You know, parents are the same no matter time nor place. They don’t understand us kids, er grown adults, are gonna make some mistakes. So to you, all the kids, and grown adults, across the land, there’s no need to argue. Parents just don’t understand.
Fresh Prince asked his mom for Adidas and she bought him Zips. She just didn’t understand. In fact, the only thing she did get right is that if the fellas in school laughed, he didn’t need ’em as friends anyway. That’s solid advice most decent parents will give their kids. But they’ll also give spiels on things like the dangers of going outside without a coat, which has been totally negated by modern science but still passed down over the generations. That’s because we hear it so much, we start to believe it—so much so that sooner or later we become our parents, offering the same guidance and perpetuating a cycle of crappy advice.
1. Peeing in the pool will not turn the water around you red.
Everyone’s done it and anyone who says they haven’t done it is as full of crap as this myth. However, a poll found that most parents, themselves, believed that urine-detection pool dye is a real thing, which doesn’t make too much sense assuming most of them have tried and failed. I mean, maybe the water turned red… but that probably only means that they were dehydrated…
2. Sitting too close to the TV will not ruin your eyesight.
Children actually focus better close-up, so sitting near the television makes sense. Doing so for too long can induce a gnarly headache, but it won’t actually damage your eye sight. It may just strain them a bit, which is less likely to happen for children than adults, since their eyes are better at adjusting focus and thus less susceptible to stress.
3. Looking inside the microwave while it’s running will not deform your future babies.
Microwaves emit non-ionizing radiation, so they don’t have the same risks as x-rays or the like. Therefore, they will not cause you any harm unless, of course, you heat body tissue in the same way that you heat your food. Exposure to high levels of microwaves can burn the skin or cause cataracts but the energy from inside cannot leak outside of your microwave, impale your insides and obliterate your sperm.
4. You can go swimming before you digest for at least 30 minutes.
Many people believe that eating diverts blood away from the muscles and to the stomach, thereby increasingly the likelihood of cramping up and subsequently increasing the chances of drowning. But eating does not actually exacerbate that danger. What does? Dehydration, muscle fatigue and a lack of sodium.
5. Eating carrots will not give you night vision.
Carrots are chockfull of beta-carotene that converts to Vitamin A, which promotes good eye health. So eating carrots won’t increase your visual acuity, but it’s not bad for you either.
6. If you swallow your gum, it will not stay in your stomach for seven years.
This myth is quite pervasive but the truth is: When gum is swallowed, the stomach doesn’t digest it but instead pushes it right through. It won’t actually just stick to the walls of your stomach in a vat of hydrochloric acid. However, if you swallow too much gum at once, you do run the risk of causing a blockage in the digestive tract since the many pieces can stick together.
7. Wet hair will not make you sick.
OK, so maybe for most of you, going to sleep with wet hair isn’t something you’ve heard before. Since, well, your hair probably dries a heck of a lot faster than mine (unless of course it’s long—and I’m a recent endorser of the man bun, so I approve). But even going outside with wet hair, unless you have a buzz cut, can make things a bit chillier. And I bet your parents told you not to do it growing up because you’ll get a cold. Well get this: The cold weather can dry out your nasal lining and make you more susceptible to the viruses known to cause colds, but wetness has nothing to do with it. Likewise, going outside without a coat also has nothing to do with it.
8. Cracking your knuckles will not give you arthritis.
Sure, it kind of grosses people out and a lot of people find it rude—but a lot of other people find it addictive (a lot of people meaning me) and live their whole lives in fear that arthritis is inevitably awaiting them so they try to stop but, alas, to no avail. So is it annoying? Yes. It even annoys me when I crack my own knuckles. Will it cause permanent damage? No. Not unless you break your finger doing it. You can indeed cause some ligament damage and reduce grip strength though.
9. Reading in the dark will not damage your eyes.
Just like watching the television too closely, you can strain your eyes, but permanent long-term damage is an unlikely result of reading in insufficient light. Your parents just told you that so you’d finally go to sleep and they could have some much-needed alone time—for the same reasons they told you storks deliver babies.
10. Your hair will not grow back thicker after shaving it.
The notion that your hair follicles will change in shape and start suddenly sprouting thicker, coarser and darker hair is just not true. It might be darker for a bit before it’s exposed to light, but it’s certainly no different in texture. It only appears that way because these Keratinous protein filaments growing on our heads have tapered ends, so when you chop off said ends, the hair appears thicker. If this was factual, most women would have gorilla legs.