Doctors Explain 10 Things That Most of Us Do All Wrong

Throw your head back if your nose is bleeding, suck the venom out of a snakebite, brush your teeth right after eating. There are things we never question, because we’ve been told to do them our whole life. But it turns out that some of them are no more than just old wives’ tales.

You might start to question all of your rituals after reading this article, thinking you’ve been doing the most basic things wrong the whole time, but here at Bright Side we think it’s always better to find out late, than never.

1. Do not blow on kids’ food.

Why it’s bad: While blowing on the child’s food (as well as sharing food, drinks, toothbrushes, etc.), the parents and other people transmit bacteria that can lead to cavities, even if the child doesn’t have any teeth yet, because they’re the most vulnerable when they just start to develop.

What you should do instead: Do not share food, drinks, or any utensils with your child and do not blow on their food. It’s better to just wait for a while to let it cool down.

2. Do not throw your head back when you have a nosebleed.

Why it’s bad: By throwing your head back, you can cause yourself to choke on blood, since it goes down to the back of the throat.

What to do instead: Pinch your nose with your fingers under the nostrils. Sit and keep your head straight and your chin parallel to the floor.

3. Do not pick up a person who fainted.

Why it’s bad: The reason people faint is due to a sudden lowering of the blood pressure, that results in blood not getting to the brain. If you lift a person, it’ll keep preventing blood from getting there.

What you should do instead: It is important, in this case, that the head of the person stays lower than their chest. Make the person sit and bend over, or even better, lay them down. They should stay in this position for several minutes, and make sure they feel alright before they get up.

4. Do not suck the venom out of a snakebite.

Why it’s bad: Nowadays there’s an effective anti-venom and it’s very rare that a snakebite becomes fatal — it only happens in 0.05% of the cases. Sucking out the venom, researchers say, does not help the victims, so there’s really no reason to do it.

What you should do instead: In this case, you should lay the person down so that the bite is below the heart level and make the person stay still to keep the venom from spreading. Call 911, or transport the victim to the nearest medical facility.

5. Do not brush your teeth right after a meal.

Why it’s bad: It damages the enamel, the teeth’s protective layer.

What you should do instead: In the morning, brush before breakfast. In case you want to do it after eating, first rinse your mouth with water, and then wait to brush until about 40 minutes after your meal.

6. Do not slap a choking person on the back if they are upright.

Why it’s bad: If you slap a person in the upright position, the object may slip further down.

What you should do instead: Lean the person forward and make them cough first, that might be enough. If it doesn’t work, give several back blows between the shoulder blades, but make sure the person is leaning forward before you do this.

7. Do not apply ice directly to a bruise.

Why it’s bad: Since skin is very delicate, if you do this, it reduces the blood flow and slows the healing. Moreover, it may cause frostbite.

What you should do instead: Wrap the ice in a towel or any other fabric. Ice the injured area right after the trauma, but do not keep the ice on for more than 10 minutes at once.

8. Do not apply butter or ice to a burn.

Why it’s bad: These old wives’ tales about treating a burn will not help you. The burn goes deep into your skin and you need to cool it to prevent further damage.

What you should do instead: Put the burn under running cold water and make sure that you leave it long enough: it’s recommended to leave it for about 20 minutes.

9. Do not rub frostbite.

Why it’s bad: Do not rub or massage it and don’t use direct heat to rewarm it, since it can cause burns.

What you should do instead: Get out of the cold and carefully rewarm the damaged areas by putting them in warm (not hot!) water or drinking warm liquids. Don’t let the damaged areas freeze again, and make sure you cover and protect them if you’re going back out into the cold. If the frostbite is strong, seek medical help.

10. Never refill your plastic bottle.

Why it’s bad: There’s a dangerous chemical in plastic called BPA that leaches into the water and grows dangerous bacteria in the cracks of the bottle. These bacteria influence fertility and can cause cancer.

What you should do instead: Recycle plastic bottles right after their first use and buy a reusable water bottle to use instead.

Are there any things you had been doing wrong your whole life, until you realized the right way to do them? Please tell us all in comments, maybe some of us are still in our own sweet delusion.

Illustrated by Leisan Gabidullina for Bright Side
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