Dumbest Study Ever: Mothers Kissing Children’s ‘Boo-Boos’ Does Not Make Them Better

Derek Hunter Contributor
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UPDATE: The study, it turns out, is a hoax. Editor of the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, Dr. Andrew Miles, told The Federalist:

The article, which is positioned as the last paper in an issue which consists of over 60 major articles from leading authorities and institutions worldwide, and the latest in a very long series of annual thematic editions of the [Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice] JECP which have had a major impact on the course of the international [evidence-based medicine] EBM debate, is very clearly ironic and published with reference to the time of year, much as the [British Medical Journal] BMJ does with its own Christmas edition.

A study out of Ottawa, Canada, has confirmed what people have known for years: mothers kissing minor scrapes and cuts does not, in fact, make them better.

The groundbreaking study, conducted by the “Study of Maternal and Child Kissing Working Group,” or “SMACK” for short, looked at “943 maternal–toddler pairs” to see if kissing it made it better. They measured the TDI, or Toddler Discomfort Index, in 1 and 5 minute intervals to see if pain children were feeling was alleviated by their mother kissing their boo-boos compared to mothers who didn’t kiss it or had their boo-boos kissed by someone unknown to them.

Researchers found toddlers who had their boo-boos kissed by either their mother or someone unknown to them actually had a higher TDI than those whose boo-boos were not kissed at all. “One-minute and 5-minute TDI scores did not differ significantly between the maternal and sham kiss groups. Both of these groups had significantly higher TDI scores at 5 minutes compared to the no intervention group.”

The Earth-shattering conclusion of this groundbreaking study was to find kissing it to make it better may, in fact, be making it worse:

Maternal kissing of boo-boos confers no benefit on children with minor traumatic injuries compared to both no intervention and sham kissing. In fact, children in the maternal kissing group were significantly more distressed at 5 minutes than were children in the no intervention group.

Researches stopped short of calling the practice abusive, though they do suggest mothers stop kissing boo-boos, writing, “The practice of maternal kissing of boo-boos is not supported by the evidence and we recommend a moratorium on the practice.”

Mercifully, as the study is Canadian, it is highly unlikely US taxpayers footed the bill for it.