#vizyourkids ~ keep kids safe

Danger of the month: Gum

Hair loss, choking hazard, bad manners . . . chew on this!

Time to get serious here people.

There’s a menace plaguing our society – causing havoc with kids’ haircuts, choking them when they least suspect it, driving parents to distraction and causing them to ignore their children and turn up the car radio. Yet four out of five people are afraid to talk about it . . . even the dentists.

Yes, I’m talking about gum. All gum – those hard, cardboardy sticks that accompany trading cards, the “healthy” sugar-free stuff filled with the latest chemicals, that soap-flavoured purple stuff ironically named Thrills. It’s all evil.

And it’s time someone blew the whistle on Big Gumma. (Kinda like Big Pharma, but different.)

If you’re one of those parents who’s been forced to crack open the peanut butter and slather it on your kid’s hair at 7 in the morning, I feel your pain. Have you lost a flip-flop to a sticky wad of green goo on a hot sidewalk? Has your couch cushion or car seat made the ultimate sacrifice? Stand with me and say, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.” 


There are plenty of reasons for eschewing the chewing

Not only does gum pose a choking and hair-do hazard, research shows that it increases flatulence. Great. Like kids need any more help when it comes to farting. Apparently chewing gum causes us to swallow more air. And doing that for long periods of time leads to increased amounts of air moving through our digestive tracts and leaving as gas.

Not to mention the infamous laxative effect related to excessive chewing of sugar-free gum. Yeah, seems that artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol can lead to, well, the washroom. Damnitol!


And what about the innocent bystanders?

Obviously if there’s flatulence and other such effects, there will be innocent bystanders. Think of them. Consider, if you will, the school custodians, the little sisters with pigtails, dogs, anyone within earshot of a lip-smacking, gum-cracking 12-year-old boy.


At least it’s not tobacco . . .

Sure, chewing gum is better than chewing tobacco, and it’s helped countless millions quit smoking. Plus, it does help alleviate bad breath and prevent snacking between meals. But, really, eating carrots and brushing your teeth will do the same thing.

Face it, bubble gum blows. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing in your cheek should be your tongue. So, join the gum fight and the next time you’re offered a stick, keep these wads of info in mind and just say no.  

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