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HowStuffWorks presents 10 stories of people who experienced really bad luck, like Pete Best, Ron Wayne and Richard Jewell.
Author's Note: 10 Folk Cures You Should Never Try
I had my first child eight months ago and have been helping her through some painful teething for the past two months or so. While she is now the proud owner of five teeth, these pearly whites did not come easy. Throughout the process, I've been faced with frequent suggestions from well-meaning friends and family — including other young moms — that just a bit of brandy or whiskey would be just the thing to soothe her aching gums. I know that this simply isn't the right choice for my daughter, but I've been surprised to learn just how common the practice is, and how many people I know used it with success on their own babies. It's certainly made me curious just how many kids out there are treated with other potentially dangerous folk cures — from "curing" lice by dousing the head with gasoline to slathering butter on a burn.
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- Associated Press (AP). "Health Officials: 'Folk' Medicine Leading Cause of Lead Poisoning in U.S. Children." Fox News. Jan. 22, 2008. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/01/22/health-officials-folk-medicine-leading-cause-lead-poisoning-in-us-children/
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- Dallas, Mary Elizabeth. "Tips for Beating BBQ Burns." HealthDay. July 22, 2014. (Jan. 6, 2015) http://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/burn-health-news-87/tips-for-beating-bbq-burns-689455.html
- Dolan, Maura. "Folk Remedies Often Turn Out to Be Prescriptions for Danger." Los Angeles Times. July 10, 1989. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://articles.latimes.com/1989-07-10/news/mn-2542_1_folk-remedy
- Hobson, Jonathan C. and Jeremy A. Lavy. "Use and Abuse of Cotton Buds." Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Vol. 98, No. 8. Pages 360-361. August 2005. (April 1, 2015) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1181836/
- Illinois Poison Center. "The Case of the Home Remedy." Illinois Poison Center Blog. June 17, 2014. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://ipcblog.org/2014/06/17/the-case-of-the-home-remedy/
- Israel, David K. "Should You Really Put a Steak on a Shiner?" Mental Floss. Nov. 12, 2009. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://mentalfloss.com/article/23246/should-you-really-put-steak-shiner
- James, Susan Donaldson. "Internet Sensation 'Papa Smurf' Dies; Other Blue People Live On." ABC News. Sept. 25, 2013. (April 1, 2015) http://abcnews.go.com/Health/internet-sensation-papa-smurf-dies-blue-people-live/story?id=20368758
- Lee, D.J. et al. "Secondhand Smoke and Earaches in Adolescents: The Florida Youth Cohort Study." Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Vol. 5, No. 6. Pages 943-946. December 2003. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14668078
- Mikkelson, Barbara. "Burnt Offering." Snopes. May 10, 2009. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/lice.asp
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). "Colloidal Silver." Sept. 2014. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://nccam.nih.gov/health/silver
- Shu, Jennifer. "How Can I Soothe a Teething Baby's Gums?" CNN. Dec. 9, 2008. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/expert.q.a/12/01/baby.teething.gums/
- Taylor, Varro E. "Hoosier Home Remedies." Purdue University Press. 1985.
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). "Can Blowing Smoke Into a Child's Ear Cure an Ear Infection or Is It Dangerous?" 2015. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.uamshealth.com/?id=881&sid=1
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "Don't Get Burned: Stay Away From Ear Candles." Feb. 18, 2010. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm200277.htm
- U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). "Fontanelles — Sunken." Feb. 21, 2013. (Jan. 6, 2015) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003309.htm
- U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). "Teething." Nov. 12, 2012. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002045.htm