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VERIFY: No, you don't have to wait 30 minutes after eating before swimming

The motherly advice even doctors themselves have heard before. The advice stemmed from fears that swimming after eating could cause severe cramping.

PHOENIX — You may have heard the motherly advice, stay out of the water until you wait 30 minutes after eating.

However, was this motherly advice sage wisdom? Or just a myth?

THE QUESTION

 Should you wait 30 minutes after eating before you go swimming”

THE SOURCES:

Dr. Michael Boniface with the Mayo Clinic.

THE ANSWER:

False. There is no scientific evidence you need to wait 30 minutes after eating to go swimming.

WHAT WE FOUND

“When I was a kid, I remember my mom telling me not to go into the pool 30-60 minutes after,” Dr. Michael Boniface said.

The motherly advice even doctors themselves have heard before. The advice stemmed from fears that swimming after eating could cause severe cramping.

The old feeling was that after you eat, blood would be diverted to your gut so that you could digest. Diverting the blood from your arms and legs." Dr. Boniface said.

However, doctors found that our bodies really can do two things at once. While you may get the occasional cramp or have discomfort while swimming on a full stomach, it's nothing to be concerned about.

“We know now there is no scientific basis for this recommendation." Dr. Boniface said.

Drowning Prevention Tips: 

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children between ages 1-4 aside from birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three children die every day as a result of drowning. Here are some tips from the CDC on how to protect children around water: 

Learn life-saving skills. 

Everyone should know the basics of swimming (floating, moving through the water) and CPR. 

Fence it off. 

Install a four–sided isolation fence, with self–closing and self–latching gates, around backyard swimming pools. This can help keep children away from the area when they aren’t supposed to be swimming. Pool fences should be completely separate the house and play area from the pool. 

Life jackets are a must. 

Make sure kids wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can be used in and around pools for weaker swimmers too. 

Keep a close watch.

When kids are in or near water (including bathtubs), closely supervise them at all times. Because drowning happens quickly and quietly, adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like reading books, talking on the phone, or using alcohol and drugs. 

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