A Blog from Your Kaiser Permanente Pediatricians in Northern California

Signs that say Facts and Myths pointing in opposite directions

13 Myths about Kids’ Health

One day in the office recently I had a conversation with a patient and his mom about acne. We were starting some acne medicine, and I was going through my usual talk about what to do to help clear it up.

After I was done, his mom said: “And no more chocolate for you!”

My response? “Sorry, I think you should know there’s just no science to support that.”

Eating a healthy diet is good for you and likely improves the look of your skin – but chocolate is not specifically linked to acne. Neither are french fries!

This conversation prompted me to ask my colleagues: What other myths do they bust on a regular basis during office visits? What do our parents and patients believe that just isn’t true and might even be hurting them?

Here are the responses (each will be addressed more completely in separate posts).

Playing in the cold gives you a cold. Nope. Viruses give you colds.

Green mucus means you need an antibiotic. Not always.

Cracking knuckles causes arthritis. I wish this were true, then everyone would stop making that awful noise. But it isn’t.

Sugar causes hyperactivity. I’m not saying sugar is good for your child – but it’s not the cause of hyperactivity.

Tilting back or forward with a nosebleed stops it. Nope – stay upright.

Teething causing fevers. Teething causes teeth – not fevers.

Chocolate and french fries make acne worse. No, and see above.

Milk creates more mucous during a cold. It’s fine to drink milk when you have a cold!

Letting a baby stand will make them bowlegged or pigeon-toed. Not true.

Holding a baby too much will spoil them. You can spoil fruits and veggies. Not babies.

Fevers are bad. Fevers are not always bad and can even be helpful in fighting infection!

The flu vaccine gives you the flu. This is simply not true, and it’s a dangerous myth. Please have your family vaccinated!

Babies need to poop every day. No, but we understand why you worry!

I know parents have concerns (I do too sometimes!). But I want to help you worry less by seeing the truth behind these myths!

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