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Author Topic: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?  (Read 13042 times)

Offline chris

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Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« on: 22/02/2003 10:51:11 »
A recent survey of American parents bringing their children to an emergency room (ER) in Boston, MA, with the symptoms of a cold, revealed some interesting misconceptions:

60% of parents believed colds are caused by changes in the weather.

40% of parents thought you could catch a cold by going out with wet hair.

66% thought bacteria (as opposed to viruses) are the cause of colds.

50% of parents thought that antibiotics are a useful treatment (which they are not).

Parents who think antibiotics help colds to clear up are more likely to take their children to the doctor than other parents.

(Pediatrics 2003;111:231-6) Here's the link to the source article for those interested :

http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/abstract/111/2/231?ijkey=xD6Ny/afD.NXE

Chris
« Last Edit: 19/06/2009 09:03:39 by chris »


 

Offline elegantlywasted

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #1 on: 25/06/2007 22:12:43 »
Just noticed this older post... those numbers are quite scary... and these are probably the same people who complain about ER wait times....
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #2 on: 26/06/2007 09:19:23 »
"Parents who think antibiotics help colds to clear up are more likely to take their children to the doctor than other parents."
 Good, the doctor can explain things to them.

I may have missed something but when was "my child has a cold" a medical emergency?
 

another_someone

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #3 on: 26/06/2007 10:34:05 »
I may have missed something but when was "my child has a cold" a medical emergency?

Ofcourse, one problem is that most serious diseases start out with minor symptoms that do not seem like a medical emergency (hence people who are sent home and die of malaria after being told they only have slight flu - and then when the patient refuses to present themselves at the doctors because they think their symptoms are too trivial and time wasting, and then fail to allow early diagnosis of life threatening conditions).

Where is the borderline between being accused of being a hypochondriac or being accused of dangerous medical complacency?
 

Offline iko

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #4 on: 26/06/2007 11:55:21 »
Where is the borderline between being accused of being a hypochondriac or being accused of dangerous medical complacency?

Informed parents will always be worried anyway, even if it's 'just a fever'.
They probably hear from relatives and friends those stories of unfortunate kids who died from fulminant meningitis or acute leukemia after a few days with 'just a fever'.  They know it happens very rarely, but it happens, so people pay attention to it.

ikod
« Last Edit: 26/06/2007 12:01:24 by iko »
 

Offline iko

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #5 on: 26/06/2007 15:20:48 »
A recent survey of American parents bringing their children to an emergency room (ER) in Boston, MA, with the symptoms of a cold, revealed some interesting misconceptions:

60% of parents believed colds are caused by changes in the weather.

40% of parents thought you could catch a cold by going out with wet hair.

66% thought bacteria (as opposed to viruses) are the cause of colds.

50% of parents thought that antibiotics are a useful treatment (which they are not).

Parents who think antibiotics help colds to clear up are more likely to take their children to the doctor than other parents.

(Pediatrics 2003;111:231-6) Here's the link to the source article for those interested :

http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/abstract/111/2/231?ijkey=xD6Ny/afD.NXE

Chris

Oh yes,
we are so clever and know things.
We manage to prove scientifically that what ordinary people believe is totally invented, just rubbish.
Great show.
Then, when a parent of a child diagnosed with leukemia asks the doctor WHY all this happened to her/him...we invent replies, thus basically admitting our ignorance.
What a shame for human Science.
Doctors should concentrate more on finding out what they don't know yet, instead of evaluating what engineers, physicists, poets and musicians know about viruses and bacteria. Instead of passing judgment on what ordinary people have "known" for generations, they could investigate on more crucial and urgent medical issues.

iko
« Last Edit: 30/05/2008 21:37:14 by iko »
 

Offline kdlynn

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #6 on: 26/06/2007 16:34:42 »
i think a lot of people, me included, have trouble finding the difference between a cold, the flu, and an infection. my general rule is, if it's been hanging around for a week, then i'll go to the doctor. i doubt i'd ever take my children to the emergency room for any of these three unless they had a really high fever or they couldn't breathe at all. but who knows. i don't have any kids yet.
 

Offline iko

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #7 on: 26/06/2007 18:26:56 »
It is extremely rare, but it happens: 1-2 year old children and even grown up adults, they get high fever one day and in a few hours are dead from septic shock, an overwhelming infection of the blood.
To catch on time these acutely ill patients, we must keep a very high danger level.
Parents should be alerted.
Then everything has to go fast, and intensive care units must be close enough and ready to work...

iko

P.S.
To have an idea of this issue, just write "meningococcemia" on GoogleImages!

« Last Edit: 26/06/2007 19:09:13 by iko »
 

Offline samba

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #8 on: 18/06/2009 22:19:47 »
With respect, Iko, I have to disagree with your point of view:

"Doctors should concentrate more on finding out what they don't know yet, instead of evaluating what engineers, physicists, poets and musicians know about viruses and bacteria. Instead of passing judgment on what ordinary people have "known" for generations, they could investigate on more crucial and urgent medical issues."

I don't think this is "passing judgment"; it's an issue of determining the gaps in public education.  It's well-demonstrated that the more a person knows about a health concern, be it HIV or lung cancer, diabetes or lyme disease, the less likely they are to engage in behaviors that put them at risk, and the more likely they are to take preventative steps to protect themselves.  So on the contrary "doctors" need to concentrate both on "finding out what they don't know yet" as well as place a high priority on ensuring the dissemination of basic prevention data and educating the public.  That means they might have to find out what the public doesn't know.  If not, then any epidemiological advance is a waste.

Case in point: in Africa, there are millions of people who believe that AIDS is caused by all sorts of different things from evil spirits to avocados, and consequentially that continent is subsumed with infection.  And the infection rate is rising.  The number of infections per year in the U.S. on the other hand is falling, and not because of HAART.
 

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Re: Does going out with wet hair cause colds?
« Reply #8 on: 18/06/2009 22:19:47 »

 

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