7 Outdated Child Health Myths We’d Better Stop Believing
Undoubtedly, our moms and grandmas can share really wise and useful tips when it comes to many different spheres of life. But before relying on their expertise, we have to weigh the pros and cons, especially if we’re talking about children.
Bright Side has studied the most common old wives’ tales and found out which pieces of advice are actually useless.
7. To reduce fever, you have to swaddle your baby.
We used to hear that to reduce a baby’s fever, we had to swaddle them. But it’s not recommended to do this since the skin controls the body’s temperature more effectively itself. If you put too many clothes on your baby, the temperature will get higher or won’t drop.
- Place a cool, damp washcloth on your child’s forehead;
- Offer your child plenty of fluids;
- Air out the room;
- Remove layers of clothing so your child can lose heat more easily through their skin.
6. Don’t bathe your baby if they’re sick.
People used to think that if we bathed our children while they’re sick, they might get cold and feel worse. Lots of things have changed since then and bathrooms are more convenient nowadays.
Doctors say that you may bathe your baby even if they’re sick (but only if their body temperature isn’t higher than 99°F and they’re not suffering from a skin disease.)
5. To make your child’s hair thicker, you have to shave it.
There’s a belief that if a baby has thin and sparse hair, parents have to shave their baby’s head so that hair will start growing in thicker.
But this is a myth: hair won’t be any thicker, no matter whether you’re a child or an adult. Hair follicles are located several inches below the surface of the skin, so nothing that happens on the surface actually affects them. Why does this myth still exist? Many dermatologists say that it’s because of the difference between shaven and unshaven hair: when hair starts growing after shaving, it looks thicker. But it’s just a visual effect.
4. Teach your child to use the toilet as soon as possible.
Don’t worry if your small child doesn’t want to use the toilet now. We all are different and all children develop at their own pace, so if your baby isn’t ready, don’t force them. Some children start using the potty at 1 year, some at 2 years, and either way it’s fine.
3. Burns should be treated with butter.
This is a really common myth. Why do we believe it?
When we apply butter to a burn, we cover it with an impenetrable layer: it literally stops the skin from cooling down and doesn’t allow medicinal substances that you might apply on top of the butter to heal the skin. If you do this, you’ll just end up having to remove the butter layer and potentially damage the skin again.
- Put the burned skin under cool water (it shouldn’t be too cold);
- Take a painkiller;
- Apply an ointment for burns.
Then, it’s recommended to see a doctor.
2. You shouldn’t eat brightly colored food while breastfeeding.
Many people still think that if a mom eats something bright (for example, tomatoes), her baby will definitely suffer from an allergy. But it’s been proven that this is a myth.
Many children experience no problems at all. Moms are allowed to eat almost everything they want (but in reasonable amounts, of course.) If you’re still scared, just try to eat some brightly colored foods and watch your baby’s body reaction.
1. Lefties should be retrained.
In the past, families usually retaught their children if they thought they were going to become left-handed. But is this really necessary? Was it harmless to do this?
It turns out that it’s pretty bad. When a baby comes to this world, they already have a dominant hand, and when we try to go against nature, we might face negative consequences. A child’s concentration and learning ability may decrease. It’s important to go with the natural tendency of the child.
Have you ever followed any of these old fashioned rules?