Top 10 Pediatric MythsHeather Turgeon
Harvard Pediatrician Dr. Victoria McEvoy compiled a list last week of the top 10 myths about children’s health. It’s a relevant topic, because as kids get back to school and bacteria and viruses start to spread, the doctors office becomes a popular place to be. I picked the best and added a couple of my own.
1. Green snot is really bad. One of the most common misconceptions, according to McEvoy, is that green snot usually means a bacterial sinus infection needing antibiotics. But color isn’t helpful in diagnosing an infection, says McEvoy. You use symptoms like appearance, fever, tooth pain, headache and nasal congestion to judge.
But the myth McEvoy cited that made parents angry in the comments section had to do with daycare…
2. Daycare is not good because your child will be sick all the time. McEvoy says this is not true — after 8 weeks a baby is ready to be in daycare and being exposed to viruses and bacteria will only build the immune system. It made parents mad, I guess because some really don’t buy the idea that sickness in babies is okay or that kids need exposure to germs to build immunity.
From my perspective, getting sick is not a reason to keep kids out of daycare or put them in for that matter. Daycare is a personal choice based on work, family, finances, your own child’s personality…and by the way, research shows daycare is emotionally and developmentally a perfectly suitable place for kids.
More myths about children’s health:
3. Cool mist humidifiers are good for a baby’s cold (Good for overall respiratory health says McEvoy, but they don’t help more during a cold).
4. Inhaled steroids over a long periods for treatment of asthma will stunt growth.
5. Babies need to poop every day (Not true, says McEvoy. They vary a lot in frequency).
6. Babies and children are over-medicated (I think McEvoy was referring to antibiotics. What about medicating for behavioral problems and depression, which has gotten a lot of press lately).
7. It’s not safe to take a baby outside. After the first week if baby is healthy there’s no reason not to go for a walk, she says.
8. If your baby has colic, switching formula will help.
9. Keeping dairy out of your child’s diet will help with congestions (This is one of mine, which I learned from researching an article on kids colds).
10. You can catch a cold by being cold outside (Not true, read our Babble article on treating Kids’ Colds).
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