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Medical Myths Revealed

Oftentimes, parents hear stories from other parents and family members about medical issues that may or may not be true. Patrick Mularoni, M.D., medical director of sports medicine at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital addresses a few of those issues and helps parents learn if they are true or false.

FALSE: Gum stays in your stomach for seven years if you swallow it.

It is true that you can’t digest gum and break it down in the stomach or gastrointestinal track, but there is nowhere for gum to sit for seven years. This is the same for plastic and other non-food items that are swallowed. They normally pass through the gastrointestinal track in three to five days. So we don’t need you coming in the ER for swallowed gum, but other than toxic substances there are two items that should prompt you to come in if your child swallows them. The first is multiple magnets because they can stick together inside the intestines and the other is batteries because they can leak battery acid into the esophagus.

Click here to see the rest of the medical myths revealed!