Kids hear many lies as they grow up that shape their lives. Parents will occasionally tell lies to their kids, making their own lives easier, and kids will then tell each other myths that they have heard from an adult or an older sibling.
One of the first and most common myths you are told as a child is that watching too much TV will rot your brain or sitting too close to the TV will make you go blind. This myth is false because televisions emit such low radiation that they cannot cause any sort of eye or brain damage. Another common myth that kids are told is that they have to wait 30 minutes after eating to swim. Kids are told that swimming too soon will make their arms and legs cramp, and they might drown. However, this is false, and no blood is diverted away from your arms and legs to your stomach to help with digestion.
Some lies are told by adults so that they can get kids to eat more vegetables. The most popular one is that eating carrots will help you see in the dark, which sounds like a helpful superpower. Carrots are turned into vitamin A in the body which helps your eyesight, but eating carrots will not drastically change anything with your vision.
Some myths that kids hear are created by other kids or “funny” adults. The first of these kinds of myths is that swallowing an apple seed will cause an apple tree to grow inside of you. For years, I picked out the seeds in all my fruits due to hearing this myth. A similar myth is that, if you swallow chewing gum it will stay in your stomach for five to seven years. Sophomore Ryan Wrigley said, “I never purposefully swallow gum because there is a chance that the myth could be true.” Our stomachs cannot digest gum, but doctors believe that eventually, the gum goes through our digestive system, and it takes less than five years.
Kids will also hear scary myths that are mostly derived from comics. These myths include that sneezing with your eyes open will cause them to pop out. I personally have never tried to sneeze with my eyes open because I do not want my eyes to pop out, but closing your eyes when sneezing is a biological reflex. Doctors are not sure why we close our eyes when we sneeze, but they do believe that your eyes will not pop out of their sockets when attempting an open-eyed sneeze. Some myths that are told to kids are very nerve-racking. One that I am commonly told is that cracking my knuckles will give me arthritis. Sophomore Cooper Williams said, “Every time I crack my knuckles, my mom tells me I am going to get arthritis.” A 30-year study was done on this myth and proved that cracking your knuckles does not give you arthritis, but rather loosens your grip strength because of the stretching of tendons. The last medical myth that I have heard is that if you go outside with wet hair on a cold day you will catch a cold or get pneumonia. I was always quite nervous about this one, so I would thoroughly dry my hair or put something over my head when walking outside. This myth is false because colds stem from a virus, but if you stay outside for too long in the cold you may experience a runny nose from being chilled.
Some myths we hear come from popular movies, the first being that it is dangerous to wake a sleepwalker. I have never had to experience this as I do not know anyone that sleepwalks, but this myth was spread from the popular movie “Step Brothers.” The two brothers are awakened while they are sleepwalking and then attack their parents. Doctors say to not wake up a sleepwalker unless they are doing something dangerous because it might scare them. Another myth that spread from the popular movie, “Grown Ups” is that peeing in a pool will cause the color to change. The fear is that you will pee in the pool and be immediately outed as the culprit because the color will change around you. This myth is false because this type of chemical does not exist. However, do not pee in pools because that is nasty.
Kids hear many myths as they grow up and those myths shape the way kids make decisions, but at some point, the myths need to be debunked.