Parental Myths #1: Swimming and Eating

There are a variety of myths that parents use to frighten or dissuade their children from certain behaviors.  Several years ago, when I wrote theMT on a monthly basis, I took the opportunity to comment on these myths.  I have chosen to republish these myths here on this blog to again make the stand for truth.  I am hoping to prevent the mental trauma on another generation of American children.  Note: this is commentary, not medical advice

Parental Myths #1 : It Is Unsafe To Swim After Eating Food

First, let's look at how our parents reasoned this myth : they will tell you that some kid, somewhere (Illinois or Ohio, it doesn't really matter), drowned in the pool after eating. Apparently, cramping can occur, thus causing your muscles to somehow "lock" and you sink to the bottom of whatever body of water you inhabit. (NOTE THIS ABOUT PARENTAL MYTHS : Parents can never provide any details!).
It's always "some kid" and the end result is either:
a) death
b) his stomach was pumped
c) he was disfigured
d) he must spend the rest of his life touring schools and telling them what he did was wrong).

Now, there is no scientific reasoning behind this theory and it is merely used to keep kids out of the pool for 20-30 minutes. Personally, I can remember watching the clock and gradually placing more and more of my body in the water until "the 30 minutes" were up.

How about this statement: "I'm not gonna swim. I'm just going to go in the water and stand there perfectly still."  Yup, used that one through most of the 1970's.

My conclusion, like most parental myths, there is no fact behind this water + food = cramps and drowning. Parents have just never been challenged by kids that know any better...

Click here to read the other parental myths exposed!

Quietly making noise,