Test Your Health and First Aid Knowledge With Our Quiz
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5. False. Baths and even shampoos are perfectly fine, for children as well as adults. Not only does it make you feel better, but it also helps lower a fever. Just be sure to dry off in a warm room.
6. False. Until fairly recently, generations of people suffering the pain of gastric ulcers were advised, even by doctors, to regularly drink milk as part of the treatment. However, research has now shown that, instead of soothing an ulcer, milk actually aggravates the condition. An ulcer occurs in the stomach or duodenum when acid secretion wears away an area of the protective mucous lining. Milk, actually stimulates the production of gastric acid…which only increases the irritation and pain.
7. True. Since mud is likely to be cool it can help relieve the pain and swelling of a sting. Ice—or anything cold, like a soda can—is much more effective and less likely to cause infection than mud.
8. False. Warm oil is not the answer. Most doctors warn this treatment is at best useless and could be dangerous if the eardrum is perforated. Instead, doctors recommend using a painkiller like aspirin (or an aspirin substitute for children); elevating the head to help relieve pressure on the ear. Then get to the doctor, because middle ear infections respond best to antibiotics. Left untreated, they may cause burst eardrums and loss of hearing.
9. False. Save your saliva, here is just another old wives’ tale…perpetuated by, who else? Hollywood. Someone is always saving his best friend by making quick cuts around the bite and then sucking out the venom. Doctors point out that cutting just enlarges the wound, and applying your mouth to the area only increases the risk of bacterial infection. It’s actually the worst thing you can do. For any bite, the best advice is to get medical care as soon as possible.
—Sue Castle uncovers the truth on age-old advice in her book “Mother Knows Best?” Castle is a TV producer and mother who lives in NYC.