Chewing Gum In School

by | Health, Parent Resources

Gum has been banned in schools across the country for quite some time now. The reasoning behind this often due to the difficultly of removing it from carpet, hair and the bottom of desk, not to mention the distraction of gum cracking and blowing bubbles. Today, a great number of schools have gum chewing fully banned while others completely support this behaviour. A developing group of research supports the movement towards a gum-positive classroom setting, as the numbers of benefits are quite impressive.

Benefits of Chewing Gum in School

In a study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, it was found that chewing gum might increase alertness and lead to changes in cognitive performance. This would work wonders in a classroom setting, as side effects of anxiety such as fidgeting can be a major distraction. A separate study by the UK found that chewing gum could both improve memory and boost long and short-term memory. In this case, gum could be used before exams or assignments as a way to ease a child’s anxiety.

Health Concerns

There is immense research regarding the negative impact of aspartame (a common ingredient in gum) on a child’s health. Children can still enjoy the benefits of chewing gum without the negative aspects of added sugar alternatives such as aspartame, as there are many alternatives available. Visit local health food stores for an aspartame free version to give children the benefits without outweighing the negative impacts.

Chewing Gum In Practice

From an article in the Globe and Mail a small not-for-profit school in Toronto allows students to chew gum in the classroom. It was tested after an Occupational Therapist recommended the chewing gum technique to relive stress, anxiety, depression and fidgeting in the classroom. The principle has not looked back since and the practice is now seen as commonplace in this school. The principle goes on to say that they will continue to allow students to chew gum as long as it is done so in a respectful manner.

To read more, visit the Effects Of Chewing Gum On Mood, Learning, Memory, And Performance Of An Intelligence Test and the link between Gum And Memory.