Sugar makes kids hyper: fact or fiction

“Wait an hour after eating before going swimming.” “Don’t go out in the rain or you’ll catch a cold…” We’ve all heard these before…mostly because our parents told them to us…but who told it to them? Sometimes their parents…sometimes even doctors…but is there actual science behind the myths that most of us believe – and will more than likely pass on to our own kids?

Pediatricians Andrew Adesman (author of “Babyfacts: The Truth About Your Child’s Health From Newborn Through Preschool”), Aaron Carroll and Rachel Vreeman, (co-authors of “Don’t Swallow Your Gum! Myths, Half-Truths and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health”) all agree – many of the leading myths just don’t have the scientific evidence to back them up. When in doubt, doctors often fall back on what their own mentors taught them without questioning the facts on which their advice is based. (Story by Liz Szabo, USA Today

So what are these wives’ tales that parents believe and these pediatricians say are myths? Here are some of my favorite:
  • Adding cereal to a baby’s diet will help him sleep longer (…we really do so want to believe)
  • Teething causes a fever (apparently no more so than anything else)
  • Vitamin C, echinacea or zinc will prevent a cold (a number of studies to the contrary)
  • You can catch poison ivy from someone else with poison ivy (only if they haven’t washed off the oil )
  • Birth control pills don’t work as well on antibiotics (apparently no proof of this)
  • Must stay awake with a concussion (not unless the doctor says so).
  • Timing when you have sex will determine your baby’s sex (even if it’s not true – this one might be worth double checking…just for the fun)
In reality, there are infinitely more questions than there are answers when it comes to the many important medical decisions we often face. That is why I believe it all comes down to this. If you look at the heart of these “myths” there is one common theme…at the end of the day, their goal is to keep us and our children healthy and safe. And until we are inundated with good, credible scientific data to the contrary, it is highly unlikely we will ever give them up.

Truthfully, if I ask you right now do you believe sugar makes kids hyper – fact or fiction? …what would you say???

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About the Author

Stefanie Zucker is President and co-founder of Pediatric Medical and Managing Director and co-founder of Axios Partners, a strategy consulting firm. After a number of years spent researching the safety issues associated with transporting children on ambulances she became a child health safety advocate and formed Pediatric Safety with a goal of creating a world-wide movement of parents and caregivers inspired to protect the health and safety of kids. Stefanie is a member of the PedSafe Team


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