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Are Old “Popular” Phrases Always True?

By Nick Bevilacqua

I have been in pools, lakes, creeks, ponds, oceans, bays, and more as far back as I can remember. I was raised long before we could perform an internet search and verify the anecdotal stories our parents and grandparents would use around us to scare us, keep us in line, act accordingly, or at least bend to their will.

These parents also did not have kids with ten different devices on them where we could track their every movement and even know how many calories they’ve burned today. Our parents did not have that luxury. On the pool deck, I have been told several tall tales about what is true and untrue about when and where I can swim.

What are some tales we still use, even though our kids can google them and see they are not true, just a tool or means of control?

Here are the three I hear most, so I decided to ask some doctor friends and clients as well as do a solid internet search for answers. You will not believe what I found… (some of you still won’t believe me!)

1. “Swimming after eating.”

This is the easiest one to debunk; if this were true, humans couldn’t do anything after eating. If they are overloaded and you’d rather your kid not walk much as you think they may wobble or fall over, then year, no swimming yet. Swimming between bites won't do much to them if they have a normal day and lunch.

2. “Smells like chlorine means too much chlorine.”

This one is more just an understating of science, and as our children remind us of their subjects, some subjects don’t jive with us. For me, it's English (which is weird because I was born here), but yeah, I couldn’t tell you what a past participle is. I don’t know what a future or present one is either. ;)

You can do a quick little experiment to see how this works: fill up a glass halfway with tap water, put it near the window, in sunlight if you can, and come back in about 30 minutes. Do you smell the “chlorine”? That is because you changed the PH of the water, and now you smell the difference. Don’t ask me what that means for our tap water…

3. “Wet hair, or it’s cold outside, or it’s raining, so I can’t go in the pool because it makes me sick.”

This is just blatantly false. Humans get sick from bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and microscopic things—the end.

Of all the myths about a pool, this is my least favorite. Mostly because science has proven this over and over, and it is often the epitome of the disconnect between parent and child. The parent often doesn’t want to parent, so they rely on misinformation to guide their child. Have you ever wondered what will happen when your kid finds out that many of the things you tell them are untrue? That you are a liar…? That you used this information for your convince… No bueno my friends, no bueno. Check yourself and help guide your child. Learn together, grow together, and you will stay together. I believe a family that prays together stays together. What you have to do is adjust your definition of prayer.

I love you all!

Peace and thanks,

Coach Nick

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