Remember that annoying long list of things you were told as a kid to do and not do when you were supposed to be out having summertime fun? Well, it's time to separate the facts from fiction so your kids can enjoy themselves while you are not needlessly worrying. A few myth busters, from Woman's Day magazine:
Myth: Always wait an hour after eating to go swimming.
Truth: If your child's just going in the pool to play, then he doesn't have to wait it out. There's no evidence that eating right before getting in the water increases the risk of stomach cramps or drowning. That said, strenuous swimming (like laps) soon after eating could interfere with digestion and lead to stomachache.
Myth: A T-shirt over a bathing suit blocks out the sun.
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Truth: A white T-shirt has an SPF of about 3. So bring on the waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and reapply after swimming. Also, use shirts with SPF built in for cover-ups, or try washing clothes with an additive that gives them an SPF of 30.
Myth: Poison ivy rashes are contagious.
Truth: It's the oil from the plant that causes the red, itchy rash; once you've washed if off, you're not contagious. So always have kids wash arms, legs and feet with soap and water after they play in the woods or bushes.
Myth: Sparklers are a safe alternative to fireworks.
Truth: They're not. More than a quarter of all fireworks-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2006 involved sparklers and other "novelty'' fireworks, according to a study by researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Two-thirds of sparkler-related injuries were in children 5 and younger.