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Parental Folklore and the Truth

Updated on December 17, 2012

There is not an adult who has not heard at least one of the following folklore from their parents. Parental folklore are either half-truth or simply not true. They are handed down between generations that say the identical thing because to the best of their knowledge, they are true.

  1. Get the hydrogen peroxide. That remains the go to item when Johnny has a bruise or cut or any open sore. It has been handed down for eons because there is an illusion that because it fizzes and turns white when placed on a the wound, it is disinfecting it. Truth is, the white foam is killing cells and the sting is the sign they are damaged. The CDC does not recommend it. They recommend you wash the wound with water-go figure! Logic tells you that if there is infection YOU want to kill cells. If the sore or cut is infected or puss, YOU want to kill those cells. Fresh cuts- use water.
  2. Remove the bandage, let the wound air out. Yeah, its still around even though in 1962 a medical test proved airing out a wound did not help, in fact, wounds recovered twice as fast if they remained covered.
  3. If you shave the hair, it will grow back thicker and faster. I know I've hear this one. Simply untrue. Hair follicles are a millimeter or so below the skin, and what happens on the skin while shaving has no impact on the follicle below. I honestly believed it thinking my hair seemed thicker if I shaved it off more.
  4. Poinsettia leaves are poisonous. OMG, another famous one I was warned about. Fact is, one has to eat 600 leaves to get a mild stomach ache. And to think I really believed this!
  5. You cannot go swimming. You just ate. You must wait one hour. Oh boy, this could be called the mother of all folklores parents told their kids for generations. I am sure it still said. There is no truth to it at all. If it were true, why do long distance swimmer eat to stay nourished? Duh! Think of all those hours we all wasted because of bad parental instructions!
  6. Make sure you drink eight ounces of water daily. Another standard drilled into my brain as a kid. There are no substitutes, it must be water. Fact is, most of the water we get comes from food we eat, especially prepared food, according to a medical report. The truth is, drink water in whatever amounts you want, oh, it can also be coffee, tea, soda.
  7. Don't read in this dim light, you'll hurt your eyes. Sorry, yet another one I succumbed to and still do. Truth is, there is no evidence dim light damages the eyes when reading, they will strain more to focus, get dry, get blurry, though.
  8. No more candy or soda for you. The sugar makes you hyper. This one prevails today. Medical studies seem to think otherwise. Sugar does not make kids hyper, in fact, some think it has a calming effect. The reason why it seems to make kids hyper is because it is the event, a birthday party, a team party or whatever. The kids are already hyped anyway.
  9. Keep that hat on, otherwise, body heat escapes the most from your head. This originated in the 1950's and has persisted, all untrue. The truth is, body heat escapes from any exposed part and the face and neck are more sensitive to temperature. The same amount of body heat escapes from any exposed part.


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