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Summertime Myths & Truths

Remember when you were young and your mother would tell you that you could not go swimming right after you ate?

Bradley Beach
Bradley Beach (Bud McCormick)

As time went on it sort of seemed like this was an old wives tail and really not true but you might be surprised to learn that Mom was right…and wrong.

Some truths and myths about summertime:

  • Don’t swim within 30 minutes of eating.  This is actually true in some cases as blood flow is more focused on the digestive tract after eating and that could cause minor cramps, especially if you’ve eaten high fat or high protein foods.  If you do head into the water right away and don’t feel well then you should get out and wait a few minutes.
  • Dunk an open wound in the ocean because saltwater will help heal it. This is actually false as the sea is full of bacteria which can enter your cut and cause sores and fever,
  • Grill smoke or smoke from a campfire is dangerous.  This is true as inhaling any smoke is dangerous and bad for your lungs.  When grilling you would best off to stand away from the smoke flow.
  • Going in and out of air conditioned buildings can make you sick.  False as large temperature swings do not make you more vulnerable to colds.
  • Scratching a bug bite makes it worse.  This is true as light scratching inflames the area around the site which intensifies the itch.  You are better off holding an ice cube or chilled beer on the bug bite.
  • If you are stung by a jellyfish urinating on it will help relieve the pain. This is false and as a matter of fact you will make it worse.  The most common suggestion is to rinse the sting with sea water right away and even put sand on it or put an ice cube on the sting.  Another suggestion is to remove the tentacles by scraping them with a flat-edged plastic card.  The burn should subside quickly and you can use a cortisone cream.
  • Don’t drink from a garden hose because of germs.  This is both true and false although no germs live in the hose.  Many are made of PVC which uses lead as a stabilizer and that’s not good.  Probably the biggest concern is where the end of the hose might have been so at the least keep your lips off of it.

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