Everyone with children has kissed a small bruise or cut to make it better. This comes from one of our earliest medical procedures for the treatment of snakebite. Noticing that a victim could be saved if the venom was sucked out through the point of entry, early doctors soon began treating all infectious abrasions by putting their lips to the wound and sucking out the poison.
Medicine moved on, but the belief that a kiss can make it all better still lingers.
Walking is a great way to exercise. Walking burns calories, strengthens back muscles, strengthens bones, reduces stress, helps improve your mood, helps you sleep better, and requires no equipment. Best of all, it is free and can be done almost anywhere! Walking also helps build community. A simple wave as you walk by your neighbors’ yard helps strengthen community connections. Walking, instead of driving, also reduces traffic congestion and pollution. It is important to be careful when you walk. During the day, wear bright, light clothing; at dusk, dawn, or nighttime, wear reflective clothing, with strips of material or tape attached that bounce back light. Be careful.
Always look both ways before crossing the street, obey traffic signals, and use the crosswalk. Be aware of all traffic, and make sure that drivers see you by making eye contact with them before you cross the street. Walk against the direction of traffic whenever possible. And remember, too, that walking with a friend is always safer than walking on your own. Encourage a friend or family member to join you! Be thoroughly familiar with your route. Know the location of phones, police or fire stations, and businesses, and always bring along some form of identification, like a school ID card.
Technically, no. While it is responsible for receiving and transmitting all messages of pain for the whole body, the brain itself does not have pain receptors.
That means that, if you could somehow gain access to another person’s brain, you could poke it or pinch it and that person would not feel the pain.
The expression “frog in your throat” doesn’t come from sounding like a frog because you have a cold or sore throat. It originates from an actual Middle Ages medical treatment for a throat infection.
Doctors believed that if a live frog was placed head-first into a patient’s mouth the animal would inhale the cause of the hoarseness into its own body. Thankfully, the practice is long gone, but the expression “frog in your throat” lives on.
Babies grow in their mother’s uterus, a special organ that houses the baby until it is born. At the start of pregnancy, a mother’s egg is fertilized, which makes a new cell. The cell divides quickly into many more cells. At about one week, this tiny mass, called an embryo, sticks to the wall of the uterus, and begins to grow. From the moment of conception, 46 chromosomes and tens of thousands of genes combine to determine a baby’s physical characteristics—the sex, facial features, body type, and color of hair, eyes, and skin. At the eighth week, the embryo is called a fetus.
By the end of the twelfth week, the fetus is completely formed and is able to make a fist, can turn his or her head, and can squint and frown. Until the baby is ready to come out, it grows inside its mother’s uterus. When the baby is ready to be born, at about 40 weeks, the mother starts to feel labor contractions. The uterus squeezes and pushes the baby out of the uterus and into the world.
An allergic reaction is a reaction to a substance that is normally harmless to most other people. Allergies happen when a person’s immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance that the person has breathed in, touched, or eaten. Allergens— the antigens that bring on an allergic reaction—may be foods, medications, plants or animals, chemicals, dust, or molds. Some common allergic reactions are hay fever, allergic conjunctivitis (an eye reaction); asthma, pet-dander allergies, and skin reactions, such as hives.
A common cause for allergies are dust mites, a large part of household dust. If they are breathed in by an allergic person, the body parts of the dead mites can trigger asthma, a lung condition that causes a person to have difficulty breathing. Cat and dog dander, or skin flakes, can cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, wheezing, and running eyes and nose. Common food allergy triggers are the proteins in cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts.
A popular summer-camp rhyme is “Leaves of three, let it be.” Poison ivy, the threeleaved plant that grows wild in all regions of the United States, is aggravating to the skin, though not lethal if swallowed unless you are very allergic. After brushing up against the poison ivy plant, a red rash usually develops.
Rubbing the rash will not spread poison ivy to other parts of the body (or to another person) unless urushiol oil—the sticky, resin-like substance that causes the rash—has been left on your hands. Other plants that usually irritate the skin upon contact include cowhage, poison oak, poison sumac, rengas tree, and trumpet vine.
James Spangler, a janitor at an Ohio department store who suffered from asthma, invented his “electric suction-sweeper,” in 1907 as way of picking up the dust and debris that triggered his health condition. His invention was the first practical domestic vacuum cleaner. It used an electric fan to generate suction, rotating brushes to loosen dirt, a pillowcase for a filter, and a broomstick for a handle.
Because it was heavy and hard to handle, Spangler sold the rights of his invention to his relative, William Hoover, whose redesign of the appliance coincided with the development of the small, high-speed universal motor, in which the same current (either AC or DC) passes through the appliance’s rotor and stator. This gave the vacuum cleaner more horsepower, higher airflow and suction, better engine cooling, and more portability than was possible with the larger, heavier induction motor. Hoover’s model has since been refined, but the mechanics of his vacuum cleaner are still used in vacuum cleaners today.
If you want to look clean and smell nice, your clothes need to be washed frequently. Most clothing is made of tiny threads that are woven together. As you go about your day, dirt and odors get trapped in the weave of your clothes and can only be removed by washing.
Clothes must be jiggled and swished around quite a bit in water—as is done in a washing machine—to best remove dirt and odors. Detergent is added to the water to help the process: it can break up oily particles into smaller pieces that can be whisked away, and it can surround other dirt particles and pull them away from fabric.
Nobody who has died has been able to come back to tell us about it, so it is impossible to know whether dying hurts. But people who have had “near-death” experiences— those whose hearts have stopped, for instance, but were later restarted— have only good things to report. Most tell of a peaceful sensation of floating above their bodies. A number also describe traveling through a tunnel toward a beautiful light or having loving meetings with friends and relatives who have died before them.
Scientists know that when a person is in a state of very low oxygen—often a condition that precedes death—he or she experiences feelings of euphoria, or great happiness. So as far as we know, the act of dying is not painful at all. Many sick people welcome death. The same wonders of medicine that have allowed people to reach old age have also enabled them to live through long, and sometimes painful, illnesses. Often, death is seen as a welcome end to pain, both for the ill person and for the family and friends who have watched their loved one suffer. People with strong religious faith, too, may fear death less because they believe they will journey to a better place.