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Sunday, May 8th is Mother’s Day. Without her, you wouldn’t be here. However, she might have been lying to you. Her intentions may have been good but at one point in your life you were told an old wives tale. A lot of these myths have to do with eye-sight and blindness.  Let’s debunk these mom lies.

black and white photo of mother with son and daughter looking out window

(Photo by Rae Russel/Getty Images)

“Don’t touch that toad or you’ll get warts”

Toads have wart-like growths but in fact, these growths are not human compatible at all. Warts are caused by viruses and they are almost always exclusive to a particular genus of creature. Human’s cannot catch warts from other animals, and animals can not catch human warts.

“Sugar is making you hyper-active”

Professor of neonatology and general pediatrics at UAMS Medical center, Dr. Bryan Burk says, “No evidence exists that feeding children a high-sugar diet will induce hyperactivity, despite the common belief that it does.”

“Reading in the dark will ruin your eyes”

You eyes will work harder in dim light but Dr. Katrina Schmidt, who is a doctor says that, “Reading in dim light is not in itself going to ruin your eyes.”

“Don’t swallow your gum. It takes 7 years to digest”

According to those killjoys at Snopes, the reason your mom lied to you is because she was confused about the term “indigestible,” which actually just means your stomach acids are unable to break down the components of gum. Gum and corn are both harder to digest but they don’t stay in your system for 7 years! You will pass them mostly whole.

“Put on a jacket or you’ll catch a cold”

The “common cold” is caused by the rhinovirus. Cold weather usually makes people stay indoors, which increases the person-to-person transmission of respiratory viruses so if mom was really concerned she would have kicked you outside to play, even if it was chilly.

“Don’t crack your knuckles or you’ll get arthritis”

Arthritis is caused by a metabolic abnormality like an imbalance of chemicals in your body, an infection either bacterial or viral, an autoimmune disease and injury. Cracking may cause swelling but not arthritis.

“Stop that or you’ll go blind”

In France, moms tell the fib that “you’ll go deaf”. The idea has probably been spread in order to prevent children from masturbating for religious reasons or modesty and embarrassment.  Sperm does contain a lot of zinc, and a serious zinc deficiency can cause a decline in vision. However, “the act” won’t deplete your body of enough zinc for visual impairment.

“Don’t sit so close to the TV. It will ruin your eyes”

Research has shown that children who spend 10 hours or more in front of the television each week are more likely to become overweight, aggressive, and slower in school. Kids may go temporarily cross-eyed from being close to the screen but it will not be a permanent problem.

“Eat more carrots to improve your eyesight”.

This tale came about due to allied propaganda during the second world war when rumors were spread that the British airmen had excellent night vision due to eating carrots. Carrots contain vitamin A which is good for healthy eyes but eating lots of them will do nothing to improve your vision.

“Chocolate causes acne/Pizza causes acne”

While eating healthy is good for overall body health, acne is actually caused by changes in the lower layers of the skin surrounding hair follicles.

“You have to wait for 30 minutes after eating before you swim”

The Red Cross says that eating directly prior to swimming does not increase risk of cramp at all. They do, however, recommend at least waiting for digestion to begin if you have eaten a particularly fatty meal.

“Starve a cold, feed a fever”

Both colds and fevers cause dehydration – so liquids are essential when suffering from either. Food provides the body with the sustenance it needs to get healthy. So, you should feed a fever and feed a cold.

81% of Americans plan to celebrate Mother’s Day. At least give her a call and let her know how smart you are now!