Sources: Papers On Health
Avoidance of the causes of disease requires some
idea of the dangers to which children are exposed in the usual
upbringing. For instance, sitting on damp ground, cold stones, or even
a cool window-sill, is a fruitful cause of bowel trouble. The remedy
for such an exposure is proper warm FOMENTATION (see) of the chilled
parts, followed by hot olive oil rubbing and careful clothing.
Again, rich diet, especially for delicate children, is a great cause
of trouble. What we have written concerning food, and the article
Assimilation, should be read to guide on this.
Again, the child is exposed to falls, and falls into water, leading
sometimes to drowning. Timely thought would prevent nearly all such
accidents. Do not wait until the trouble comes. Protect exposed streams
and wells near the house. Shut doors and gates in time. Also the
directions of the Humane Society for the recovery of the partly drowned
(see Drowning) should be in every house, and as soon as possible both
boys and girls should learn to swim.
Again, children are in danger through careless attendants. They may be
let fall, or capsized in perambulators. Spinal injury is often caused
by such falls. In case of any broken or disjointed limbs, the bandaging
of infants should be of a gentle kind, and encasement in starch or
plaster jackets should be avoided. In every way the natural growth and
circulation should be helped, not hindered by strapping and tight
bandaging. The timely consulting of a really good doctor will often
prevent serious trouble in any case of a fall.
Another source of danger is the exposure of children to the possibility
of burning or scalding. Wherever there are young children fires should
be guarded, and matters so arranged that they cannot come in the way of
boiling water. Much that seems impossible in such protection becomes
easy enough to a determined person, and a great deal of sore illness
can be averted by taking a little trouble. A child should never be in
the place where there is a pan of boiling water on the floor, nor in
any house should it be possible for a child to pull a kettle full of
boiling water on its head.
If, however, scalding occur, apply the cold treatment as detailed in
the article on Burns.
In case of contracted limbs or features, occurring from severe burning,
the rubbing treatment (see Children's Healthy Growth), will be
effective as a cure.
Children's clothing should never be made of flannelette, it is so
liable to take fire if the child approaches the grate. At hundreds of
inquests coroners have directed attention to the terrible loss of life
from this cause.
Medicines and all poisonous substances should be carefully labelled,
and kept out of children's reach. If by accident a child should have
taken poison administer an antidote (see Poisoning). Should a child
swallow a nail, button or some such hard substance, do not give any
purgative medicine. It will pass out more safely when embedded in solid
faeces. Examine the stools carefully so that anxiety may be allayed when
the foreign substance is seen.