Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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I got most of my medical information from television shows when I was growing up. Cream – Seizure Alert Dog (Photo credit: certified su) One of the most dramatic scenes was if someone had a seizure. A quick-thinking bystander would force a strong stick in their mouth, sideways, so they couldn’t swallow their tongue. Let’s give tv writers the benefit of the doubt and assume that that was the prevailing medical advice at the time. But, it isn’t the advice now. Now, the advice is “never, ever do that,” according to pediatricians Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Rachel Vreeman, authors of... (Read More ...)

When my son was seven or eight, he came home from a friend’s house, disappeared and was very, very quiet. Karen and Richard Carpenter, 08/01/1972 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Anyone who has a young child knows that prolonged periods of quiet, if they’re not sleeping, is a danger sign. I went to find him to see what was going on. As soon as he opened his mouth, I smelled something awful. It turned out that a friend had dared him to take a bite of a deodorizer disk that his Mom used in the toilet. Why he did it, I’ll never know. But, the next thing we did was call the poison control center. They... (Read More ...)

Some people think that there is more mucus in your mouth when you drink milk and it is likely to make you congested when you’re sick. A glass of milk (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Pediatricians Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Rachel Vreeman, in trying to bust this health myth, said they even had trouble convincing their pharmacist it wasn’t true. “But, I can feel it,” he told them. But, that’s not what you feel. This myth not only goes back to Moses Maimonides in the 12th century, but was being repeated as recently as Dr. Spock, that 1950s pediatrician we raised our children by. The myth says that... (Read More ...)

Child nose (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Weren’t you always told to lean your head back when you get a nosebleed? Did it make the blood run down into your throat? Did it stop the nosebleed? Did you think you were protecting your clothes and furniture around you or stopping the nosebleed or both? Pediatricians Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Rachel Vreeman bust this commonly accepted approach as bad advice. You’ll just have to get out cloths to help with the mess. They advise instead that you: Sit or stand straight up so your head is above your heart and the blood can drain out of your nose Pinch the... (Read More ...)

My granddaughter’s parents had taught her a number of decimal places to pi so she could recite them when she was having trouble going to sleep. Milk and cooky (Photo credit: Salim Virji) (Yes, they are really geeks). But, one night, she was having a particularly difficult time getting to sleep and wailed, “But, I don’t even know what pi is!” I told my son about how to use a banana to illustrate what pi is for my seven-year-old granddaughter. Why didn’t I suggest the age-old wives’ tale about warm milk and getting sleepy? That’s what I sometimes use. Sitting down with a good book and... (Read More ...)

No. A photo of a cup of coffee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia Caffeine does not stunt your growth, according to pediatricians Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Rachel Vreeman, who studied the scientific literature to put more than 75 health myths to rest. That is not to say it is not a stimulant. It is. Although I rarely fed my children coffee or tea when they were young, I found out my younger son, then a toddler, was particularly sensitive to caffeine one day when I let him have a sip of my iced tea in the middle of the day. Hours later, when my husband came home, he noticed his nervously active behavior. “Did... (Read More ...)

The short answer is no. I’ve never had a flat stomach, even when I weighed 110 pounds, at 5’6,” in the skinny model range. Original U.S. Navy description: The “Fit Boss” from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) stabilizes a Sailor aboard Boxer as she performs weighted sit-ups on an exercise ball. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) But, I did try once, thinking sit-ups, my absolute least favorite exercise, would do it. I abandoned the effort because it made no difference, and now, I know why, thanks to the health myth busters, pediatricians Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Rachel Vreeman. There... (Read More ...)

Hydrogen peroxide is good for a wound, true or false? Hydrogen peroxide (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Did your mother treat your scrapes by putting hydrogen peroxide on them, “to kill the germs?” Mine did too. But, pediatricians Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Rachel Vreeman examined this practice to see if it works as expected. It does not. It should work. It makes sense that it would work. It oxygenates, or provides extra oxygen where it is applied and it is an antiseptic. Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid with an extra oxygen molecule that dissolves in water and usually is available to consumers at a... (Read More ...)

How about not wearing a hat? William Henry Harrison, first governor of the Indiana Territory and ninth President of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Did you warn your children to wear extra clothes when they were little and it was cold? Let’s look at what people think about weather and colds, according to pediatricians, Dr. Aaron E. Carroll and Dr. Rachel C. Vreeman, who studied what our mothers and grandmothers told us, in order to separate fact from myth: 60% of American parents think a change in weather causes colds 38% think cold weather causes colds More than half think you’ll... (Read More ...)

Does Chicken Soup Really Help? Was Grandma right when she gave you chicken soup for a cold? There haven’t been any clinical trials comparing chicken soup to a placebo to prove it helps. But, there have been studies about two aspects that are related to making you feel better when you have a cold: Mucous Anti-inflammation Pediatricians, Dr. Aaron E. Carroll and Dr. Rachel C. Vreeman, have set out to determine if the things our mothers and grandmothers told us when we were growing up were true or myths. Their book, Don’t Cross Your Eyes…They’ll Get Stuck That Way, addresses dozens of these... (Read More ...)