Monday, January 18, 2010

The Answer You've Been Waiting For!

An interesting article in Parade stated that scientists writing in the Medical Journal of Australia have an answer to an age-old question: should Band-Aids be ripped off or slowly pulled off?

Faster is better they say.  Sixty-five medical students at James Cook University had medium size Band-Aids applied to their skin on three different parts of the body: upper arm, hand and ankle (no knees?).  Two volunteers were given the job of pulling the Bankd-Aids off - one with a quick yank, the other with a slow and gentle peel back (just reading the second one sound torturous).

Subjects were then asked: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much did each removal hurt?  Zero for "no pain" and 10 for "the worst pain imaginable."  Fast came in below 1 (.92) on the scale, while slow scored 1.58.  Neither was a big deal, but fast clearly hurts less.

They should have tried that experiment on screaming toddlers to see which way worked best.  The answer would be neither!  Try holding a toddler still while you either rip or peel.  You have to soak off as much of the Band-Aid as you can in the bathtub, then let if flap around until the next time they take a bath.  In the meantime, when you mention "Let me take the rest of that thing off," you're met with wails of protest and a protective hand over the limp and sagging Band-Aid.  My teenagers now soak off their own Band-Aids.  Maybe one day they'll graduate to the rip or peel method.

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