Look, I’m not here to bore you with my childhood and list all the things my parents could have done better. But with a new study proving that kissing boo-boos is actually a good thing, I have to vent. At least a little bit.
If you’re like me, then you probably had a mother or a father who would tell you to walk it off the minute you get hurt. Have you fallen down and scratched your knee? “Run some more, girl, go on.” This is the mantra I’ve always heard come out of my parents’ mouths.
Now, I realize they were doing this for a good reason. They wanted to teach me to be unfazed by pain. This is why if anyone shouts at me at the office or if I fall flat on my face on a street filled with people I know how to shrug my shoulders and walk it off.
But when we’re young, we want our parents to kiss and make it better. We want to believe that that kiss is magical and healing. We want to see our parents giving us a little extra attention when we are in pain.
Well, now, our childhood desire is being backed up by scientific research. It seems that kissing that boo-boo is actually important for the healing process. Maybe this study started after the researcher was deprived of a number of kisses as a child too.
It appears that the kiss works beyond “the placebo effect.” Rather, the saliva transferred from the lips of the parent to the wound has “healing power.” It will make the wound “heal faster than injuries elsewhere.”
The research revolved around a peptide which is found in our saliva. Researchers found that the peptide, called histatin-1, “promotes blood vessel formation.” As a result, it quickens the process of healing.
Vicente A. Torres, Ph.D, an associate professor at the Institute for Research in Dental Sciences within the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Chile, spoke about the findings. “We believe that the study could help the design of better approaches to improve wound healing in tissues other than the mouth.” Do you hear that, Mom?
Yes, alright, I have issues. But the good news is, it’s OK to kiss your kids’ boo-boos. So do it, damn it. Don’t be so hard-headed unless you want your kid to grow up with unresolved issues. Yes, I’m talking about me again.
Of course, there’s more work that needs to be done now to confirm this research. The editor in chief of the FASED Journal, Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., also spoke about the research. “The clear results of the present study open a wide door to a therapeutic advance. They also bring to mind the possible meaning of animals, and often children, 'licking their wounds.’”
So, you see, even nature instills in us, or at least in animals, the need to lick wounds. For God’s sake, even a lioness will lick her kid’s wounds if they have a boo-boo. Why are our parents so stubborn in not wanting to?
Look, clearly, I have issues. If you had a similar childhood then I pity you too. Sure, we’re strong and we’re not going to burst out crying in public because we expect no “there, there” from those around us but really, we don’t need much, just a little attention from our parents.
So here’s a plan for you. Let’s send this article to one of our parents. Let’s get a papercut or something and let’s go home so they can kiss and make it better. And yes, OK, I’ll find a good therapist while I’m at it too.