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Debunking a couple of myths

Ever wondered what happens to chewing gum? Whether TV really does make you go blind? What about the three second rule?

Well these were just some of the medical myths we debunked on the Mornings show with Sonia and David this week.

Can sitting too close to the TV make you blind?

This myth originates from the sixties when a batch of faulty TVs came out that emitted too many xrays.  It was widely believed that sitting too close would fry your brain, a rather frustrating marketing problem considering the infancy of television at the time.

The closer any object is to our face, the harder our eyes have to work to focus on it. The longer we stay there, the more fatigued our eyes get.

This “eye strain” results in discomfort around or behind the eyes, slightly blurry vision, and even irritability for kids. However, sitting too close to the TV may in fact be a symptom of whats really going on – poor vision (longsightedness). So if your kid insists on sitting inches from the TV, perhaps you should get their vision checked at a good kid friendly optometrist.

And no David, that other activity doesnt make you go blind either…

Chewing gum.  “Surely it doesn’t stay in my guts for seven years dad!?!”

Gum is made of a number of components built to withstand saliva and chewing, that gives it that rubbery consistency in your mouth. However, once that bouncy ball reaches your guts, its no match for the powerful acids and enzymes.

Like any food, gum is dissolved in minutes. The good bits are absorbed (ummm, is there anything good in gum?) and the waste passes out with everything else in your number twos.

The three second rule.

My favourite complete total and utter rubbish medical myth.

Ok team, lets think about this. There are bugs EVERYWHERE!

On our skin, our clothes, the ground, the playground, the grass, and that coffee cup you just picked up.

We let our kids roam around the world free as a bird, they explore, and their touching is essential to experiencing size, shape, texture, and existance of everything.  We then let them put their fingers on their face, or, gasp!….. put them in their mouth.

So, why the bloody hell to we have a coniption if a biscuit touches the floor for three seconds and is deemed contaminated to the degree of nuclear waste?

Picture what some parents actually think might happen – (slow motion of course)….

Biscuit drops, tumbling through the air, landing on the floor (one, maybe two bounces), then all of a sudden 7452 bugs (picture the minions from Despicable Me) leap on, clinging on for dear life, waiting eagerly for us to pick the biscuit up so they can infest us, and KILL US!

Team, that might happen, but no more so that putting your finger in your mouth right now. Plus, our saliva and stomach juices are pretty damned powerful, those bugs arent going anywhere!

Obviously we need to be realistic – the toilet floor, a service station, a chemical warehouse, or the dog kennel are spts where bugs and nasties will be abundant. But elsewhere, follow the three second rule and feel happy youre not poisioning your child.