Myth busters


We all know how important it is for kids to get outside and explore nature. But it seems that we, as parents, worry constantly about health and safety issues when they are doing it! Now Comvita have compiled five myth busters around outdoor play, researched by chief science officer and mum of two, Dr Jackie Evans.

Dock leaves help stinging nettle stings

Stinging nettle stings are slightly acid – as are dock leaves. A dock leaf doesn’t contain any properties that soothe or neutralise the nettle acid. But if you have ever felt relief from rubbing a dock leaf on nettle stings, you’re not going mad! The act of rubbing the site vigorously does help slightly in removing the nettle hairs but this has nothing to do with the leaf.

Instead, you should wash the area with soap and water as quickly as possible: this will help remove the nettle hairs embedded in the skin. After that, you could apply a moist cloth or icepack to alleviate the irritated skin.

Rubbing alcohol is the best way to clean and disinfect wounds

Rubbing alcohol on wounded skin could cause more harm than good. In doing so you risk harming tissues and cells, and delaying wound healing.

The best way to clean minor wounds such as cuts, grazes and burns is to rinse them well under cool running water for a few minutes. To aid healing and protect the wound as it heals apply medical grade Manuka Honey, such as Comvita’s Medihoney Anitbacterial Wound Gel. This creates a moist, low pH environment that promotes wound cleaning and healing and reduces the risk of infection and scaring

Only children in rural areas can play outside safely

It’s estimated that there are more than 27,000 parks and green spaces across the UK and according to usage is higher among those living in urban areas than those living in rural areas. Initiatives such as Play Streets enable residents to temporarily close their street to traffic so children can play safely on their doorstep. They also encourage kids to be more active and help to bring neighbours together.

Swimming after eating will give you bad cramps.

This common myth has been around since the early 20th century, when it was included in a boy scouts’ handbook. There is no evidence to support it. Although blood does divert to your stomach to aid digestion after a meal, it is not enough blood to stop your arm and leg muscles from properly functioning. So just keep swimming!

Being cold will give you a cold.

Although colds are more likely to spread during winter months, this isn’t because the chilly weather gives you colds. Colds are caused by viruses that spread through direct contact or via small droplets or aerosols in the air. One of the main reasons we see more cases of colds in cold weather is because people spend more time inside where the warm, low humidity environment helps the cold viruses to survive for longer. Staying inside also means you are in closer contact with other people who may be infectious, giving you a higher chance of catching a cold.

To discover more about how honey can help to keep kids healthy in the winter months visit