9 Summer Health Myths Exposed

Growing up, we all received our fair share of health advice. But how much truth really lies behind these assumptions that we’ve always accepted as fact? You may be surprised to know that sometimes, Mom doesn’t always know best.

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    Swimming Girl

    Wait an Hour After Eating Before Going Swimming We’ve all heard the advice that after eating, you should refrain from going swimming to prevent muscle cramps and the possibility of drowning. However, this is a complete myth. While it is true that the circulation of blood is diverted away from your muscles and toward the gut as your body begins the digestive process, swimming after eating won’t give you such unbearable cramps that you drown.
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    Sun Tanning

    People With Dark Skin Are Not at Risk of Getting Sunburned Although those with darker skin are naturally more protected from the sun since their skin contains higher levels of melanin, a pigment that gives skin its color and protects it from ultraviolent light, no one is immune to sun damage. When lounging by the pool this summer or playing outdoors, be sure to regularly apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
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    Urinating on a Jellyfish Sting Helps Soothe the Pain Not only is urinating on a jellyfish sting ineffective in easing the pain, but it’s also not the cleanest solution. Urine can actually aggravate the jellyfish stingers, causing them to release more venom, so next time a jellyfish sting threatens to ruin your day at the beach, simply submerge the area in saltwater or apply a small amount of vinegar.
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    Getting a ‘base tan’ will protect my skin from sun damage

    Sunburn Will Fade Into a Tan Contrary to what you’ve heard, sunburn does not fade into a tan and give you that sun-kissed look you’ve been desiring this summer. A sunburn indicates overexposure to the sun’s rays and leaves the skin inflamed, dry and sensitive. When spending time outdoors, remember to apply sunscreen regularly to protect your skin and prevent premature aging.
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    Brown tree snake - Boiga irregularis

    After a Snakebite, Suck the Venom Out Although this solution seems logical, by sucking the venom out from a snake bite, you are actually doing yourself more harm than good. Attempting to suck out the poison can not only damage the wound around the bite area, but it can also cause the poison to spread to the mouth. If you believe you’ve been bitten by a poisonous snake, remain calm to keep the venom localized in one area and seek medical attention immediately.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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    Burger meat on a Grill, Reuters

    You Can Tell a Meat is Fully-Cooked If It Appears Brown in Color When cooking on the grill this summer, don’t rely on your eyes to tell you when that hamburger or steak is fully cooked. Even when meat turns brown, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to eat. Prevent illness by taking the temperature of everything you grill. Hamburgers should have an internal temperature of 160 or higher, and poultry should be cooked until reaching 165 degrees.
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    Butter on Supermarket Shelf

    Vaseline or Butter Helps Soothe a Burn One of the oldest wives’ tales is that by placing Vaseline or butter directly on a burn, you can help soothe the pain, but this is not true. In fact, these oils can actually heighten your risk for infection. For minor burns, soothe the area with cool water or a cold compress for 10 to 15 minutes to reduce swelling and apply an antibiotic ointment to protect the skin from further damage.
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    Sunscreen with SPF 95 Offers More Protection than SPF 30 Although a higher sun protective factor (SPF) would seem to offer more protection from the sun, studies have shown that sunscreen with an SPF 30, blocks about 97 percent of ultraviolet rays. Those with higher SPFs have not been proven to offer any greater protection, so even if your sunscreen is labeled SPF 95, don’t spend hours in the sun without reapplying regularly.
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    Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Is Contagious Although the rash associated with poison ivy can spread from one part of your body to another as the plant’s chemical oil, urushiol, spreads and penetrates different areas of the skin, the rash is not contagious from one person to another.
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