Dr. J.J. Levenstein Children’s Health Wives’ Tales

Going outside with wet hair will cause a cold.
FALSE - Colds are caused by viruses entering the body through the eyes, nose or mouth. Wet hair has nothing to do with promoting the entry or propagation of viruses in the body.

Sugar causes cavities.
FALSE - It’s the length of exposure in the mouth, rather than the amount of sugar that promotes cavities.

Use butter on a burn.
FALSE: - You should never use butter on a burn! The butter traps heat and feeds bacteria.

Cold and wet weather will make you sick.
FALSE - People with chilled bodies are no more likely to get sick than people who are warm. However, people with chilled feet are more likely to report colds but there is no clear cause and effect.

Dropped food is fine if you abide by the "5 Second Rule".
FALSE: - Scientists studied salmonella on wood, tile and carpet and how well it transferred and survived on bologna or bread and bacteria was still alive after 4 weeks!

You have to wait an hour after eating to go swimming.
FALSE: - There is no proof that swimming directly after eating will increase your risk of drowning.

JJ Levenstein, MD FAAP, is a Board Certified Pediatrician. You can take parenting classes with instruction by Dr. Levenstein online by visiting Also, find helpful parenting products at

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