Busted! 6 Truths About Childhood Myths

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by: Lindsay Hutton
Do you really need to wait an hour before swimming? Can you go outside with wet hair? Did you ever wonder if any of these myths were true? Find out the answers to all your pressing childhood questions!
Close up of crossed eyes
Crossed Eyes Will Stay that Way
The myth states that if you cross your eyes, they'll stay that way (especially if someone slaps you on the back at the same time!) Although the muscles in your eyes can get tired if you cross them for an extended period of time, there is no medical evidence that suggests they will get stuck.
Three kids sitting on the side of a pool
Wait an Hour After Eating to Swim
A long held belief is that swimming immediately after eating can cause severe muscle cramping and, in extreme cases, drowning, since the body diverts its blood flow away from muscles to the digestive system. According to the American Red Cross, there is no set amount of time you should wait to swim, although it might feel a bit uncomfortable swimming on a full stomach.
Sick teen sitting at table blowing nose
Don't Go Outside with Wet Hair
This myth claims that if you go outside with wet hair in the winter, you'll catch a cold. The truth is you can't catch a cold simply by feeling cold. A cold is a virus and is spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
Boy blowing bubble of gum against white background
Gum Stays in You for Seven Years
If this myth were true, that wad of gum you swallowed in middle school would still be hanging out in your intestinal tract at your high school graduation. Thankfully, although a bit harder to break down than other foods, gum actually passes through your digestive system within a couple of days.
Little girl sitting at table with glass of milk
Warm Milk Will Put You to Sleep
While it's true that milk contains tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid, the amount is so small that you'd have to drink gallons of it in order to for it to have any kind of effect. In fact, tryptophan alone won't automatically put you to sleep — it needs the help of insulin-producing foods, like those high in carbohydrates, to have any effect. However, although warm milk won't technically put you to sleep, including it as part of a bedtime routine can help children to relax and, in turn, feel sleepy.
Outline of child sitting close to television
Sitting Too Close to the TV Is Bad for Your Eyes
Although every parent has probably warned their children of this at one point in their lives, sitting too close to the television won't actually damage your eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, kids can actually focus on objects up close with less eyestrain than adults. However, it can be a sign of nearsightedness, so it's best to have your child's eyes checked regularly.