Could Mom Have Been Wrong?

014 July 2010
Brian Udermann

By Brian Udermann

Oh the wonderful advice many of us were given by our parents.  Don’t sit too close to the TV, take that bandage off your cut when you go to bed, don’t go swimming for at least 45 minutes after eating a meal, and for goodness sake stop cracking your knuckles or you will wind up with huge arthritic joints when you are older!

Turns out that sitting to close to the TV will not damage eyesight.  It might lead to a bit of eyestrain which could cause your eyes to become red, dry, and even a bit irritated, but that will usually go away in 20 or 30 minutes after you turn the television off.  Similarly, reading in low light conditions will not damage eyesight either.  I used to panic every time I found one of my three boys reading by flashlight buried under their covers late at night, now I just let them read!

Countless hours of swimming enjoyment have been lost because good intentioned parents won’t let their children go into the water for 30, 45, or even 60 minutes after eating a meal.  The fear is that if we go swimming after eating, much of our blood will be diverted from our muscles to our stomach to help with the digestion process and this could lead to stomach cramping and possible drowning.

I’ve searched the medical literature and have yet to come up with one single case of someone drowning or even having a near drowning experience because they went swimming after eating a meal.  The rule in our house now is, if you want to swim after eating a meal, go ahead! Read more…
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