in the digestive tract, according to Healthline’s website.

Kid eating chicken soup

Chicken soup has been viewed as a popular cold remedy since at least the 12th century, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (iStock)

Drinks with real ginger also tend to contain excess added sugar, experts said – essentially the equivalent of soda that may worsen stomach pain. 

Myth 2. Gum stays in your stomach for seven years

“Swallowed gum does not stay in your stomach for [seven] years, as the myths suggest,” Su-Nui Escobar, a registered dietitian based in Miami, Florida, told Fox News Digital.

“While swallowing gum is not recommended, if you do so accidentally, you will likely pass it like any other indigestible food.”

ASK A DOCTOR: ‘IS IT DANGEROUS TO SWALLOW GUM?’

The gum will pass through the stomach within two hours and be excreted in the stool after approximately two to five days, just like other foods, according to the recent UCSF report.

Although chewing gum can stick to many surfaces — including walls or desks — it travels mostly intact through the gastrointestinal tract without sticking to the intestinal walls, the report notes.

Kid chewing gum

“Swallowed gum does not stay in your stomach for [seven] years, as the myths suggest,” an expert told Fox News Digital. (iStock)

But experts still caution against children swallowing gum, because substantial amounts might cause an intestinal blockage, Escobar warned.

This is a particular concern among children who have underlying constipation, according to Mayo Clinic’s website.

“If you suspect a blockage, seek immediate medical attention,” Escobar advised.

Myth 3. You shouldn’t swim for 30 minutes after eating

As summer kicks into high gear, there is good news for any swimmer itching to get in the water after lunch. Yes, it is usually OK to swim right after you eat.

The myth that you shouldn’t swim immediately after eating stems from a theoretical concern that blood flow will be diverted away from the arms and legs to help digest food, potentially leading to an increased risk of drowning.

“Based on current research, eating before swimming is not affiliated with a risk of drowning, and can be dismissed as a myth.”

But a comprehensive American Red Cross scientific review on the effects of eating before swimming showed no effect on performance in the water after a meal.

“A recent literature review did not provide any information related to an increased risk of drowning due to consuming food before swimming,” Jodi Jensen, PhD, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council in Virginia, told Fox News Digital.

AS DROWNING DEATHS INCREASE, EXPERTS OFFER WATER SAFETY TIPS

“There is no supporting evidence from a major medical or safety organization that recommends refraining from eating before engaging in aquatic activities such as swimming,” added Jensen, who is also an assistant professor and aquatics director at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.

little-girl-eating-ice-pop-by-pool

“There is no supporting evidence from a major medical or safety organization that recommends refraining from eating before engaging in aquatic activities such as swimming,” an expert told Fox News Digital. (iStock)

“Based on current research, eating before swimming is not affiliated with a risk of drowning, and can be dismissed as a myth.”

Although study participants experienced “minimal” side effects at different time intervals after eating, some outside experts do recommend waiting a bit after a meal if you plan to swim laps or compete to avoid any stomach cramping or digestive issues.

Myth 4. Chicken soup cures a cold

Chicken soup has been viewed as a popular cold remedy since at least the 12th century, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

ASK A DOCTOR: ‘DOES CHICKEN SOUP REALLY HELP CURE A COLD?’

“Chicken soup is warm and comforting when you’re sick, but it’s not a cure,” Jaelin told Fox News Digital.

“Chicken soup is warm and comforting when you’re sick, but it’s not a cure.”

“Drinking any hot broth when your sinuses are stuffed can help to clear them out.”

The steam from the chicken broth may relieve a sore throat and congested sinuses, the NIH noted.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

When battling a cold, get plenty of clear fluids to help regulate body temperature and promote improved immune system function, said Jaelin.

“Chicken soup counts toward overall fluid intake,” she added.

It also helps prevent dehydration and clear out mucus, the NIH noted.

Myth 5. You will ruin your eyes if you sit too close to the TV

Sitting too close to the TV will not damage your eyes, though it may cause eye strain, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

NEBRASKA BABY BORN WITH CATARACTS HAS 3 EYE SURGERIES TO SAVE HER SIGHT: ‘I JUST KEPT PRAYING’

To prevent eye strain while watching television, experts recommend keeping the room well-lit and taking occasional breaks from the screen.

little-kid-watching-TV

Sitting too close to the television will not damage your eyes, but may cause eye strain, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. (iStock)

“Children can focus at very close distances better than adults, and may not develop the same eye strain symptoms,” Nishika Reddy, M.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology at Moran Eye Center’s Midvalley Health Center at University of Utah in Murray, Utah, told Fox News Digital. 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

It may be a red flag, though, if children are watching television too closely, experts warned.

The behavior may indicate an underlying vision issue that should be addressed, the UCSF report noted.

kids-closely-watching-TV

The American Academy of Pediatrics says high-quality digital media can be introduced to children between 18 and 24 months of age (only when supervised by parents or caregivers). The academy also recommends limiting screen time to one hour a day for children ages 2 to 5. (iStock)

“See an eye care provider to perform an eye exam for your child,” Reddy recommended.

A more concerning issue is the indirect effect of too much screen time, according to the report.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP                          

Although experts say there is no one-size-fits-all guideline when it comes to children and screen time, the American Academy of Pediatrics says high-quality digital media can be introduced to children between 18 and 24 months of age (only when supervised by parents or caregivers). 

The academy also recommends limiting screen time to one hour a day for children ages 2 to 5.

Fox News Digital reached out to UCSF for additional comment about its new study.



Source link

Read more

Local News