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´╗┐Title: Advice to a Mother on the Management of Her Children
Author: Chavasse, Pye Henry
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Advice to a Mother on the Management of Her Children" ***

Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.






"Lo, children and the fruit of the womb are an heritage and gift that
cometh of the Lord."


This Book has been translated into French, into German, into Polish,
and into Tamil (one of the languages of India); it has been
extensively published in America; and is well-known wherever the
English language is spoken.

The Twelfth Edition--consisting of twenty thousand copies--being
exhausted in less than three years, the THIRTEENTH EDITION is now

One or two fresh questions have been asked and answered, and two or
three new paragraphs have I been added.


BIRMINGHAM, _June_, 1878.










  _Infant and suckling._--I. SAMUEL
  _A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded._--BYRON.
  _Man's breathing Miniature!_--COLERIDGE.


1. _I wish to consult you on many subjects appertaining to the
management and the care of children; will you favour me with your
advice and counsel_?

I shall be happy to accede to your request, and to give you the fruits
of my experience in the clearest manner I am able, and in the simplest
language I can command--freed from all technicalities. I will
endeavour to guide you in the management of the health of your
offspring;--I will describe to you the _symptoms_ of the diseases of
children;--I will warn you of approaching danger, in order that you
may promptly apply for medical assistance before disease has gained
too firm a footing;--I will give you the _treatment_ on the moment; of
some of their more pressing illnesses--when medical aid cannot at once
be procured, and where delay may be death;--I will instruct you, in
case of accidents, on the _immediate_ employment of remedies--where
procrastination may be dangerous;--I will tell you how a sick child
should be nursed, and how a sick-room ought to be managed;--I I will
use my best energy to banish injurious practices from the nursery;--I
will treat of the means to prevent disease where it be possible;--I
will show you the way to preserve the health of the healthy,--and how
to strengthen the delicate;--and will strive to make a medical man's
task more agreeable to himself,--and more beneficial to his
patient,--by dispelling errors and prejudices, and by proving the
importance of your _strictly_ adhering to his rules. If I can
accomplish any of these objects, I shall be amply repaid by the
pleasing satisfaction that I have been of some little service to the
rising generation.

2. _Then you consider it important that I should be made acquainted
with, and be well informed upon, the subjects you have just named_?

Certainly! I deem it to be your imperative duty to _study_ the
subjects well. The proper management of children is a vital
question,--a mother's question,--and the most important that can be
brought under the consideration of a parent; and, strange to say, it
is one that has been more neglected than any other. How many mothers
undertake--the responsible management of children without previous
instruction, or without forethought; they undertake it, as though it
may be learned either by intuition or by instinct, or by
affection. The consequence is, that frequently they are in a sea of
trouble and uncertainty, tossing about without either rule or compass;
until, too often, their hopes and treasures are shipwrecked and lost.

The care and management, and consequently the health and future
well-doing of the child, principally devolve upon the mother, "for it
is the mother after all that has most to do with the making or marring
of the man." [Footnote: _Good Words_, Dr W. Lindsay Alexander, March
1861.] Dr Guthrie justly remarks that--"Moses might have never been
the man he was unless he had been nursed by his own mother. How many
celebrated men have owed their greatness and their goodness to a
mother's training!" Napoleon owed much to his mother. "'The fate of a
child,' said Napoleon, 'is always the work of his mother;' and this
extraordinary man took pleasure in repeating, that to his mother he
owed his elevation. All history confirms this opinion..." The
character of the mother influences the children more than that of the
father, because it is more exposed to their daily, hourly
observation.--_Woman's Mission_.

I am not overstating the importance of the subject in hand when I say,
that a child is the most valuable treasure in the world, that "he is
the precious gift of God," that he is the source of a mother's
greatest and purest enjoyment, that he is the strongest bond of
affection between her and her husband, and that

  "A babe in a house is a well-spring of pleasure,
  A messenger of peace and love."--_Tupper_,

I have, in the writing of the following pages, had one object
constantly in view--namely, health--

  "That salt of life, which does to all a relish give,
  Its standing pleasure, and intrinsic wealth,
  The body's virtue, and the soul's good fortune--health."

If the following pages insist on the importance of one of a mother's
duties more than another it is this,--_that the mother herself look
well into everything appertaining to the management of her own child_.

Blessed is that mother among mothers of whom it can be said, that "she
hath done what she could" for her child--for his welfare, for his
happiness, for his health!

For if a mother hath not "done what she could for her
child"--mentally, morally, and physically--woe betide the unfortunate
little creature;--better had it been for him had he never been born!


3. _Is a new-born infant, for the first time, to be washed in warm
or in cold water_?

It is not an uncommon plan to use _cold_ water from the first, under
the impression of its strengthening the child. This appears to be a
cruel and barbarous practice, and is likely to have a contrary
tendency. Moreover, it frequently produces either inflammation of the
eyes, or stuffing of the nose, or inflammation of the lungs, or
looseness of the bowels. Although I do not approve of _cold_ water, we
ought not to run into an opposite extreme, as _hot_ water would weaken
and enervate the babe, and thus would predispose him to disease. Luke
warm _rain_ water will be the best to wash him with. This, if it be
summer, should have its temperature gradually lowered, until it be
quite cold, if it be winter, a _dash_ of warm water ought still to be
added, to take oft the chill [Footnote: A nursery basin (Wedgwoode
make is considered the best), holding either six or eight quarts of
water, and which will be sufficiently large to hold the whole body of
the child. The baton is generally fitted into a wooden frame which
will raise it to a convenient height for the washing of the baby.] (By
thermometer = 90 to 92 degrees.)

It will be necessary to use soap--Castile soap being the best for the
purpose--it being less irritating to the skin than the ordinary
soap. Care should be taken that it does not get into the eyes, as it
may produce either inflammation or smarting of those organs.

If the skin be delicate, or if there be any excoriation or
"breaking-out" on the skin, then glycerine soap, instead of the
Castile soap, ought to be used.

4. _At what age do you recommend a mother to commence washing her
infant either in the tub, or in the nursery basin_?

As soon as the navel string comes away [Footnote: Sir Charles Locock
strongly recommends that an infant should be washed _in a tub_ from
the very commencement. He says,--"All those that I superintend _begin_
with a tub."--_Letter to the Author_.] Do not be afraid of water,--and
that in plenty,--as it is one of the best strengtheners to a child's
constitution. How many infants suffer, for the want of water from

5. _Which do you prefer--flannel or sponge--to wash a child with_?

A piece of flannel is, for the first part of the washing very
useful--that is to say, to use with the soap, and to loosen the dirt
and the perspiration; but for the finishing-up process, a sponge--a
large sponge--is superior to flannel, to wash all away, and to
complete the bathing. A sponge cleanses and gets into all the nooks,
corners, and crevices of the skin. Besides, sponge, to finish up with,
is softer and more agreeable to the tender skin of a babe than
flannel. Moreover, a sponge holds more water than flannel, and thus
enables you to stream the water more effectually over him. A large
sponge will act Like a miniature shower bath, and will thus brace and
strengthen him.

6. _To prevent a new-born babe from catching cold, is it necessary to
wash his head with brandy_?

It is _not necessary_. The idea that it will prevent cold is
erroneous, as the rapid evaporation of heat which the brandy causes is
more likely to give than to prevent cold.

7. _Ought that tenacious, paste like substance, adhering to the skin
of a new-born babe, to be washed off at the first dressing_?

It should, provided it be done with a soft sponge and with care. If
there be any difficulty in removing the substance, gently rub it, by
means of a flannel, [Footnote: Mrs Baines (who has written so much and
so well on the Management of Children), in a _Letter_ to the Author,
recommends flannel to be used in the _first_ washing of an infant,
which flannel ought afterwards to be burned; and that the sponge
should be only used to complete the process, to clear off what the
flannel had already loosened. She also recommends that every child
should have his own sponge, each of which should have a particular
distinguishing mark upon it, as she considers the promiscuous use of
the same sponge to be a frequent cause of _ophthalmia_ (inflammation
of the eyes). The sponges cannot be kept too clean.] either with a
little lard, or fresh butter, or sweet-oil. After the parts have been
well smeared and gently rubbed with the lard, or oil, or butter, let
all be washed off together, and be thoroughly cleansed away, by means
of a sponge and soap and warm water, and then, to complete the
process, gently put him in for a minute or two in his tub. If this
paste like substance be allowed to remain on the skin, it might
produce either an excoriation, or a "breaking-out" Besides, it is
impossible, if that tenacious substance be allowed to remain on it,
for the skin to perform its proper functions.

8. _Have you any general observations to make on the washing of a
new-born infant_?

A babe ought, every morning of his life, to be thoroughly washed from
head to foot, and this can only be properly done by putting him bodily
either into a tub or into a bath, or into a large nursery basin, half
filled with water. The head, before placing him in the bath, should be
first wetted (but not dried), then immediately put him into the water,
and, with a piece of flannel well soaked, cleanse his whole body,
particularly his arm pits, between his thighs, his groins, and his
hams, then take a large sponge in hand, and allow the water from it,
well filled, to stream all over the body, particularly over his back
and loins. Let this advice be well observed, and you will find the
plan most strengthening to your child. The skin must, after every
bath, be thoroughly but quickly dried with warm, dry, soft towels,
first enveloping the child in one, and then gently absorbing the
moisture with the towel, not roughly scrubbing and rubbing his tender
skin as though a horse were being rubbed down.

The ears must, after each ablution, be carefully and well dried with a
soft dry napkin, inattention to this advice has sometimes caused a
gathering in the ear--a painful and distressing complaint, and at
other times it has produced deafness.

Directly after the infant is dried, all the parts that are at all
likely to be chafed ought to be well powdered. After he is well dried
and powdered, the chest, the back, the bowels, and the limbs should be
gently rubbed, taking care not to expose him unnecessarily during such

He ought to be partially washed every evening, indeed it may be
necessary to use a sponge and a little warm water frequently during
the day, namely, each time after the bowels have been relieved.
_Cleanliness is one of the grand incentives to health_, and therefore
cannot be too strongly insisted upon. If more attention were paid to
this subject, children would be more exempt from chafings,
"breakings-out," and consequent suffering, than they at present
are. After the second month, if the babe be delicate, the addition of
two handfuls of table-salt to the water he is washed with in the
morning will tend to brace and strengthen him.

With regard to the best powder to dust an infant with, there is
nothing better for general use than starch--the old fashioned starch
_made of wheaten flour_--reduced by means of a pestle and mortar to a
fine powder, or Violet Powder, which is nothing more than finely
powdered starch scented, and which may be procured of any respectable
chemist. Some others are in the habit of using white lead, but as
this is a poison, it ought _on no account_ to be resorted to.

9. _If the parts about the groin and fundament be excoriated, what is
then the best application_?

After sponging the parts with tepid _rain water_, holding him over his
tub, and allowing the water from a well filled sponge to stream over
the parts, and then drying them with a soft napkin (not rubbing, but
gently dabbing with the napkin), there is nothing better than dusting
the parts frequently with finely powdered Native Carbonate of
Zinc-Calamine Powder. The best way of using this powder is, tying up a
little of it in a piece of muslin, and then gently dabbing the parts
with it.

Remember excoriations are generally owing to the want of water,--to
the want of an abundance of water. An infant who is every morning well
soused and well swilled with water seldom suffers either from
excoriations, or from any other of the numerous skin diseases.
Cleanliness, then, is the grand preventative of, and the best remedy
for excoriations. Naaman the Syrian was ordered "to wash and be
clean," and he was healed, "and his flesh came again like unto the
flesh of a little child and he was clean." This was, of course, a
miracle; but how often does water, without any special intervention,
act miraculously both in preventing and in curing skin diseases!

An infant's clothes, napkins especially, ought never to be washed with
soda; the washing of napkins with soda is apt to produce excoriations
and breakings-out. "As washerwomen often deny that they use soda, it
can be easily detected by simply soaking a clean white napkin in fresh
water and then tasting the water; if it be brackish and salt, soda has
been employed." [Footnote: Communicated by Sir Charles Locock to the

10. _Who is the proper person to wash and dress the babe_?

The monthly nurse, as long as she is in attendance; but afterwards the
mother, unless she should happen to have an experienced, sensible,
thoughtful nurse, which, unfortunately, is seldom the case. [Footnote:
"The Princess of Wales might have been seen on Thursday taking an
airing in a brougham in Hyde Park with her baby--the future King of
England--on her lap, without a nurse, and accompanied only by Mrs
Brace. The Princess seems a very pattern of mothers, and it is
whispered among the ladies of the Court that every evening the mother
of this young gentleman may be seen in a flannel dress, in order that
she may properly wash and put on baby's night clothes, and see him
safely in bed. It is a pretty subject for a picture."--_Pall Mall

11. _What is the best kind of apron for a mother, or for a nurse, to
wear, while washing the infant_?

Flannel--a good, thick, soft flannel, usually called
bathcoating--apron, made long and full, and which of course ought to
be well dried every time before it is used.

12. _Perhaps you will kindly recapitulate, and give me further advice
on the subject of the ablution of my babe_.

Let him by all means, then, as soon as the navel-string has separated
from the body, be bathed either in his tub, or in his bath, or in his
large nursery-basin, for if he is to be strong and hearty, in the
water every morning he must go. The water ought to be slightly warmer
than new milk. It us dangerous for him to remain for a long period in
his bath, this, of course, holds good in a ten fold degree if the
child have either a cold or pain in his bowels. Take care that,
immediately after he comes out of his tub, he is well dried with warm
towels. It is well to let him have his bath the first thing in the
morning, and before he has been put to the breast, let him be washed
before he has his breakfast, it will refresh him and give him an
appetite. Besides, he ought to have his morning ablution on an empty
stomach, or it may interfere with digestion, and might produce
sickness and pain. In putting him in his tub, let his head be the
first part washed. We all know, that in bathing in the sea, now much
better we can bear the water if we first wet our head, if we do not do
so, we feel shivering and starved and miserable. Let there be no
dawdling in the washing, let it be quickly over. When he is thoroughly
dried with warm _dry_ towels, let him be well rubbed with the warm
hand of the mother or of the nurse. As I previously recommended, while
drying him and while rubbing him, let him repose and kick and stretch
either on the warm flannel apron, or else on a small blanket placed on
the lap. One bathing in the tub, and that in the morning, is
sufficient, and better than night and morning. During the day, as I
before observed, he may, after the action either of his bowels or of
his bladder, require several spongings of lukewarm water, _for
cleanliness is a grand incentive to health and comeliness_.

Remember it is absolutely necessary to every child from his earliest
babyhood to have a bath, to be immersed every morning of his life in
the water. This advice, unless in cases of severe illness, admits of
no exception. Water to the body--to the whole body--is a necessity of
life, of health, and of happiness, it wards off disease, it brace? the
nerves, it hardens the frame, it is the finest tonic in the world. Oh,
if every mother would follow to the very letter this counsel how much
misery, how much ill-health might then be averted!


13. _Should the navel-string be wrapped in SINGED rag_?

There is nothing better than a piece of fine old linen rag,
_unsinged_; when singed, it frequently irritates the infant's skin.

14. _How ought the navel-string to be wrapped in the rag_?

Take a piece of soft linen rag, about three inches wide and four
inches long, and wrap it neatly round the navel string, in the same
manner you would around a cut finger, and then, to keep on the rag,
tie it with a few rounds of whity-brown thread. The navel-string thus
covered should, pointing upwards, be placed on the belly of the child,
and must be secured in its place by means of a flannel belly-band.

15. _If after the navel-string has been secured, bleeding should (in
the absence of the medical man) occur, how must it be restrained_?

The nurse or the attendant ought immediately to take off the rag, and
tightly, with a ligature composed of four or five whity-brown threads,
retie the navel-string; and to make assurance doubly sure, after once
tying it, she should pass the threads a second time around the
navel-string, and tie it again; and after carefully ascertaining that
it no longer bleeds, fasten it up in the rag as before. Bleeding of
the navel-string rarely occurs, yet, if it should do so--the medical
man not being at hand--the child's after-health, or even his life,
may, if the above directions be not adopted, be endangered.

16. _When does the navel-string separate from the child_?

From five days to a week after birth; in some cases not until ten days
or a fortnight, or even, in rare cases, not until three weeks.

17. _If the navel-string does not at the end of a week came away,
ought any means to be used to cause the separation_?

Certainly not, it ought always to be allowed to drop off, which, when
in a fit state, it will readily do. Meddling with the navel string
has frequently cost the babe a great deal of suffering, and in some
cases even his life.

18. _The navel is sometimes a little sore, after the navel-string
comes away, what ought then to be done_?

A little simple cerate should be spread on lint, and be applied every
morning to the part affected, and a white-bread poultice, every night,
until it is quite healed.


19. _What are the causes of a rupture of the navel? What ought to be
done? Can it be cured_?

(1) A rupture of the navel is sometimes occasioned by a meddlesome
nurse. She is very anxious to cause the navel-string to separate from
the infant's body, more especially when it is longer in coming away
than usual. She, therefore, before it is in a fit state to drop off,
forces it away. (2) The rapture, at another time, is occasioned by the
child incessantly crying. A mother, then, should always bear in mind,
that a rupture of the navel is often caused by much crying, and that
it occasions much crying, indeed, it is a frequent cause of incessant
crying. A child, therefore, who, without any assignable cause, is
constantly crying, should have his navel carefully examined.

A rupture of the navel ought always to be treated early--the earlier
the better. Ruptures of the navel can only be _cured_ in infancy and
in childhood. If it be allowed to run on until adult age, a _cure_ is
impossible. Palliative means can then only be adopted.

The best treatment is a Burgundy pitch plaster, spread on a soft piece
of wash leather, about the size of the top of a tumbler, with a
properly-adjusted pad (made from the plaster) fastened on the centre
of the plaster, which will effectually keep up the rupture, and in a
few weeks will cure it. It will be necessary, from time to time, to
renew the plaster until the cure be effected. These plasters will be
found both more efficacious and pleasant than either truss or bandage;
which latter appliances sometimes gall, and do more harm than they do

20. _If an infant have a groin-rupture (an inguinal rupture), can that
also be cured_?

Certainly, if, soon after birth, it be properly attended to. Consult a
medical man, and he will supply you with a well-fitting truss, _which
will eventually cure him_. If the truss be properly made (under the
direction of an experienced surgeon) by a skilful surgical-instrument
maker, a beautiful, nicely-fitting truss will be supplied, which will
take the proper and exact curve of the lower part of the infant's
belly, and will thus keep on without using any under-strap whatever--a
great desideratum, as these under-straps are so constantly wetted and
soiled as to endanger the patient constantly catching cold. But if
this under-strap is to be superseded, the truss must be made exactly
to fit the child--to fit him like a ribbon; which is a difficult thing
to accomplish unless it be fashioned by a skilful workman. It is only
lately that these trusses have been made without under-straps.
Formerly the under-straps were indispensable necessaries.

These groin-ruptures require great attention and supervision, as the
rupture (the bowel) must, before putting on the truss be cautiously
and thoroughly returned into the belly; and much care should be used
to prevent the chafing and galling of the tender skin of the babe,
which an ill-fitting truss would be sure to occasion. But if care and
skill be bestowed on the case, a perfect cure might in due time be
ensured. The truss must not be discontinued, until a _perfect_ cure be

Let me strongly urge you to see that my advice is carried out to the
very letter, as a groin-rupture can only be _cured_ in infancy and in
childhood. If it be allowed to ran on, unattended to, until adult age,
he will be obliged to wear a truss _all his life_, which would be a
great annoyance and a perpetual irritation to him.


21. _Is it necessary to have a flannel cap in readiness to put on as
soon as the babe is born_?

Sir Charles Locock considers that a flannel cap is _not_ necessary,
and asserts that all his best nurses have long discarded flannel
caps. Sir Charles states that since the discontinuance of flannel caps
infants have not been more liable to inflammation of the eyes. Such
authority is, in my opinion, conclusive. My advice, therefore, to you
is, discontinue by all means the use of flannel caps.

22. _What kind of a belly-band do you recommend--a flannel or a calico

I prefer flannel, for two reasons--first, on account of its keeping
the child's bowels comfortably warm; and secondly, because of its not
chilling him (and thus endangering cold, &c.) when he wets
himself. The belly-band ought to be moderately, but not tightly
applied, as, if tightly applied, it would interfere with the necessary
movement of the bowels.

23. _When should the belly-band be discontinued_?

When the child is two or three months old. The best way of leaving it
off is to tear a strip off daily for a few mornings, and then to leave
it off altogether. "Nurses who take charge of an infant when the
monthly nurse leaves, are frequently in the habit of at once leaving
off the belly-band, which often leads to ruptures when the child cries
or strains. It is far wiser to retain it too long than too short a
time; and when a child catches whooping-cough, whilst still very
young, it is safer to resume the belly-band." [Footnote: Communicated
by Sir Charles Locock to the Author.]

24. _Have you any remarks to make on the clothing of on infant_?

A babe's clothing ought to be light, warm, loose, and free from
pins. (1.) _It should be light_, without being too airy. Many infant's
clothes are both too long and too cumbersome. It is really painful to
see how some poor little babies are weighed down with a weight of
clothes. They may be said to "bear the burden," and that a heavy one,
from the very commencement of their lives! How absurd, too, the
practice of making them wear _long_ clothes. Clothes to cover a
child's feet, and even a little beyond, may be desirable; but for
clothes, when the infant is carried about, to reach to the ground, is
foolish and cruel in the extreme. I have seen a delicate baby almost
ready to faint under the infliction. (2.) _It should be warm_,
without being too warm. The parts that ought to be kept warm are the
chest, the bowels, and the feet. If the infant be delicate, especially
if he be subject to inflammation of the lungs, he ought to wear a fine
flannel, instead of his usual shirts, which should be changed as
frequently. (3.) _The dress should be loose_, so as to prevent any
pressure upon the blood-vessels, which would otherwise impede the
circulation, and thus hinder a proper development of the parts. It
ought to be loose about the chest and waist, so that the lungs and the
heart may have free play. It should be loose about the stomach, so
that digestion may not be impeded; it ought to be loose about the
bowels, in order that the spiral motion of the intestines may not be
interfered with--hence the importance of putting on a belly-band
moderately slack; it should be loose about the sleeves, so that the
blood may course, without let or hindrance, through the arteries and
veins; it ought to be loose, then, everywhere, for nature delights in
freedom from restraint, and will resent, sooner or later, any
interference. Oh, that a mother would take common sense, and not
custom, as her guide! (4.) _As few pins_ should be used in the
dressing of a baby as possible. Inattention to this advice has caused
many a little sufferer to be thrown into convulsions.

The generality of mothers use no pins in the dressing of their
children; they tack every part that requires fastening with a needle
and thread. They do not even use pins to fasten the baby's
diapers. They make the diapers with loops and tapes, and thus
altogether supersede the use of pins in the dressing of an infant.
The plan is a good one, takes very little extra time, and deserves to
be universally adopted. If pins be used for the diapers, they ought to
be the Patent Safety Pins.

25. _Is there any necessity for a nurse being particular in airing an
infant's clothes before they are put on? If she were less particular,
would it not make him more hardy_?

A nurse cannot be too particular on this head. A babe's clothes ought
to be well aired the day before they are put on, as they should _not_
be put on warm from the fire. It is well, where it can be done, to let
him have clean clothes daily. Where this cannot be afforded, the
clothes, as soon as they are taken off at night, ought to be well
aired, so as to free them from the perspiration, and that they may be
ready to put on the following morning. It is truly nonsensical to
endeavour to harden a child, or any one else, by putting on damp

26. _What is your opinion of caps for an infant_?

The head ought to be kept cool; caps, therefore, are unnecessary. If
caps be used at all, they should only be worn for the first month in
summer, or for the first two or three months in winter. If a babe take
to caps, it requires care in leaving them off, or he will catch cold.
When you are about discontinuing them, put a thinner and a thinner one
on, every time they are changed, until you leave them off altogether.

But remember, my opinion is, that a child is better _without_ caps;
they only heat his head, cause undue perspiration, and thus make him
more liable to catch cold.

If a babe does not wear a cap in the day, it is not at all necessary
that he should wear one at night. He will sleep more comfortably
without one, and it will be better for his health. Moreover,
night-caps injure both the thickness and beauty of the hair.

27. _Have you any remarks to make on the clothing of an infant, when,
in the winter time, he is sent out for exercise_?

Be sure that he is well wrapped up. He ought to have under his cloak a
knitted worsted spencer, which should button behind, and if the
weather be very cold, a shawl over all, and, provided it be dry above,
and the wind be not in the east or in the north-east, he may then
brave the weather. He will then come from his walk refreshed and
strengthened, for cold air is an invigorating tonic. In a subsequent
Conversation I will indicate the proper age at which a child should be
first sent out to take exercise in the open air.

28. _At what age ought an infant "to be shortened?"_

This, of course, will depend upon the season. In the summer, the right
time "for shortening a babe," as it is called, is at the end of two
months, in the winter, at the end of three months. But if the right
time for "shortening" a child should happen to be in the spring, let
it be deferred until the end of May. The English springs are very
trying and treacherous, and sometimes, in April the weather is almost
as cold, and the wind as biting as in winter. It is treacherous, for
the sun is hot, and the wind, which is at this time of the year
frequently easterly, is keen and cutting I should far prefer "to
shorten" a child in the winter than in the early spring.


29. _Are you an advocate for putting a baby to the breast soon after
birth, or for waiting, as many do, until the third day_?

The infant ought to be put to the bosom soon after birth, the
interest, both of the mother and of the child demands it. It will be
advisable to wait three or four hours, that the mother may recover
from her fatigue, and, then, the babe must be put to the breast. If
this be done, he will generally take the nipple with avidity.

It might be said, at so early a period that there is no milk in the
bosom; but such is not usually the case. There generally is a
_little_ from the very beginning, which acts on the baby's bowels like
a dose of purgative medicine, and appears to be intended by nature to
cleanse the system. But, provided there be no milk at first, the very
act of sucking not only gives the child a notion, but, at the same
time, causes a draught (as it is usually called) in the breast, and
enables the milk to flow easily.

Of course, if there be no milk in the bosom--the babe having been
applied once or twice to determine the fact--then you must wait for a
few hours before applying him again to the nipple, that is to say,
until the milk be secreted.

An infant, who, for two or three days, is kept from the breast, and
who is fed upon gruel, generally becomes feeble, and frequently, at
the end of that time, will not take the nipple at all. Besides, there
is a thick cream (similar to the biestings of a cow), which, if not
drawn out by the child, may cause inflammation and gathering of the
bosom, and, consequently, great suffering to the mother. Moreover,
placing him _early_ to the breast, moderates the severity of the
mother's after pains, and lessens the risk of her flooding. A new-born
babe must _not_ have gruel given to him, as it disorders the bowels,
causes a disinclination to suck, and thus makes him feeble.

30. _If an infant show any disinclination to suck, or if he appear
unable to apply his tongue to the nipple, what ought to be done_?

Immediately call the attention of the medical man to the fact, in
order that he may ascertain whether he be tongue-tied. If he be, the
simple operation of dividing the bridle of the tongue will remedy the
defect, and will cause him to take the nipple with ease and comfort.

31. _Provided there be not milk AT FIRST, what ought then to be done_?

Wait with patience; the child (if the mother have no milk) will not,
for at least twelve hours, require artificial food. In the generality
of instances, then, artificial food is not at all necessary; but if it
should be needed, one-third of new milk and two-thirds of warm water,
slightly sweetened with loaf sugar (or with brown sugar, if the babe's
bowels have not been opened), should be given, in small quantities at
a time, every four hours, until the milk be secreted, and then it must
be discontinued. The infant ought to be put to the nipple every four
hours, but not oftener, until he be able to find nourishment.

If after the application of the child for a few times, he is unable to
find nourishment, then it will be necessary to wait until the milk be
secreted. As soon as it is secreted, he must be applied with great
regularity, _alternately_ to each breast.

I say _alternately_ to each breast. _This is most important
advice_. Sometimes a child, for some inexplicable reason, prefers one
breast to the other, and the mother, to save a little contention,
concedes the point, and allows him to have his own way. And what is
frequently the consequence?--a gathered breast!

We frequently hear of a babe having no notion of sucking. This "no
notion" may generally be traced to bad management, to stuffing him
with food, and thus giving him a disinclination to take the nipple at

32. _How often should a mother suckle her infant_?

A mother generally suckles her baby too often, having him almost
constantly at the breast. This practice is injurious both to parent
and to child. The stomach requires repose as much as any other part of
the body; and how can it have if it be constantly loaded with
breast-milk? For the first month, he ought to be suckled, about every
hour and a half; for the second month, every two hours,--gradually
increasing, as he becomes older, the distance of time between, until
at length he has it about every four hours.

If a baby were suckled at stated periods, he would only look for the
bosom at those times, and be satisfied. A mother is frequently in the
habit of giving the child the breast every time he cries, regardless
of the cause. The cause too frequently is that he has been too often
suckled--his stomach has been overloaded, the little fellow is
consequently in pain, and he gives utterance to it by cries. How
absurd is such a practice! We may as well endeavour to put out a fire
by feeding it with fuel. An infant ought to be accustomed to
regularity in everything, in times for sucking, for sleeping, &c. No
children thrive so well as those who are thus early taught.

33. _Where the mother is MODERATELY strong, do you advise that the
infant should have any other food than the breast_?

Artificial food must not, for the first five or six months, be given,
if the parent be _moderately_ strong, of course, if she be feeble, a
_little_ food will be necessary. Many delicate women enjoy better
health whilst ambling than at any other period of their lives.

It may be well, where artificial food, in addition to the mother's own
milk, is needed, and before giving any farinaceous food whatever (for
farinaceous food until a child is six or seven months old is
injurious), to give, through a feeding bottle, every night and
morning, in addition to the mother's breast of milk, the following
_Milk-Water-and Sugar-of Milk Food_--

  Fresh milk, from ONE cow,
  Warm water, of each a quarter of a pint,
  Sugar of milk one tea spoonful

The sugar of milk should first be dissolved in the warm water, and
then the fresh milk _unboiled_ should be mixed with it. The sweetening
of the above food with sugar-of-milk, instead of with lump sugar,
makes the food more to resemble the mother's own milk. The infant will
not, probably, at first take more than half of the above quantity at a
time, even if he does so much as that but still the above are the
proper proportions, and as he grows older, he will require the whole
of it at a meal.

34. _What food, when a babe is six or seven months old, is the best
substitute for a mother's milk?_

The food that suits one infant will not agree with another. (1) The
one that I have found the most generally useful, is made as
follows--Boil the crumb of bread for two hours in water, taking
particular care that it does not burn, then add only a _little_
lump-sugar (or _brown_ sugar, if the bowels be costive), to make it
palatable. When he is six or seven months old, mix a little new
milk--the milk of ONE cow--with it gradually as he becomes older,
increasing the quantity until it be nearly all milk, there being only
enough water to boil the bread, the milk should be poured boiling hot
on the bread. Sometimes the two milks--the mother's and the cow's
milk--do not agree, when such is the case, let the milk be left out,
both in this and in the foods following, and let the food be made with
water, instead of with milk and water. In other respects, until the
child is weaned, let it be made as above directed, when he is weaned,
good fresh cow's milk MUST, as previously recommended, be used. (2) Or
cut thin slices of bread into a basin, cover the bread with _cold_
water, place it in an oven for two hours to bake, take it out, beat
the bread up with a fork, and then slightly sweeten it. This is an
excellent food. (3) If the above should not agree with the infant
(although, if properly made, they almost invariably do), "tous
les-mois" may be given. [Footnote: "Tous les mois" is the starch
obtained from the tuberous roots of various species of _canna_, and is
imported from the West Indies. It is very similar to arrow root. I
suppose it is called "tous les-mois," as it is good to be eaten all
the year round.](4) Or Robb's Biscuits, as it is "among the best bread
compounds made out of wheat-flour, and is almost always readily

(5) Another good food is the following--Take about a pound of flour
put it in a cloth, tie it up tightly, place it a saucepanful of water,
and let it boil for four or five hours, then take it out, peel off the
outer rind, and the inside will be found quite dry, which grate. (6)
Another way of preparing an infant's food, is to bake flour--biscuit
flour--in a slow oven, until it be of a light fawn colour. Baked flour
ought after it is baked, to be reduced, by means of a rolling pin, to
a fine powder, and should then be kept in a covered tin, ready for
use. (7) An excellent food for a baby is baked crumbs of bread. The
manner of preparing it is as follows--Crumb some bread on a plate, put
it a little distance from the fire to dry. When dry, rub the crumbs in
a mortar, and reduce them to a fine powder, then pass them through a
sieve. Having done which, put the crumbs of bread into a slow oven,
and let them bake until they be of a light fawn colour. A small
quantity either of the boiled, or of the baked flour, or of the baked
crumb of bread, ought to be made into food, in the same way as gruel
is made, and should then be slightly sweetened, according to the state
of the bowels, either with lump or with brown sugar.

(8) Baked flour sometimes produces constipation, when such is the
case, Mr. Appleton, of Budleigh Salterton, Devon, wisely recommends a
mixture of baked flour, and prepared oatmeal, [Footnote: If there is
any difficulty in obtaining _prepared_ oatmeal, Robinson's Scotch
Oatmeal will answer equally as well.] in the proportion of two of the
former and one of the latter. He says--"To avoid the constipating
effects, I have always had mixed, before baking, one part of prepared
oatmeal with two parts of flour, this compound I have found both
nourishing, and regulating to the bowels. One table-spoonful of it,
mixed with a quarter of a pint of milk, or milk and water, when well
boiled, flavoured and sweetened with white sugar, produces a thick,
nourishing, and delicious food for infants or invalids." He goes on to
remark--"I know of no food, after repeated trials, that can be so
strongly recommended by the profession to all mothers in the rearing
of their infants, without or with the aid of the breasts, at the same
time relieving them of much draining and dragging whilst nursing with
an insufficiency of milk, as baked flour and oatmeal." [Footnote:
_British Medical Journal_, Dec 18, 1858]

(9) A ninth food may be made with "Farinaceous Food for Infants,
prepared by Hards of Dartford". If Hard's Farinaceous food produces
costiveness--as it sometimes does--let it be mixed either with equal
parts or with one third of Robinson's Scotch Oatmeal. The mixture of
the two together makes a splendid food for a baby. (10) A tenth, and
an excellent one, may be made with rusks, boiled for an hour in water,
which ought then to be well beaten up, by means of a fork, and
slightly sweetened with lump sugar. Great care should be taken to
select good rusks, as few articles vary so much in quality. (11) An
eleventh is--the top crust of a baker's loaf, boiled for an hour in
water, and then moderately sweetened with lump sugar. If, at any time,
the child's bowels should be costive, _raw_ must be substituted for
_lump_ sugar. (12) Another capital food for an infant is that made by
Lemann's Biscuit Powder. [Footnote: Lemann's Biscuit Powder cannot be
too strongly recommended--It is of the finest quality, and may be
obtained of Lemann, Threadneedle Street, London. An extended and an
extensive experience confirms me still more in the good opinion I have
of this food.] (13) Or, Brown and Polson's Patent Corn Flour will be
found suitable. Francatelli, the Queen's cook, in his recent valuable
work, gives the following formula for making it--"To one
dessert-spoonful of Brown and Polson, mixed with a wineglassful of
cold water, add half a pint of boiling water, stir over the fire for
five minutes, sweeten lightly, and feed the baby, but if the infant is
being brought up by the hand, this food should then be mixed with
milk--not otherwise." (14) A fourteenth is Neaves' Farinaceous Food for
Infants, which is a really good article of diet for a babe, it is not
so binding to the bowels as many of the farinaceous foods are, which
is a great recommendation.

(15) The following is a good and nourishing food for a baby:--Soak for
an hour, some _best_ rice in cold water; strain, and add fresh water
to the rice; then let it simmer till it will pulp through a sieve; put
the pulp and the water in a saucepan, with a lump or two of sugar, and
again let it simmer for a quarter of an hour; a portion of this should
be mixed with one-third of fresh milk, so as to make it of the
consistence of good cream. This is an excellent food for weak bowels.

When the baby is six or seven months old, new milk should be added to
any of the above articles of food, in a similar way to that
recommended for boiled bread.

(16.) For a delicate infant, lentil powder, better known as Du Barry's
"Ravalenta Arabica," is invaluable. It ought to be made into food,
with new milk, in the same way that arrow-root is made, and should be
moderately sweetened with loaf-sugar. Whatever food is selected ought
to be given by means of a nursing bottle.

If a child's bowels be relaxed and weak, or if the motions be
offensive, the milk _must_ be boiled, but not otherwise. The following
(17) is a good food when an infant's bowels are weak and
relaxed:--"Into five large spoonfuls of the purest water, rub smooth
one dessert-spoonful of fine flour. Set over the fire five spoonfuls
of new milk, and put two bits of sugar into it; the moment it boils,
pour it into the flour and water, and stir it over a slow fire twenty

Where there is much emaciation, I have found (18) genuine arrow-root
[Footnote: Genuine arrow-root, of first-rate quality, and at a
reasonable price, may be obtained of H. M. Plumbe, arrow-root
merchant, 8 Alie Place. Great Alie Street. Aldgate, London, E.] a very
valuable article of food for an infant, as it contains a great deal of
starch, which starch helps to form fat and to evolve caloric
(heat)--both of which a poor emaciated chilly child stands so much in
need of. It must be made with equal parts of water and of good fresh
milk, and ought to be slightly sweetened with loaf sugar; a small
pinch of table salt should be added to it.

Arrow-root will not, as milk will, give bone and muscle; but it will
give--what is very needful to a delicate child--fat and
warmth. Arrow-root, as it is principally composed of starch, comes
under the same category as cream, butter, sugar, oil, and
fat. Arrowroot, then, should always be given with new milk (mixed with
one-half of water); it will then fulfil, to perfection, the exigencies
of nourishing, of warming, and fattening the child's body.

New milk, composed in due proportions as it is, of cream and of skim
milk--the very acme of perfection--is the only food, _which of itself
alone,_ will nourish and warm and fatten. It is, for a child, _par
excellence,_ the food of foods!

Arrow-root, and all other farinaceous foods are, for a child, only
supplemental to milk--new milk being, for the young, the staple food
of all other kinds of foods whatever.

But bear in mind, _and let there be no mistake about it,_ that
farinaceous food, be it what it may, until the child be six or seven
months old, until, indeed, he _begin_ to cut his teeth, is not
suitable for a child; until then, _The Milk-water-salt-and-sugar Food_
(see page 29) is usually, if he be a dry-nursed child, the best
artificial food for him.

I have given you a large and well-tried infant's dietary to chose
from, as it is sometimes difficult to fix on one that will suit; but,
remember, if you find one of the above to agree, keep to it, as a babe
requires a simplicity in food--a child a greater variety.

Let me, in this place, insist upon the necessity of great care and
attention being observed in the preparation of any of the above
articles of diet. A babe's stomach is very delicate, and will revolt
at either ill-made, or lumpy, or burnt food. Great care ought to be
observed as to the cleanliness of the cooking utensils. The above
directions require the strict supervision of the mother.

Broths have been recommended, but, for my own part, I think that, for
a _young_ infant, they are objectionable; they are apt to turn acid on
the stomach, and to cause flatulence and sickness, they, sometimes,
disorder the bowels and induce griping and purging.

Whatever artificial food is used ought to be given by means of a
bottle, not only as it is a more natural way than any other of feeding
a baby, as it causes him to suck as though he were drawing it from the
mother's breasts, but as the act of sucking causes the salivary glands
to press out their contents, which materially assist digestion.
Moreover, it seems to satisfy and comfort him more than it otherwise
would do.

One of the best, if not _the best_ feeding bottle I have yet seen, is
that made by Morgan Brothers, 21 Bow Lane, London. It is called "The
Anglo-French Feeding Bottle" S Maw, of 11 Aldersgate Street, London,
has also brought out an excellent one--"The Fountain Infant's Feeding
Bottle" Another good one is "Mather's Infant's Feeding Bottle" Either
of these three will answer the purpose admirably. I cannot speak in
terms too highly of these valuable inventions.

The food ought to be of the consistence of good cream, and should be
made fresh and fresh. It ought to be given milk warm. Attention must
be paid to the cleanliness of the vessel, and care should be taken
that the milk be that of ONE cow, [Footnote: I consider it to be of
immense importance to the infant, that the milk be had from ONE cow. A
writer in the _Medical Times and Gazette_ speaking on this subject,
makes the following sensible remarks--"I do not know if a practice
common among French ladies when they do not nurse, has obtained the
attention among ourselves which it seems to me to deserve. When the
infant is to be fed with cow milk that from various cows is submitted
to examination by the medical man and if possible, tried on some
child, and when the milk of any cow has been chosen, no other milk is
ever suffered to enter the child's lips for a French lady would as
soon offer to her infant's mouth the breasts of half a dozen
wet-nurses in the day, as mix together the milk of various cows, which
must differ, even as the animals themselves, in its constituent
qualities. Great attention is also paid to the pasture, or other food
of the cow thus appropriated."] and that it be new and of good
quality, for if not it will turn acid and sour, and disorder the
stomach, and will thus cause either flatulence or looseness of the
bowels, or perhaps convulsions. The only way to be sure of having it
from _one_ cow, is (if you have not a cow of your own), to have the
milk from a _respectable_ cow keeper, and to have it brought to your
house in a can of your own (the London milk cans being the best for
the purpose). The better plan is to have two cans, and to have the
milk fresh and fresh every night and morning. The cans, after each
time of using, ought to be scalded out, and, once a week the can
should be filled with _cold_ water, and the water should be allowed to
remain in it until the can be again required.

Very little sugar should be used in the food, as much sugar weakens
the digestion. A small pinch of table-salt ought to be added to
whatever food is given, as "the best savour is salt." Salt is most
wholesome--it strengthens and assists digestion, prevents the
formation of worms, and, in small quantities, may with advantage be
given (if artificial food be used) to the youngest baby.

35. _Where it is found to be absolutely necessary to give an infant
artificial food_ WHILST SUCKLING, _how often ought he to be fed_?

Not oftener than twice during the twenty four hours, and then only in
_small_ quantities at a time, as the stomach requires rest, and at the
same time, can manage to digest a little food better than it can a
great deal. Let me again urge upon you the importance, if it be at
all practicable, of keeping the child _entirely_ to the breast for the
first five or six months of his existence. Remember there is no
_real_ substitute for a mother's milk, there is no food so well
adapted to his stomach, there is no diet equal to it in developing
muscle, in making bone, or in producing that beautiful plump rounded
contour of the limbs, there is nothing like a mother's milk _alone_ in
making a child contented and happy, in laying the foundation of a
healthy constitution, in preparing the body for a long life, in giving
him tone to resist disease, or in causing him to cut his teeth easily
and well, in short, _the mothers milk is the greatest temporal
blessing an infant can possess_.

As a general rule, therefore, when the child and the mother are
tolerably strong, he is better _without artificial_ food until he have
attained the age of three or four months, then, it will usually be
necessary to feed him with _The Milk-water-and-sugar-of milk Food_
(see p 19) twice a day, so as gradually to prepare him to be weaned
(if possible) at the end of nine months. The food mentioned in the
foregoing Conversation will, when he is six or seven months old, be
the best for him.

36. _When the mother is not able to suckle her infant herself, what
ought to be done_?

It must first be ascertained, _beyond all doubt_, that a mother is not
able to suckle her own child Many delicate ladies do suckle their
infants with advantage, not only to their offspring, but to
themselves. "I will maintain," says Steele, "that the mother grows
stronger by it, and will have her health better than she would have
otherwise She will find it the greatest cure, and preservative for the
vapours [nervousness] and future miscarriages, much beyond any other
remedy whatsoever Her children will be like giants, whereas otherwise
they are but living shadows, and like unripe fruit, and certainly if a
woman is strong enough to bring forth a child, she is beyond all doubt
strong enough to nurse it afterwards."

Many mothers are never so well as when they are nursing, besides,
suckling prevents a lady from becoming pregnant so frequently as she
otherwise would. This, if she be delicate, is an important
consideration, and more especially if she be subject to miscarry. The
effects of miscarriage are far more weakening than those of suckling.

A hireling, let her be ever so well inclined, can never have the
affection and unceasing assiduity of a mother, and, therefore, cannot
perform the duties of suckling with equal advantage to the baby.

The number of children who die under five years of age is
enormous--many of them from the want of the mother's milk. There is a
regular "parental baby-slaughter"--"a massacre of the innocents"--
constantly going on in England, in consequence of infants being thus
deprived of their proper nutriment and just dues! The mortality from
this cause is frightful, chiefly occurring among rich people who are
either too grand, or, from luxury, too delicate to perform such
duties; poor married women, as a rule, nurse their own children, and,
in consequence reap their reward.

If it be ascertained, _past all doubt_, that a mother cannot suckle
her child, then, if the circumstances of the parents will allow--and
they ought to strain a point to accomplish it--a healthy wet-nurse
should be procured, as, of course, the food which nature has supplied
is far, very far superior to any invented by art. Never bring up a
baby, then, if you can possibly avoid it, on _artificial_
food. Remember, as I proved in a former Conversation, there is in
early infancy no _real_ substitute for either a mother's or a
wet-nurse's milk. It is impossible to imitate the admirable and subtle
chemistry of nature. The law of nature is, that a baby, for the first
few months of his existence, shall be brought up by the breast, and
nature's law cannot be broken with impunity. [Footnote: For further
reasons why artificial food is not desirable, at an early period of
infancy, see answer to 35th question, page 26.] It will be
imperatively necessary then--

  "To give to nature what is nature's due."

Again, in case of a severe illness occurring during the first nine
months of a child's life, what a comfort either the mother's or the
wet-nurse's milk is to him! It often determines whether he shall live
or die. But if a wet-nurse cannot fill the place of a mother, then
asses' milk will be found the best substitute, as it approaches
nearer, in composition, than any other animal's, to human milk; but it
is both difficult and expensive to obtain. The next best substitute is
goats' milk. Either the one or the other ought to be milked fresh and
fresh, when wanted, and should be given by means of a feeding-bottle.
Asses' milk is more suitable for a _delicate_ infant, and goats' milk
for a _strong_ one.

If neither asses' milk nor goats' milk can be procured, then the
following _Milk-water-salt-and-sugar Food_, from the very
commencement, should be given; and as I was the author of the formula,
[Footnote: It first appeared in print in the 4th edition of _Advice to
a Mother_, 1852.] I beg to designate it as--_Rye Chavasse's Milk

  New milk, the produce of ONE _healthy_ cow;
  Warm water, of each, equal parts;
  Table salt, a few grains--a small pinch;
  Lump sugar, a sufficient quantity, to slightly sweeten it.

The milk itself ought not to be heated over the fire, [Footnote: It
now and then happens that if the milk be not boiled, the motions of an
infant are offensive; _when such is the case_, let the milk be boiled,
but not otherwise.] but should, as above directed, be warmed by the
water; it must, morning and evening, be had fresh and fresh. The milk
and water should be of the same temperature as the mother's milk, that
is to say, at about ninety degrees Fahrenheit. It ought to be given by
means of either Morgan's, or Maw's, or Mather's feeding-bottle,
[Footnote: See answer to Question 24, page 24.] and care must be
taken to _scald_ the bottle out twice a day, for if attention be not
paid to this point, the delicate stomach of an infant is soon
disordered. The milk should, as he grows older, be gradually increased
and the water decreased, until two-thirds of milk and one-third of
water be used; but remember, that either _much_ or _little_ water must
_always_ be given with the milk.

The above is my old form, and which I have for many years used with
great success. Where the above food does not agree (and no food except
a healthy mother's own milk does _invariably_ agree) I occasionally
substitute sugar-of milt for the lump sugar, in the proportion of a
tea spoonful of sugar-of milk to every half pint of food.

If your child bring up his food, and if the ejected matter be
sour-smelling, I should advise you to leave out the sugar-of milk
altogether, and simply to let the child live, for a few days, on milk
and water alone, the milk being of _one_ cow, and in the proportion of
two-thirds to one-third of _warm_ water--not _hot_ water, the milk
should not be scalded with _hot_ water, as it injures its properties,
besides, it is only necessary to give the child his food with the
chill just off. The above food, where the stomach is disordered, is an
admirable one, and will often set the child to rights without giving
him any medicine whatever. Moreover, there is plenty of nourishment in
it to make the babe thrive, for after all it is the milk that is the
important ingredient in all the foods of infants, they can live on it,
and on it alone, and thrive amazingly.

Mothers sometimes say to me, that farinaceous food makes their babes
flatulent, and that my food (_Pye Chavasse's Milk Food_) has not that

The reason of farinaceous food making babes, until they have
_commenced_ cutting their teeth, "windy" is, that the starch of the
farinaceous food (and all farinaceous foods contain more or less of
starch) is not digested, and is not, as it ought to be, converted by
the saliva into sugar [Footnote: See Pye Chavasse's _Counsel to a
Mother_, 3d edition.] hence "wind" is generated, and pain and
convulsions often follow in the train.

The great desideratum, in devising an infant's formula for food, is to
make it, until he be nine months old, to resemble as much as possible,
a mother's own milk, and which my formula, as nearly as is
practicable, does resemble hence its success and popularity.

As soon as a child begins to cut his teeth the case is altered, and
_farinaceous food, with milk and with water_, becomes an absolute

I wish, then, to call your especial attention to the following-facts,
for they are facts--Farinaceous foods, _of all kinds_, before a child
_commences_ cutting his teeth (which is when he is about six or seven
months old) are worse than useless--they are, positively, injurious,
they are, during the early period of infant life, perfectly
indigestible, and may bring on--which they frequently do--
convulsions. A babe fed on farinaceous food alone would certainly die
of starvation, for, "up to six or seven months of age, infants have
not the power of digesting farinaceous or fibrinous substances"--Dr
Letheby on _Food_.

A babe's salivary glands, until he be six or seven months old, does
not secrete its proper fluid--namely, ptyalin, and consequently the
starch of the farinaceous food--and all farinaceous food contains
starch--is not converted into dextrine and grape-sugar, and is,
therefore, perfectly indigestible and useless--nay, injurious to an
infant, and may bring on pain and convulsions, and even death, hence,
the giving of farinaceous food, until a child be six or seven months
old, is one and the principal cause of the frightful infant mortality
at the present time existing in England, and which is a disgrace to
any civilized land!

In passing, allow me to urge you never to stuff a babe--never to
overload his little stomach with food, it is far more desirable to
give him a little not enough, than to give him a little too much. Many
a poor child has been, like a young bird, killed with stuffing. If a
child be at the breast, and at the breast alone, there is no fear of
his taking too much, but if he be brought up on artificial food, there
is great fear of his over loading his stomach. Stuffing a child brings
on vomiting and bowel-complaints, and a host of other diseases which
now it would be tedious to enumerate. Let me, then, urge you on no
account, to over load the stomach of a little child.

There will, then, in many cases, be quite sufficient nourishment in
the above. I have known some robust infants brought up on it, and on
it along, without a particle of farinaceous food, or of any other
food, in any shape or form whatever. But if it should not agree with
the child, or if there should not be sufficient nourishment in it,
then the food recommended in answer to No. 34 question ought to be
given, with this only difference--a little new milk must from the
beginning be added, and should be gradually increased, until nearly
all milk be used.

The milk, as a general rule, ought to be _unboiled_; but if it purge
violently, or if it cause offensive motions--which it sometimes
does--then it must be boiled. The moment the milk boils up, it should
be taken off the fire.

Food ought for the first month to be given about every two hours; for
the second month, about every three hours; lengthening the space of
time as the baby advances in age. A mother must be careful not to
over-feed a child, as over-feeding is a prolific source of disease.

Let it be thoroughly understood, and let there be no mistake about it,
that a babe during the first nine months of his life, MUST have--it is
absolutely necessary for his very existence--milk of some kind, as the
staple and principal article of his diet, either mother's,
wet-nurse's, or asses', or goats', or cow's milk.

37. _How would you choose a wet-nurse_?

I would inquire particularly into the state of her health; whether she
be of a healthy family, of a consumptive habit, or if she or any of
her family have laboured under "king's evil;" ascertaining if there be
any seams or swellings about her neck; any eruptions or blotches upon
her skin; if she has a plentiful breast of milk, and if it be of good
quality [Footnote: "It should be thin, and of a bluish-white colour,
sweet to the taste, and when allowed to stand, should throw up a
considerable quantity of cream,"--_Maxell and Evenson on the Diseases
of Children_.] (which may readily be ascertained by milking a little
into a glass); if she has good nipples, sufficiently long for the baby
to hold; that they be not sore; and if her own child be of the same,
or nearly of the same age, as the one you wish her to nurse.
Ascertain, whether she menstruate during suckling; if she does, the
milk is not so good and nourishing, and you had better decline taking
her. [Footnote: Sir Charles Locock considers that a woman who
menstruates during lactation is objectionable as a wet-nurse, and
"that as a mother with her first child is more liable to that
objection, that a second or third child's mother is more eligible than
a first"--_Letter to the Author_.] Assure yourself that her own babe
is strong and healthy that he be free from a sore mouth, and from a
"breaking-out" of the skin. Indeed, if it be possible to procure such
a wet-nurse, she ought to be from the country, of ruddy complexion, of
clear skin, and of between twenty and five-and-twenty years of age, an
the milk will then be fresh, pure, and nourishing.

I consider it to be of great importance that the infant of the
wet-nurse should be, as nearly as possible, of the same age as your
own, as the milk varies in quality according to the age of the
child. For instance, during the commencement of suckling, the milk is
thick and creamy, similar to the biestings of a cow, which, if given
to a babe of a few months old, would cause derangement of the stomach
and bowels. After the first few days, the appearance of the milk
changes; it becomes of a bluish-white colour, and contains less
nourishment. The milk gradually becomes more and more nourishing as
the infant becomes older and requires more support.

In selecting a wet-nurse for a very small and feeble babe, you must
carefully ascertain that the nipples of the wet-nurse are good and
soft, and yet not very large. If they be very large, the child's mouth
being very small, he may not be able to hold them. You must note, too,
whether the milk flows readily from the nipple into the child's mouth;
if it does not, he may not have strength to draw it, and he would soon
die of starvation. The only way of ascertaining whether the infant
really draws the milk from the nipple, can be done by examining the
mouth of the child _immediately_ after his taking the breast, and
seeing for yourself whether there be actually milk, or not, in his

Very feeble new-born babes sometimes cannot take the bosom, be the
nipples and the breasts ever so good, and although Maw's nipple-shield
and glass tube had been tried. In such a case, cow's
milk-water-sugar-and-salt, as recommended at page 29, must be given in
small quantities at a time--from two to four tea-spoonfuls--but
frequently; if the child be awake, every hour, or every half hour,
both night and day, until he be able to take the breast. If, then, a
puny, feeble babe is only able to take but little at a time, and that
little by tea-spoonfuls, he must have little and often, in order that
"many a little might make a mickle."

I have known many puny, delicate children who had not strength to hold
the nipple in their mouths, but who could take milk and water (as
above recommended) by tea-spoonfuls only at a time, with steady
perseverance, and giving it every half hour or hour (according to the
quantity swallowed), at length be able to take the breast, and
eventually become strong and hearty children; but such cases require
unwearied watching, perseverance, and care. Bear in mind, then, that
the smaller the quantity of the milk and water given at a time, the
oftener must it be administered, as, of course, the babe must have a
certain quantity of food to sustain life.

38. _What ought to be the diet either of a wet-nurse, or of a mother,
who is suckling_?

It is a common practice to cram a wet-nurse with food, and to give her
strong ale to drink, to make good nourishment and plentiful milk! This
practice is absurd; for it either, by making the nurse feverish, makes
the milk more sparing than usual, or it causes the milk to be gross
and unwholesome. On the other hand, we must not run into an opposite
extreme. The mother, or the wet-nurse, by using those means most
conducive to her own health, will best advance the interest of her
little charge.

A wet-nurse, ought to live somewhat in the following way:--Let her for
breakfast have black tea, with one or two slices of cold meat, if her
appetite demand it, but not otherwise. It is customary for a wet-nurse
to make a hearty luncheon; of this I do not approve. If she feel
either faint or low at eleven o'clock, let her have either a tumbler
of porter, or of mild fresh ale, with a piece of dry toast soaked in
it. She ought not to dine later than half-past one or two o'clock; she
should eat, for dinner, either mutton or beef, with either mealy
potatoes, or asparagus, or French beans, or secale, or turnips, or
broccoli, or cauliflower, and stale bread. Rich pastry, soups,
gravies, high-seasoned dishes, salted meats, greens, and cabbage, must
one and all be carefully avoided; as they only tend to disorder the
stomach, and thus to deteriorate the milk.

It is a common remark, that "a mother who is suckling may eat
anything." I do not agree with this opinion. Can impure or improper
food make pure and proper milk, or can impure and improper milk make
good blood for an infant, and thus good health?

The wet-nurse ought to take with her dinner a moderate quantity of
either sound porter, or of mild (but not old or strong) ale. Tea
should be taken at half past five or six o'clock; supper at nine,
which should consist either of a slice or two of cold meat, or of
cheese if she prefer it, with half a pint of porter or of mild ale;
occasionally a basin of gruel may with advantage be substituted. Hot
and late suppers are prejudicial to the mother, or to the wet-nurse,
and, consequently, to the child. The wet-nurse ought to be in bed
every night by ten o'clock.

It might be said, that I have been too minute and particular in my
rules for a wet-nurse; but when it is considered of what importance
good milk is to the well-doing of an infant, in making him strong and
robust, not only now, but as he grows up to manhood, I shall, I trust,
be excused for my prolixity.

39. _Have you any more hints to offer with regard to the management of
a wet-nurse_?

A wet-nurse is frequently allowed to remain in bed until a late hour
in the morning, and during the day to continue in the house, as if she
were a fixture! How is it possible that any one, under such
treatment, can continue healthy! A wet nurse ought to rise early, and,
if the weather and season will permit, take a walk, which will give
her an appetite for breakfast, and will make a good meal for her
little charge. This, of course, cannot, during the winter mouths, be
done; but even then, she ought, some part of the day, to take every
opportunity of walking out; indeed, in the summer time she should live
half the day in the open air.

She ought strictly to avoid crowded rooms; her mind should be kept
calm and unruffled, as nothing disorders the milk so much as passion,
and other violent emotions of the mind; a fretful temper is very
injurious, on which account you should, in choosing your wet-nurse,
endeavour to procure one of a mild, calm, and placid disposition.
[Footnote: "'The child is poisoned.'

'Poisoned! by whom?'

'By you. You have been fretting.'

'Nay, indeed, mother. How can I help fretting!'

'Don't tell me, Margaret. A nursing mother has no business to
fret. She must turn her mind away from her grief to the comfort that
lies in her lap. Know you not that the child pines if the mother vexes
herself?'"--_The Cloister and the Hearth_. By Charles Reade.]

A wet-nurse ought never to be allowed to dose her little charge either
with Godfrey's Cordial, or with Dalby's Carminative, or with Syrup of
White Poppies, or with medicine of any kind whatever. Let her
thoroughly understand this, and let there be no mistake in the
matter. Do not for one moment allow your children's health to be
tampered and trifled with. A baby's health is too precious to be
doctored, to be experimented upon, and to be ruined by an ignorant

40. _Have the goodness to state at what age a child ought to be

This, of course, must depend both upon the strength of the child, and
upon the health of the parent; on an average, nine months is the
proper time. If the mother be delicate, it may be found necessary to
wean the infant at six months; or if he be weak, or labouring under
any disease, it may be well to continue suckling him for twelve
months; but after that time, the breast will do him more harm than
good, and will, moreover, injure the mother's health, and may, if she
be so predisposed, excite consumption.

41. _How would you recommend a mother to act when, she weans her

She ought, as the word signifies, do it gradually--that is to say, she
should, by degrees, give him less and less of the breast, and more and
more of artificial food; at length, she must only suckle him at night;
and lastly, it would be well for the mother either to send him away,
or to leave him at home, and, for a few days, to go away herself.

A good plan is, for the nurse-maid to have a half-pint bottle of new
milk--which has been previously boiled [Footnote: The previous boiling
of the milk will prevent the warmth of the bed turning the milk sour,
which it otherwise would do.]--in the bed, so as to give a little to
him in lieu of the breast. The warmth of the body will keep the milk
of a proper temperature, and will supersede the use of lamps, of
candle-frames, and of other troublesome contrivances.

42. _While a mother is weaning her infant, and after she have weaned
him, what ought to be his diet_?

Any one of the foods recommended in answer to question 34.

43. _If a child be suffering severely from "wind," is there any
objection to the addition of a small quantity either of gin or of
peppermint to his food to disperse it_?

It is a murderous practice to add either gin or peppermint of the
shops (which is oil of peppermint dissolved in spirits) to his
food. Many children have, by such a practice, been made puny and
delicate, and have gradually dropped into an untimely grave. An infant
who is kept, for the first five or six months, _entirely_ to the
breast--more especially if the mother be careful in her own
diet--seldom suffers from "wind;" those, on the contrary, who have
much or improper food, [Footnote: For the first five or six months
never, if you can possibly avoid it, give artificial food to an infant
who is sucking. There is nothing, in the generality of cases, that
agrees, for the first few months, like the mother's milk _alone_.]
suffer severely.

Care in feeding, then, is the grand preventative of "wind;" but if,
notwithstanding all your precautions, the child be troubled with
flatulence, the remedies recommended under the head of Flatulence will
generally answer the purpose.

44. _Have you any remarks to make on sugar for sweetening a baby's

A _small_ quantity of sugar in an infant's food is requisite, sugar
being nourishing and fattening, and making cow's milk to resemble
somewhat, in its properties human milk; but, bear in mind, _it must be
used sparingly._ _Much_ sugar cloys the stomach, weakens the
digestion, produces acidity, sour belchings, and wind:--

  "Things sweet to taste, prove in digestion sour."


If a babe's bowels be either regular or relaxed, _lump_ sugar is the
best for the purpose of sweetening his food; if his bowels are
inclined to be costive, _raw_ sugar ought to be substituted for lump
sugar, as _raw_ sugar acts on a young babe as an aperient, and, in the
generality of cases, is far preferable to physicking him with opening
medicine. An infant's bowels, whenever it be practicable (and it
generally is), ought to be regulated by a judicious dietary rather
than by physic.


45. _Are you an advocate for vaccination_?

Certainly. I consider it to be one of the greatest blessings ever
conferred upon mankind. Small-pox, before vaccination was adopted,
ravaged the country like a plague, and carried off thousands annually;
and those who did escape with their lives were frequently made
loathsome and disgusting objects by it. Even inoculation (which is
cutting for the small-pox) was attended with danger, more especially
to the unprotected--as it caused the disease to spread like wildfire,
and thus it carried off immense numbers.

Vaccination is one, and an important cause of our increasing
population; small-pox, in olden times, decimated the country.

46. _But vaccination does not always protect a child from, small-pox_?

I grant you that it does not _always_ protect him, _neither does
inoculation_; but when he is vaccinated, if he take the infection, he
is seldom pitted, and very rarely dies, and the disease assumes a
comparatively mild form. There are a few, very few fatal cases
recorded after vaccination, and these may be considered as only
exceptions to the general rule; and, possibly, some of these may be
traced to the arm, when the child was vaccinated, not having taken
proper effect.

If children, and adults were _re-vaccinated_,--say every seven years
after the first vaccination,--depend upon it, even these rare cases
would not occur, and in a short time small-pox would be known only by

47. _Do you consider it, then, the imperative duty of a mother, in
every case, to have, after the lapse of every seven years, her
children re-vaccinated_?

I decidedly do: it would be an excellent plan for _every_ person, once
every seven years to be re-vaccinated, and even oftener, if small-pox
be rife in the neighbourhood. Vaccination, however frequently
performed, can never do the slightest harm, and might do inestimable
good. Small-pox is both a pest and a disgrace, and ought to be
constantly fought and battled with, until it be banished (which it may
readily be) the kingdom.

I say that small-pox is a pest; it is worse than the plague, for if
not kept in subjection, it is more general--sparing neither young nor
old, rich nor poor, and commits greater ravages than the plague ever
did. Small-pox is a disgrace: it is a disgrace to any civilised land,
as there is no necessity for its presence, if cow-pox were properly
and frequently performed, small-pox would be unknown. Cow-pox is a
weapon to conquer small-pox and to drive it ignominiously from the

My firm belief, then, is, that if _every_ person were, _every seven
years_, duly and properly vaccinated, small-pox might be utterly
exterminated; but as long as there are such lax notions on the
subject, and such gross negligence, the disease will always be
rampant, for the poison of small-pox never slumbers nor sleeps, but
requires the utmost diligence to eradicate it. The great Dr Jenner,
the discoverer of cow-pox as a preventative of small-pox, strongly
advocated the absolute necessity of _every_ person being re-vaccinated
once every seven years, or even, oftener, if there was an epidemic of
small-pox in the neighbourhood.

48. _Are you not likely to catch not only the cow-pox, but any other
disease that the child has from whom the matter is taken_?

The same objection holds good in cutting for small pox
(inoculation)--only in a ten-fold degree--small-pox being such a
disgusting complaint. Inoculated small-pox frequently produced and
left behind inveterate "breakings-out," scars, cicatrices, and
indentations of the skin, sore eyes, blindness, loss of eyelashes,
scrofula, deafness--indeed, a long catalogue of loathsome diseases. A
medical man, of course, will be careful to take the cow-pox matter
from a healthy child.

49. _Would it not be well to take the matter direct from the cow_?

If a doctor be careful--which, of course, he will be--to take the
matter from a healthy child, and from a well-formed vesicle, I
consider it better than taking it _direct_ from the cow, for the
following reasons:--The cow-pox lymph, taken direct from the cow,
produces much more violent symptoms than after it has passed through
several persons; indeed, in some cases, it has produced effects as
severe as cutting for the small-pox, besides, it has caused, in many
cases, violent inflammation and even sloughing of the arm. There are
also several kinds of _spurious_ cow-pox to which the cow is subject,
and which would be likely to be mistaken for the _real_ lymph. Again,
if even the _genuine_ matter were not taken from the cow _exactly_ at
the proper time, it would he deprived of its protecting power.

50. _At what age do you recommend an infant to be first vaccinated_?

When he is two months old, as the sooner he is protected the
better. Moreover, the older he is the greater will be the difficulty
in making him submit to the operation, and in preventing his arm from
being rubbed, thus endangering the breaking of the vesicles, and
thereby interfering with its effects. If small-pox be prevalent in the
neighbourhood, he may, with perfect safety, be vaccinated at the
month's end; indeed if the small-pox be near at hand, he _must_ be
vaccinated, regardless of his age, and regardless of everything else,
for small-pox spares neither the young nor the old, and if a new-born
babe should unfortunately catch the disease, he will most likely die,
as at his tender age he would not have strength to battle with such a
formidable enemy. "A case, in the General Lying-in-Hospital, Lambeth,
of small-pox occurred in a woman a few days after her admission, and
the birth of her child. Her own child was vaccinated when only four
days old, and all the other infants in the house varying from one day
to a fortnight and more. All took the vaccination; and the woman's own
child, which suckled her and slept with her; and all escaped the small
pox." [Footnote: Communicated by Sir Charles Locock to the Author.]

51. _Do you consider that taking of matter from a child's arm weakens
the effect of vaccination on the system_?

Certainly not, provided it has taken effect in more than one
place. The arm is frequently much inflamed, and vaccinating other
children from it abates the inflammation, and thus affords relief. _It
is always well to leave one vesicle undisturbed_.

52. _If the infant have any "breaking out" upon the skin, ought that
to be a reason for deferring the vaccination_?

It should, as two skin diseases cannot well go on together; hence the
cow-pox might not take, or, if it did, might not have its proper
effect in preventing small-pox. "It is essential that the vaccine bud
or germ have a congenial soil, uncontaminated by another poison,
which, like a weed, might choke its healthy growth."--_Dendy_. The
moment the skin be free from the breaking-out, he must be
vaccinated. A trifling skin affection, like red gum, unless it be
severe, ought not, at the proper age to prevent vaccination. If
small-pox be rife in the neighbourhood, the child _must_ be
vaccinated, regardless of any "breaking-out" on the skin.

53. _Does vaccination make a child poorly_?

At about the fifth day after vaccination, and for three or four days,
he is generally a little feverish; the mouth is slightly hot, and he
delights to have the nipple in his mouth. He does not rest so well at
night; he is rather cross and irritable; and, sometimes, has a slight
bowel-complaint. The arm, about the ninth or tenth day, is usually
much inflamed--that is to say it is, for an inch or two or more around
the vesicles, red, hot, swollen, and continues in this state for a day
or two, at the end of which time the inflammation gradually
subsides. It might be well to state that the above slight symptoms are
desirable, as it proves that the vaccination has had a proper effect
on his system, and that, consequently, he is more likely to be
thoroughly protected from any risk of catching small-pox.

54. _Do you approve, either during or after vaccination, of giving
medicine, more especially if he be a little feverish_?

No, as it would be likely to work off some of its effects, and thus
would rob the cow-pox of its efficacy on the system. I do not like to
interfere with vaccination _in any way whatever_ (except, at the
proper time, to take a little matter from the arm), but to allow the
pock to have full power upon his constitution.

What do you give the medicine for? If the matter that is put into the
arm be healthy, what need is there of physic! And if the matter be not
of good quality, I am quite sure that no physic will make it so! Look,
therefore, at the case in whatever way you like, physic after
vaccination is _not_ necessary; but, on the contrary, hurtful. If the
vaccination produce slight feverish attack, it will, without the
administration of a particle of medicine, subside in two or three

55. _Have you any directions to give respecting the arm AFTER

The only precaution necessary is to take care that the arm be not
rubbed; otherwise the vesicles may be prematurely broken, and the
efficacy of the vaccination may be lessened. The sleeve, in
vaccination, ought to be large and soft, and should not be tied
up. The tying up of a sleeve makes it hard, and is much more likely to
rub the vesicles than if it were put on the usual way.

56. _If the arm, AFTER vaccination, be much inflamed, what ought to be

Smear frequently, by means of a feather or a camel's hair brush, a
little cream on the inflamed part. This simple remedy will afford
great comfort and relief.

57. _Have the goodness to describe the proper appearance, after the
falling-off of the scab of the arm_?

It might be well to remark, that the scabs ought always to be allowed
to fall off of themselves. They must not, on any account, be picked or
meddled with. With regard to the proper appearance of the arm, after
the falling-off of the scab, "a perfect vaccine scar should be of
small size, circular, and marked with radiations and indentations."--


58. _At what time does dentition commence_?

The period at which it commences is uncertain. It may, as a rule, be
said that a babe begins to cut his teeth at seven months old. Some
have cut teeth at three months; indeed, there are instances on record
of infants having been born with teeth. King Richard the Third is said
to have been an example. Shakspeare notices it thus:--

  "YORK.--Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast,
          That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old.
          'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth,
          Grandam, this would have been a biting jest."

When a babe is born with teeth, they generally drop out. On the other
hand, teething, in some children does not commence until they are a
year and a half or two years old, and, in rare cases, not until they
are three years old. There are cases recorded of adults who have never
cut any teeth. An instance of the kind came under my own observation.

Dentition has been known to occur in old age. A case is recorded by
M. Carre, in the _Gazette Medicale de Paris_ (Sept 15, 1860), of an
old lady, aged eighty-five, who cut several teeth after attaining that

59. _What is the number of the FIRST set of teeth, and in what order
do they generally appear_?

The first or temporary set consists of twenty. The first set of teeth
are usually cut in pairs. "I may say that nearly invariably the order
is--1st, the lower front incissors [cutting teeth], then the upper
front, then the _upper_ two lateral incissors, and that not uncommonly
a double tooth is cut before the two _lower_ laterals; but at all
events the lower laterals come 7th and 8th, and, not 5th and 6th, as
nearly all books on the subject testify." [Footnote: Sir Charles
Locock in a _Letter_ to the Author.] Then the first grinders, in the
lower jaw, afterwards the first upper grinders, then the lower
corner-pointed or canine teeth, after which the upper corner or
eye-teeth, then the second grinders in the lower jaw, and lastly, the
second grinders of the upper jaw. They do not, of course, always
appear in this rotation. Nothing is more uncertain than the order of
teething. A child seldom cuts his second grinders until after he is
two years old. _He is, usually, from the time they first appear, two
years in cutting the first set of teeth_. As a rule, therefore, a
child of two years old has sixteen, and one of two years and a half
old, twenty teeth.

60. _If an infant be feverish or irritable, or otherwise poorly, and
if the gums be hot, swollen, and tender, are you an advocate for their
being lanced_?

Certainly; by doing so he will, in the generality of instances, be
almost instantly relieved.

61. _But it has been stated that lancing the gums hardens them_?

This is a mistake--it has a contrary effect. It is a well-known fact,
that a part which has been divided gives way much more readily than
one which has not been cut. Again, the tooth is bound down by a tight
membrane, which, if not released by lancing, frequently brings on
convulsions. If the symptoms be urgent, it may be necessary from time
to time to repeat the lancing. It would, of course, be the height of
folly to lance the gums unless they be hot and swollen, and unless the
tooth, or the teeth, be near at hand. It is not to be considered a
panacea for every baby's ill, although, in those cases where the
lancing of the gums is indicated, the beneficial effect is sometimes
almost magical.

62. _How ought the lancing of a child's gums to be performed_?

The proper person, of course, to lance his gums is a medical man. But
if, perchance, you should be miles away and be out of the reach of
one, it would be well for you to know how the operation ought to be
performed. Well, then, let him lie on the nurse's lap upon his back,
and let the nurse take hold of his hands in order that he may not
interfere with the operation.

Then, _if it be the upper gum_ that requires lancing, you ought to go
to the head of the child, looking over, as it were, and into his
mouth, and should steady the gum with the index finger of your left
hand; then, you should take hold of the gum-lancet with your right
hand--holding as if it were a table-knife at dinner--and cut firmly
along the inflamed and swollen gum and down to the tooth, until the
edge of the gum-lancet grates on the tooth. Each incision ought to
extend along the ridge of the gum to about the extent of each expected

_If it be the lower gum_ that requires lancing, you must go to the
side of the child, and should steady the outside of the jaw with the
fingers of the left hand, and the gum with the left thumb, and then
you should perform the operation as before directed.

Although the lancing of the gums, to make it intelligible to a
non-professional person, requires a long description, it is, in point
of fact, a simple affair, is soon performed, and gives but little

63. _If teething cause convulsions, what ought to be done_?

The first thing to be done (after sending for a medical man) is to
freely dash water upon the face, and to sponge the head with cold
water, and as soon as warm water can be procured, to put him into a
warm bath [Footnote: For the precautions to be used in putting a child
into a warm bath, see the answer to question on "Warm Baths."] of 98
degrees Fahrenheit. If a thermometer be not at hand, [Footnote: No
family, where there are young children, should be without Fahrenheit's
thermometer.] you must plunge your own elbow into the water: a
comfortable heat for your elbow will be the proper heat for the
infant. He must remain in the bath for a quarter of an hour, or until
the fit be at an end. The body must, after coming out of the bath, be
wiped with warm and dry and coarse towels; he ought then to be placed
in a warm blanket. The gums must be lanced, and cold water should be
applied to the head. An enema, composed of table salt, of olive oil,
and warm oatmeal gruel--in the proportion of one table-spoonful of
salt, of one of oil, and a tea-cupful of gruel--ought then to be
administered, and should, until the bowels have been well opened, be
repeated every quarter of an hour; as soon as he comes to himself a
dose of aperient medicine ought to be given.

It may be well, for the comfort of a mother, to state that a child in
convulsions is perfectly insensible to all pain whatever; indeed, a
return to consciousness speedily puts convulsions to the rout.

64. _A nurse is in the habit of giving a child, who is teething,
either coral, or ivory, to bite: do you approve of the plan_?

I think it a bad practice to give him any hard, unyielding substance,
as it tends to harden the gums, and, by so doing, causes the teeth to
come through with greater difficulty. I have found softer substances,
such as either a piece of wax taper, or an India-rubber ring, or a
piece of the best bridle leather, or a crust of bread, of great
service. If a piece of crust be given as a gum-stick, he must, while
biting it, be well watched, or by accident he might loosen a large
piece of it, which might choke him. The pressure of any of these
excites a more rapid absorption of the gum, and thus causes the tooth
to come through more easily and quickly.

65. _Have you any objection to my baby, when he is cutting his teeth,
sucking his thumb_?

Certainly not: the thumb is the best gum-stick in the world:--it is
convenient; it is handy (in every sense of the word): it is of the
right size, and of the proper consistence, neither too hard nor too
soft; there is no danger, as of some artificial gum-sticks, of its
being swallowed, and thus of its choking the child. The sucking of the
thumb causes the salivary glands to pour out their contents, and thus
not only to moisten the dry mouth, but assist the digestion; the
pressure of the thumb eases, while the teeth are "breeding," the pain
and irritation of the gums, and helps, when the teeth are sufficiently
advanced, to bring them through the gums. Sucking of the thumb will
often make a cross infant contended and happy, and will frequently
induce a restless babe to fall into a sweet refreshing sleep. Truly
may the thumb be called a baby's comfort. By all means, then, let your
child suck his thumb whenever he likes, and as long as he chooses to
do so.

There is a charming, bewitching little picture of a babe sucking his
thumb in Kingsley's _Water Babies_, which I heartily commend to your
favourable notice and study.

66. _But if an infant be allowed to suck his thumb, will it not be
likely to become a habit, and stick to him for years--until, indeed,
he become a big boy_?

After he have cut the whole of his first set of teeth, that is to say,
when he is about two years and a half old, he might, if it be likely
to become a habit, be readily cured by the following method, namely,
by making a paste of aloes and water, and smearing it upon his
thumb. One or two dressings will suffice as after just tasting the
bitter aloes he will take a disgust to his former enjoyment, and the
habit will at once be broken.

Many persons I know have an objection to children sucking their
thumbs, as for instance,--

  "Perhaps it's as well to keep children from plums,
  And from pears in the season, and sucking their thumbs." [Footnote:
  _Ingoldsby Legends_.]

My reply is,--

  P'rhaps 'tis as well to keep children from pears;
  The pain they might cause, is oft follow'd by tears;
  'Tis certainly well to keep them from plums;
  But certainly not from sucking their thumbs!
      If a babe suck his thumb
      'Tis an ease to his gum;
  A comfort; a boon; a calmer of grief;
  A friend in his need--affording relief;
  A solace; a good; a soother of pain;
  A composer to sleep; a charm; and a gain.

  'Tis handy, at once, to his sweet mouth to glide;
  When done with, drops gently down by his side;
  'Tis fix'd, like an anchor, while the babe sleeps.
  And the mother, with joy, her still vigil keeps.

67. _A child who is teething dribbles, and thereby wets his chest,
which frequently causes him to catch cold; what had better be done_?

Have in readiness to put on several _flannel_ dribbling bibs, so that
they may be changed as often as they become wet; or, if he dribble
_very much_, the oiled silk dribbling-bibs, instead of the flannel
ones, may be used, and which may be procured at any baby-linen ware

68. _Do you approve of giving a child, during teething, much fruit_?

No; unless it be a few ripe strawberries or raspberries, or a roasted
apple, or the juice of five or six grapes--taking care that he does
not swallow either the seeds or the skin--or the insides of ripe
gooseberries, or an orange. Such fruits, if the bowels be in a costive
state, will be particularly useful.

All stone fruit, _raw_ apples or pears, ought to be carefully avoided,
as they not only disorder the stomach and the bowels,--causing
convulsions, gripings, &c.,--but they have the effect of weakening the
bowels, and thus of engendering worms.

69. _Is a child, during teething, more subject to disease, and, if so,
to what complaints, and in what manner may they be prevented_?

The teeth are a fruitful source of suffering and of disease; and are,
with truth, styled "our first and our last plagues." Dentition is the
most important period of a child's life, and is the exciting cause of
many infantile diseases; during this period, therefore, he requires
constant and careful watching. When we consider how the teeth elongate
and enlarge in his gums, pressing on the nerves and on the surrounding
parts, and thus how frequently they produce pain, irritation, and
inflammation; when we further contemplate what sympathy there is in
the nervous system, and how susceptible the young are to pain, no
surprise can be felt, at the immense disturbance, and the consequent
suffering and danger frequently experienced by children while cutting
their _first_ set of teeth. The complaints or the diseases induced by
dentition are numberless, affecting almost every organ of the
body,--the _brain_, occasioning convulsions, water on the brain, &c.;
the _lungs_, producing congestion, inflammation, cough, &c.; the
_stomach_, exciting sickness, flatulence, acidity, &c,; the _bowels_,
inducing griping, at one time costiveness, and at another time
purging; the _skin_, causing "breakings-out."

To prevent these diseases, means ought to be used to invigorate a
child's constitution by plain, wholesome food, as recommended under
the article of diet; by exercise and fresh air; [Footnote: The young
of animals seldom suffer from cutting their teeth--and what is the
reason? Because they live in the open air, and take plenty of
exercise; while children are frequently cooped up in close rooms, and
are not allowed the free use of their limbs. The value of fresh air
is well exemplified in the Registrar-General's Report for 1843; he
says that in 1,000,000 deaths, from all diseases, 616 occur in the
town from teething while 120 only take place in the country from the
same cause.] by allowing him, weather permitting, to be out of doors a
great part of every day; by lancing the gums when they get red, hot,
and swollen; by attention to the bowels, and if he suffer more than
usual, by keeping them rather in a relaxed state by any simple
aperient, such as either castor oil, or magnesia and rhubarb, &c.;
and, let me add, by attention to his temper: many children are made
feverish and ill by petting and spoiling them. On this subject I
cannot do better than refer you to an excellent little work entitled
Abbot's _Mother of Home_, wherein the author proves the great
importance of _early_ training.

70. _Have the goodness to describe the symptoms and the treatment of
Painful Dentition_?

Painful dentition may be divided into two forms--(1) the Mild; and (2)
the Severe. In the _mild_ form the child is peevish and fretful, and
puts his fingers, and everything within reach, to his mouth, he likes
to have his gums rubbed, and takes the breast with avidity, indeed it
seems a greater comfort to him than ever. There is generally a
considerable flow of saliva, and he has frequently a more loose state
of bowels than is his wont.

Now, with regard to the more _severe_ form of painful dentition--The
gums are red, swollen, and hot, and he cannot without expressing pain
bear to have them touched, hence, if he be at the breast, he is
constantly loosing the nipple. There is dryness of the mouth, although
before there had been a great flow of saliva. He is feverish,
restless, and starts in his sleep. His face is flashed. His head is
heavy and hot. He is sometimes convulsed. [Footnote: See answer to
Question 63.] He is frequently violently griped and purged, and
suffers severely from flatulence. He is predisposed to many and
severe diseases.

The _treatment,_ of the _mild_ form, consists of friction, of the gum
with the finger, with a little "soothing syrup," as recommended by Sir
Charles Locock, [Footnote: Soothing syrup--Some of them probably
contain opiates, but a perfectly safe and useful one is a little
Nitrate of Potass in syrup of Roses--one scruple to half an
ounce.--_Communicated by Sir Charles Locock to the Author._ This
'soothing syrup' is not intended to be given us a mixture but to be
used as an application to rub the gums with. It may be well to state
that it is a perfectly harmless remedy even if a little of it were
swallowed by mistake.] a tepid bath of about 92 degrees Fahrenheit,
every night at bed time, attention to diet and to bowels, fresh air
and exercise. For the mild form, the above plan will usually be all
that is required. If he dribble, and the bowels be relaxed, so much
the better. The flow of saliva and the increased action of the bowels
afford relief, and therefore must not be interfered with. In the
_mild_ form, lancing of the gums is not desirable. The gums ought not
to be lanced, unless the teeth be near at hand, and unless the gums be
red, hot, and swollen.

In the _severe_ form a medical man should be consulted early, as more
energetic remedies will be demanded; that is to say, the gums will
require to be freely lanced, warm baths to be used, and medicines to
be given, to ward off mischief from the head, from the chest, and from
the stomach.

If you are living in the town, and your baby suffers much from
teething, take him into the country. It is wonderful what change of
air to the country will often do, in relieving a child who is
painfully cutting his teeth. The number of deaths in London, from
teething, is frightful; it is in the country comparatively trifling.

71. _Should an infant be purged during teething or indeed, during any
other time, do you approve of either absorbent or astringent medicines
to restrain it_?

Certainly not. I should look upon, the relaxation as an effort of
nature to relieve itself. A child is never purged without a cause;
that cause, in the generality of instances, is the presence of either
some undigested food, or acidity, or depraved motions, that want a

The better plan is, in such a case, to give a dose of aperient
medicine, such as either castor oil, or magnesia and rhubarb; and thus
PRODUCE MISCHIEF. [Footnote: I should put this in capitals, it is so
important and is often mistaken.--C. Locock.] If he be purged more
than usual, attention should be paid to the diet--if it be absolutely
necessary to give him artificial food while suckling--and care must be
taken not to overload the stomach.

72. _A child is subject to a slight cough during dentition--called by
nurses "tooth-cough"--which a parent would not consider of sufficient
importance to consult a doctor about: pray tell me, is there any
objection to a mother giving her child a small quantity either of
syrup of white poppies, or of paregoric, to ease it_?

A cough is an effort of nature to bring up any secretion from the
lining membrane of the lungs, or from the bronchial tubes, hence it
ought not to be interfered with. I have known the administration of
syrup of white poppies, or of paregoric, to stop the cough, and
thereby to prevent the expulsion of the phlegm, and thus to produce
either inflammation of the lungs, or bronchitis. Moreover, both
paregoric and syrup of white poppies are, for a young child, dangerous
medicines (unless administered by a judicious medical man), and _ought
never to be given by a mother_.

In the month of April 1844, I was sent for, in great haste, to an
infant, aged seventeen months, who was labouring under convulsions and
extreme drowsiness, from the injudicious administration of paregoric,
which had been given to him to ease a cough. By the prompt
administration of an emetic he was saved.

73. _A child, who is teething, is subject to a "breaking-out," more
especially behind the ears--which is most disfiguring, and frequently
very annoying what would you recommend_?

I would apply no external application to cure it, as I should look
upon it as an effort of the constitution to relieve itself, and should
expect, if the "breaking-out" were repelled, that either convulsions,
or bronchitis, or inflammation of the lungs, or water on the brain,
would be the consequence. The only plan I should adopt would be, to be
more careful in his diet, to give him less meat (if he be old enough
to eat animal food), and to give him, once or twice a week, a few
doses of mild aperient medicine, and, if the irritation from the
"breaking-out" be great, to bathe it, occasionally, either with a
little warm milk and water, or with rose water.


74. _Do you recommend exercise in the open air for a baby? and if so,
how soon after birth_?

I am a great advocate for his having exercise in the open air. "The
infant in arms makes known its desire for fresh air, by restlessness,
it cries, for it cannot speak its wants, is taken abroad and is

The age at which he ought to commence taking exercise will, of course,
depend upon the season and upon the weather. If it be summer, and the
weather be fine, he should he carried in the open air, a week or a
fortnight after birth, but if it be winter, he ought not on any
account to be taken out under the month, and not even then, unless the
weather be mild for the season, and it be the middle of the day. At
the end of two months he should breathe the open air more
frequently. And after the expiration of three months, he ought to be
carried out _every day_, even if it be wet under foot, provided it be
fine above, and the wind be neither in an easterly nor in a
north-easterly direction. By doing so we shall make him strong and
hearty, and give the skin that mottled appearance which is so
characteristic of health. He must, of course, be well clothed.

I cannot help expressing my disapprobation of the practice of
smothering up an infant's face with a handkerchief, with a veil or
with any other covering, when he is taken out into the air. If his
face be so muffled up, he may as well remain at home, as under such
circumstances, it is impossible for him to receive any benefit from
the invigorating effects of the fresh air.

75. _Can you devise any method to induce a babe himself to take

He must be encouraged to use muscular exertion, and, for this purpose,
he ought to be frequently laid either upon a rug, or carpet, or the
floor. He will then stretch his limbs and kick about with perfect
glee. It is a pretty sight, to see a little fellow kicking and
sprawling on the floor. He crows with delight and thoroughly enjoys
himself. It strengthens his back, it enables him to stretch his limbs,
and to use his muscles, and is one of the best kinds of exercise a
very young child can take. While going through his performances his
diaper, if he wear one, should be unfastened, in order that he might
go through his exercises untrammelled. By adopting the above plan, the
babe quietly enjoys himself--his brain is not over excited by it; this
is an important consideration, for both mothers and nurses are apt to
rouse, and excite very young children to their manifest detriment. A
babe requires rest, and not excitement. How wrong it is, then, for
either a mother or a nurse to be exciting and rousing a new born
babe. It is most injurious and weakening to his brain. In the early
period of his existence his time ought to be almost entirely spent in
sleeping and in sucking!

76. _Do you approve of tossing an infant much about_?

I have seen, a child tossed nearly to the ceiling! Can anything be
more cruel or absurd! Violent tossing of a young babe ought never to
be allowed, it only frightens him, and has been known to bring on
convulsions. He should be gently moved up and down (not tossed), such
exercises causes a proper circulation of the blood, promotes
digestion, and soothes to sleep. He must always be kept quiet
immediately after taking the breast, if he be tossed _directly_
afterwards, it interferes with his digestion, and is likely to produce


77. _Ought the infant's sleeping apartment to be kept warm_?

The lying-in room is generally kept too warm, its heat being, in many
instances, more that of an oven than of a room. Such a place is most
unhealthy, and is fraught with danger both to the mother and the
baby. We are not, of course, to run into an opposite extreme, but are
to keep the chamber at a moderate and comfortable temperature. The
door ought occasionally to be left ajar, in order the more effectually
to change the air and thus to make it more pure and sweet.

A new born babe, then, ought to be kept comfortably warm, but not very
warm. It is folly in the extreme to attempt to harden a very young
child either by allowing him, in the winter time, to be in a bedroom
without a fire, or by dipping him in _cold_ water, or by keeping him
with scant clothing on his bed. The temperature of a bedroom, in the
winter time, should be, as nearly as possible, at 60 deg. Fahr. Although
the room should be comfortably warm, it ought from time to time to be
properly ventilated. An unventilated room soon becomes foul, and,
therefore, unhealthy. How many in this world, both children and
adults, are "poisoned with their own breaths!"

An infant should not be allowed to look at the glare either of a fire
or of a lighted candle, as the glare tends to weaken the sight, and
sometimes brings on an inflammation of the eyes. In speaking to, and
in noticing a baby, you ought always to stand _before_, and not
_behind_ him, or it might make him squint.

78. _Ought a babe to lie alone from the first_?

Certainly not: at first--say, for the first few months--he requires
the warmth of another person's body, especially in the winter; but
care must be taken not to overlay him, as many infants, from
carelessness in this particular, have lost their lives. After the
first few months he had better lie alone, on a horse-hair mattress.

79. _Do you approve of rocking an infant to sleep_?

I do not. If the rules of health be observed, he will sleep both
soundly and sweetly without rocking; if they be not, the rocking might
cause him to fall into a feverish, disturbed slumber, but not into a
refreshing, calm sleep. Besides, if you once take to that habit, he
will not go to sleep without it.

80. _Then don't you approve of a rocking-chair, and of rockers to the

Certainly not: a rocking-chair, or rockers to the cradle, may be
useful to a lazy nurse or mother, and may induce a child to sleep, but
that restlessly, when he does not need sleep, or when he is wet and
uncomfortable, and requires "changing;" but will not cause him to have
that sweet and gentle and exquisite slumber so characteristic of a
baby who has no artificial appliances to make him sleep. No! rockers
are perfectly unnecessary, and the sooner they are banished the
nursery the better will it be for the infant community. I do not know
a more wearisome and monotonous sound than the everlasting rockings to
and fro in some nurseries, they are often accompanied by a dolorous
lullaby from the nurse, which adds much to the misery and depressing
influence of the performance.

81. _While the infant is asleep, do you advise the head of the crib to
be covered with a handkerchief, to shade his eyes from the light, and,
if it be summer time, to keep off the flies_?

If the head of the crib be covered, the babe cannot breathe freely,
the air within the crib becomes contaminated, and thus the lungs
cannot properly perform their functions. If his sleep is to be
refreshing, he must breathe pure air. I do not even approve of a head
to a crib. A child is frequently allowed to sleep on a bed with the
curtains drawn completely close, as though it were dangerous for a
breath of air to blow upon him [Footnote: I have somewhere read that
if a cage containing a canary, be suspended at night within a bed
where a person is sleeping, and the curtains be drawn closely around,
that the bird will, in the morning, in all probability, be found
dead!] This practice is most injurious. An infant must have the full
benefit of the air of the room, indeed, the bed room door ought to be
frequently left ajar, so that the air of the apartment may be changed,
taking care, of course, not to expose him to a draught. If the flies,
while he is asleep, annoy him, let a net veil be thrown over his face,
as he can readily breathe through net, but not through a handkerchief.

82. _Have you any suggestions to offer as to the way a babe should be
dressed when he is put down to sleep_?

Whenever he be put down to sleep, be more than usually particular that
his dress be loose in every part, be careful that there be neither
strings nor bands, to cramp him. Let him, then, during repose, be more
than ordinarily free and unrestrained--

  "If, whilst in cradled rest your infant sleeps.
   Your watchful eyes unceasing vigil keeps
   Lest cramping bonds his pliant limbs constrain,
   And cause defects that manhood may retain."

83. _Is it a good sign for a young child to sleep much_?

A babe who sleeps a great deal thrives much more than one who does
not. I have known many children, who were born [Footnote: It may be
interesting to a mother to know the average weight of new born
infants. There is a paper on the subject in the _Medical Circular_
(April 10, 1861) and which has been abridged in _Braithwaite's
Retrospect of Medicine_ (July and December 1861). The following are
extracts--"Dr. E. von Siebold presents a table of the weights of 3000
infants (1586 male and 1414 female) weighed immediately after
birth. From this table (for which we have not space) it results that
by far the greater number of the children, 2215 weighed between 6 and
8 lbs. From 5 3/4 to 6 lbs. the number rose from 99 to 268, and from 8 to
8 1/4 lbs. they fell from 226 to 67, and never rose again at any weight
to 100. From 8 3/4 to 9 1/2 lbs. they sank from 61 to 8, rising however at
9 1/2 lbs. to 21. Only six weighed 10 lbs., one 10 3/4 lbs. and two 11
lbs. The author has never but once met with a child weighing 11
lbs. The most frequent weight in the 3000 was 7 lbs, numbering 426. It
is a remarkable fact, that until the weight of 7 lbs the female
infants exceeded the males in number, the latter thenceforward

From these statements, and those of various other authors here quoted,
the conclusion may be drawn that the normal weight of a mature new
born infant is not less than six nor more than 8 lbs., the average
weight being 6 1/2 or 7 lbs., the smaller number referring to female and
the higher to male infants."] small and delicate, but who slept the
greatest part of their time, become strong and healthy. On the other
hand, I have known those who were born large and strong, yet who slept
but little, become weak and unhealthy.

The common practice of a nurse allowing a baby to sleep upon her lap
is a bad one, and ought never to be countenanced. He sleeps cooler,
more comfortably, and soundly in his crib.

The younger an infant is the more he generally sleeps, so that during
the early months he is seldom awake, and then only to take the breast.

84. _How is it that much sleep causes a young child to thrive so

If there be pain in any part of the body, or if any of the functions
be not properly performed, he sleeps but little. On the contrary, if
there be exemption from pain, and if there be a due performance of all
the functions, he sleeps a great deal, and thus the body becomes
refreshed and invigorated.

85. _As much sleep is of such advantage, if an infant sleep but
little, would you advise composing medicine to be given to him_?

Certainly not. The practice of giving composing medicine to a young
child cannot he too strongly reprobated. If he does not sleep enough,
the mother ought to ascertain if the bowels be in a proper state,
whether they be sufficiently opened, that the motions be of a good
colour--namely, a bright yellow, inclining to orange colour--and free
from slime or from bad smell. An occasional dose of rhubarb and
magnesia is frequently the best composing medicine he can take.

86. _We often hear of coroner's inquests upon infants who have been
found dead in bed--accidentally overlaid what is usually the cause_?

Suffocation, produced either by ignorance, or by carelessness. From
_ignorance_ in mothers, in their not knowing the common laws of life,
and the vital importance of free and unrestricted respiration, not
only when babies are up and about, but when they are in bed and
asleep. From _carelessness_, in their allowing young and thoughtless
servants to have the charge of infants at night, more especially as
young girls are usually heavy sleepers, and are thus too much
overpowered with sleep to attend to their necessary duties.

A foolish mother sometimes goes to sleep while allowing her child to
continue sucking. The unconscious babe, after a tune, looses the
nipple, and buries his head in the bed-clothes. She awakes in the
morning, finding, to her horror, a corpse by her side, with his nose
flattened, and a frothy fluid, tinged with, blood, exuding from his
lips. A mother ought, therefore, never to go to sleep until her child
have finished sucking.

_The following are a few rules to prevent an infant from being
accidentally overlaid_--(1.) Let your baby while asleep have plenty of
room in the bed. (2.) Do not allow him to be too near to you; or if he
he unavoidably near you (from the small size of the bed), let his face
be turned to the opposite side. (3.) Let him lie fairly either on his
side, or on his back. (4.) Be careful to ascertain that his mouth be
not covered with the bed-clothes; and, (5.) Do not smother his face
with clothes, as a plentiful supply of pure air is as necessary when
he is awake, or even more so, than when he is asleep. (6.) Never let
him lie low in the bed. (7.) Let there be _no_ pillow near the one
his head is resting on, lest he roll to it, and thus bury his head in
it Remember, a young child has neither the strength nor the sense to
get out of danger; and, if he unfortunately either turn on his face,
or bury his head in a pillow that is near, the chances are that he
will be suffocated, more especially as these accidents usually occur
at night, when the mother, or the nurse, is fast asleep. (8.) Never
intrust him at night to a young and thoughtless servant.


87. _Have you any hints to offer respecting the bowels and the bladder
of an infant during the first three months of his existence_?

A mother ought daily to satisfy herself as to the state of the bladder
and the bowels of her child. She herself should inspect the motions,
and see that they are of a proper colour (bright-yellow, inclining to
orange), and consistence (that of thick gruel), that they are neither
slimy, nor curdled, nor green; if they should be either the one or the
other, it is a proof that she herself has, in all probability, been
imprudent in her diet, and that it will be necessary for the future
that she be more careful both in what she eats and in what she drinks.

She ought, moreover, to satisfy herself that the urine does not smell
strongly, that it does not stain the diapers, and that he makes a
sufficient quantity.

A frequent cause of a child crying is, he is wet, and uncomfortable,
and wants drying and changing, and the only way he has of informing
his mother of the fact is by crying lustily, and thus telling her in
most expressive language of her thoughtlessness and carelessness.

88. _How soon may an infant dispense with diapers_?

A babe of three months and upwards, ought to be held out, at least, a
dozen times during the twenty-four hours; if such a plan were adopted,
diapers might at the end of three months be dispensed with--a great
_desideratum_-and he would be inducted into clean habits--a blessing
to himself, and a comfort to all around, and a great saving of dresses
and of furniture. "Teach your children to be clean. A dirty child is
the mother's disgrace," [Footnote: Hints on Household Management, By
Mrs C. L. Balfour.] Truer words were never written,--A DIRTY CHILD IS


89. _A new born babe frequently has a collection of mucus in the air
passages, causing him to wheeze: is it a dangerous symptom_?

No, not if it occur _immediately_ after birth; as soon as the bowels
have been opened, it generally leaves him, or even before, if he give
a good cry, which as soon as he is born he usually does. If there be
any mucus either within or about the mouth, impeding breathing, it
must with a soft handkerchief be removed.

90. _Is it advisable, as soon as an infant is born, to give him

It is now proved that the giving of medicine to a babe _immediately_
after birth is unnecessary, nay, that it is hurtful--that is, provided
he be early put to the breast, as the mother's _first_ milk is
generally sufficient to open the bowels. Sir Charles Locock [Footnote:
In a _Letter_ to the Author.] makes the following sensible remarks on
this subject:--"I used to limit any aperient to a new-born infant to
those which had not the first milk, and who had wet nurses, whose milk
was, of course, some weeks old, but for many years I have never
allowed any aperient at all to any new born infant, and I am satisfied
it is the safest and the wisest plan."

The advice of Sir Charles Locock--_to give no aperient to a new-born
infant_--is most valuable, and ought to be strictly followed. By
adopting his recommendation, much after misery might be averted. If a
new born babe's bowels be costive, rather than give him an aperient,
try the effect of a little moist sugar, dissolved in a little water,
that is to say, dissolve half a tea-spoonful of pure unadulterated
_raw_ sugar in a tea-spoonful of warm water and administer it to him,
if in four hours it should not operate, repeat the dose. Butter and
raw sugar is a popular remedy, and is sometimes used by a nurse to
open the bowels of a new born babe, and where there is costiveness,
answers the purpose exceedingly well, and is far superior to castor
oil. Try by all means to do, if possible, without a particle of
opening medicine. If you once begin to give aperients, you will have
frequently to repeat them. Opening physic leads to opening physic,
until at length his stomach and bowels will become a physic shop! Let
me, then, emphatically say, avoid, if possible, giving a new born babe
a drop or a gram of opening medicine. If from the first you refrain
from giving an aperient, he seldom requires one afterwards. It is the
_first_ step, in this as in all other things, that is so important to

If a new-born babe have _not_ for twelve hours made water, the medical
man ought to be informed of it, in order that he may inquire into the
matter, and apply the proper remedies. Be particular in attending to
these directions, or evil consequences will inevitably ensue.

91. _Some persons say, that new-born female infants have milk in their
bosoms, and that it is necessary to squeeze them, and apply plasters
to disperse the milk_.

The idea of there being real milk in a baby's breast is doubtful, the
squeezing of the bosom is barbarous, and the application of plasters
is useless. "Without actually saying," says Sir Charles Locock, "there
is milk secreted in the breasts of infants, there is undoubtedly not
rarely considerable swelling of the breasts both in _female_ and
_male_ infants, and on squeezing them a serous fluid oozes out. I
agree with you that the nurses should never be allowed to squeeze
them, but be ordered to leave them alone." [Footnote: _Letter_ to the

92. _Have the goodness to mention the SLIGHT ailments which are not of
sufficient importance to demand the assistance of a medical man_?

I deem it well to make the distinction between _serious_ and _slight_
ailments, I am addressing a mother. With regard to serious ailments, I
do not think myself justified, except in certain _urgent_ cases, in
instructing a parent to deal with them. It might be well to make a
mother acquainted with the _symptoms_, but not with the _treatment_,
in order that she might lose no time in calling in medical aid. This I
hope to have the pleasure of doing in future Conversations.

_Serious diseases, with a few exceptions_, and which I will indicate
in subsequent Conversations, ought never to be treated by a parent,
not even in the _early_ stages, for it is in the early stages that the
most good can generally be done. It is utterly impossible for any one
who is not trained to the medical profession to understand a _serious_
disease in all its bearings, and thereby to treat it satisfactorily.

There are some exceptions to these remarks. It will be seen in future
Conversations that Sir CHARLES LOCOCK considers that a mother ought to
be made acquainted with the _treatment_ of _some_ of the more
_serious_ diseases, where delay in obtaining _immediate_ medical
assistance might be death. I bow to his superior judgment, and have
supplied the deficiency in subsequent Conversations.

The ailments and the diseases of infants, such as may, in the absence
of the doctor, be treated by a parent, are the following:--Chafings,
Convulsions, Costivenesa, Flatulence, Gripings, Hiccup, Looseness of
the Bowels (Diarrhoea), Dysentery, Nettle-rash, Red-gum, Stuffing of
the Nose, Sickness, Thrush. In all these complaints I will tell
you--_What to do_, and--_What NOT to do_.

93. _What are the causes and the treatment of Chafing_?

The want of water: inattention and want of cleanliness are the usual
causes of chafing.

_What to do._--The chafed parts ought to be well and thoroughly
sponged with tepid _rain_ water--allowing the water from a well-filled
sponge to stream over them,--and, afterwards, they should be
thoroughly, but tenderly, dried with a soft towel, and then be dusted,
either with finely-powdered starch, made of wheaten flour, or with
Violet Powder, or with finely-powdered Native Carbonate of Zinc, or
they should be bathed with finely-powdered Fuller's-earth and tepid

If, in a few days, the parts be not healed discontinue the above
treatment, and use the following application:--Beat up well together
the whites of two eggs, then add, drop by drop, two table-spoonfuls of
brandy. When well mixed, put it into a bottle and cork it up. Before
using it let the excoriated parts be gently bathed with luke-warm rain
water, and, with a soft napkin, be tenderly dried; then, by means of a
camel's hair brush, apply the above liniment, having first shaken the
bottle. But bear in mind, after all that can be said and done, _that
there is nothing in these cases like water_--there is nothing like
keeping the parts clean, and the only way of thoroughly effecting this
object is _by putting him every morning INTO his tub_.

_What NOT to do_.--Do not apply white lead, as it is a poison. Do not
be afraid of using _plenty_ of water, as cleanliness is one of the
most important items of the treatment.

94. _What are the causes of Convulsions of an infant_?

Stuffing him, in the early months of his existence, _with food_, the
mother having plenty of breast milk the while, the constant physicking
of child by his own mother, teething, hooping-cough, when attacking a
very young baby.

I never knew a case of convulsions occur--say for the first four
months--(except in very young infants labouring under hooping-cough),
where children lived on the breast-milk alone, and where they were
_not_ frequently quacked by their mothers.

For the treatment of the convulsions from teething, see page 46.

_What to do_ in a case of convulsions which has been caused by feeding
an infant either with too much or with _artificial_ food. Give him,
every ten minutes, a tea-spoonful of ipecacuanha wine, until free
vomiting be excited then put him into a warm bath (see Warm Baths),
and when he comes out of it administer to him a tea-spoonful of castor
oil, and repeat it every four hours, until the bowels be well opened.

_What NOT to do_--Do not for at least a month after the fit, give him
artificial food, but keep him entirely to the breast. Do not apply
leeches to the head.

_What to do in a case of convulsions from hooping cough_--There is
nothing better than dashing cold water on the face, and immersing him
in a warm bath of 98 degrees Fahr. If he be about his teeth, and they
be plaguing him, let the gums be both freely and frequently
lanced. Convulsions seldom occur in hooping-cough, unless the child be
either very young or exceedingly delicate. Convulsions attending an
attack of hooping-cough make it a _serious_ complication, and requires
the assiduous and skilful attention of a judicious medical man.

_What NOT to do in such a case_--Do not apply leeches, the babe
requires additional strength, and not to be robbed of it, and do not
attempt to treat the case yourself.

95. _What are the best remedies for the Costiveness of an infant_?

I strongly object to the frequent administration of opening medicine,
as the repetition of it increases the mischief to a tenfold degree.

_What to do_.--If a babe, after the first few months, were held out,
and if, at regular intervals, he were put upon his chair, costiveness
would not so much prevail. It is wonderful how soon the bowels, in
the generality of cases, by this simple plan, may be brought into a
regular state. Besides, it inducts an infant into clean habits, I know
many careful mothers who have accustomed their children, after the
first three months, to do without diapers altogether. It causes at
first a little trouble, but that trouble is amply repaid by the good
consequences that ensue; among which must be named the dispensing with
such encumbrances as diapers. Diapers frequently chafe, irritate, and
gall the tender skin of a baby. But they cannot of course, at an early
age be dispensed with, unless a mother have great judgment, sense,
tact, and perseverance, to bring her little charge into the habit of
having his bowels relieved and his bladder emptied every time he is
either held out or put upon his chair.

Before giving an infant a particle of aperient medicine, try, if the
bowels are costive, the effect of a little _raw_ sugar and water,
either half a tea-spoonful of raw sugar dissolved in a tea-spoonful or
two of water, or give him, out of your fingers, half a tea-spoonful of
raw sugar to eat. I mean by _raw_ sugar, not the white, but the pure
and unadulterated sugar, and which you can only procure from a
respectable grocer. If you are wise, you will defer as long as you can
giving an aperient. If you once begin, and continue it for a while,
opening medicine becomes a dire necessity, and then woe betide the
poor unfortunate child. Or, give a third of a tea-spoonful of honey,
early in the morning, occasionally. Or administer a warm water
enema--a tablespoonful, or more, by means of a 2 oz. India Rubber
Enema Bottle.

_What NOT to do_.--There are two preparations of mercury I wish to
warn you against administering of your own accord, viz.--(1) Calomel,
and a milder preparation called (2) Grey-powder (mercury with
chalk). It is a common practice in this country to give calomel, on
account of the readiness with which it can be administered it being
small in quantity, and nearly tasteless. Grey powder also, is, with
many mothers, a favourite in the nursery. It is a medicine of immense
power--either for good or for evil, in certain cases it is very
valuable, but in others, and in the great majority, it is very
detrimental. This practice, then, of a mother giving mercury, whether
in the form either of calomel or of grey powder, cannot be too
strongly reprobated, as the frequent administration either of the one
or of the other weakens the body, predisposes it to cold, and
frequently excites king's-evil--a disease too common in this
country. Calomel and grey-powder, then, ought never to be administered
unless ordered by a medical man.

Syrup of buckthorn and jalap are also frequently given, but they are
griping medicines for a baby, and ought to be banished from the

The frequent repetition of opening medicines, then, in any shape or
form, very much interferes with digestion, they must, therefore, be
given as seldom as possible.

Let me, at the risk of wearying you, again urge the importance of your
avoiding, as much as possible, giving a babe purgative medicines. They
irritate beyond measure the tender bowels of an infant, and only make
him more costive afterwards, they interfere with his digestion, and
are liable to give him cold. A mother who is always, of her own
accord, quacking her child with opening physic, is laying up for her
unfortunate offspring a debilitated constitution--a miserable

For further information on this important subject see the 3d edition
of _Counsel to a Mother (being the companion volume of Advice to a
Mother)_, on the great importance of desisting from irritating, from
injuring, and from making still more costive, the obstinate bowels of
a costive child,--by the administration of opening medicine,--however
gentle and well-selected the aperients might be. Oh, that the above
advice could be heard, and be acted upon, through the length and the
breadth of the land, how much misery and mischief would then be

96. _Are there any means of preventing the Costiveness of an infant_?

If greater care were paid to the rules of health, such as attention to
diet, exercise in the open air, thorough ablution of the _whole_
body--more especially when he is being washed--causing the water, from
a large and well-filled sponge, to stream over the lower part of his
bowels; the regular habit of causing him, at stated periods, to be
held out, whether he want or not, that he may solicit a stool. If all
these rules were observed, costiveness would not so frequently
prevail, and one of the miseries of the nursery would be done away

Some mothers are frequently dosing their poor unfortunate babes either
with magnesia to cool them, or with castor oil to heal their bowels!
Oh, the folly of such practices! The frequent repetition of magnesia,
instead of cooling an infant, makes him feverish and irritable. The
constant administration of castor oil, instead of healing the bowels,
wounds them beyond measure. No! it would be a blessed thing if a babe
could be brought up without giving ham a particle of opening medicine;
his bowels would then act naturally and well: but then, as I have just
now remarked, a mother, must be particular in attending to Nature's
medicines--to fresh air, to exercise, to diet, to thorough ablution,
&c. Until that time comes, poor unfortunate babies must be,
occasionally, dosed with an aperient.

97. _What are the causes of, and remedies for, Flatulence_?

Flatulence most frequently occurs in those infants who live on
_artificial_ food, especially if they be over-fed. I therefore beg to
refer you to the precautions I have given, when speaking of the
importance of keeping a child for the first five or six months
_entirely_ to the breast; and, if that be not practicable, of the
times of feeding, and of the _best_ kinds of artificial food, and of
those which are least likely to cause "wind."

_What to do._--Notwithstanding these precautions, if the babe should
still suffer, "One of the best and safest remedies for flatulence is
Sal volatile,--a tea-spoonful of a solution of one drachm to an ounce
and a half of water" [Footnote: Sir Charles Locock, in a _Letter_ to
the Author Since Sir Charles did me the honour of sending me, for
publication, the above prescription for flatulence, a new "British
Pharmacopoeia" has been published in which the sal volatile is much
increased in strength it is therefore necessary to lessen the sal
volatile in the above prescription one half--that is to say, a tea
spoonful of the solution of _half_ a drachm to an ounce and a half of
water.] Or, a little dill or aniseed may be added to the food--half a
tea-spoonful of dill water Or, take twelve drops of oil of dill, and
two lumps of sugar, rub them well in a mortar together, then add, drop
by drop, three table-spoonfuls of spring water, let it be preserved in
a bottle for use. A tea-spoonful of this, first shaking the vial, may
be added to each quantity of food. Or, three tea-spoonfuls of bruised
caraway-seeds may be boiled for ten minutes in a tea-cupful of water,
and then strained. One or two tea-spoonfuls of the caraway tea may be
added to each quantity of his food, or a dose of rhubarb and magnesia
may occasionally be given.

Opodeldoc, or warm olive oil, well rubbed, for a quarter of an hour at
a time, by means of the warm hand, over the bowels, will frequently
give relief. Turning the child over on his bowels, so that they may
press on the nurses' lap, will often afford great comfort. A warm
bath (where he is suffering severely) generally gives _immediate_ ease
in flatulence, it acts as a fomentation to the bowels. But after all,
a dose of mild aperient medicine, when the babe is suffering severely,
is often the best remedy for "wind."

Remember, at all times, prevention, whenever it be--and how frequently
it is--possible, is better than cure.

_What NOT to do_--"Godfrey's Cordial," "Infants' Preservative," and
"Dalby's Carminative," are sometimes given in flatulence, but as most
of these quack medicines contain, in one form or another, either opium
or poppy, and as opium and poppy are both dangerous remedies for
children, ALL quack medicines must be banished the nursery.

Syrup of poppies is another remedy which is often given by a nurse to
afford relief for flatulence; but let me urge upon you the importance
for banishing it from the nursery. It has (when given by
unprofessional persons) caused the untimely end of thousands of
children. The medical journals and the newspapers teem with cases of
deaths from mothers incautiously giving syrup of poppies to ease pain
and to procure sleep.

98. _What are the symptoms, the causes, and the treatment of
"Gripings" of an infant_?

_The symptoms._--The child draws up his legs; screams violently; if
put to the nipple to comfort him, he turns away from it and cries
bitterly; he strains, as though he were having a stool; if he have a
motion, it will be slimy, curdled, and perhaps green. If, in addition
to the above symptoms, he pass a large quantity of watery fluid from
his bowels, the case becomes one of _watery gripes_, and requires the
immediate attention of a doctor.

The _causes_ of "gripings" or "gripes" may proceed either from the
infant or from the mother. If from the child, it is generally owing
either to improper food or to over-feeding; if from the mother, it may
be traced to her having taken either greens, or port, or tart beer, or
sour porter, or pickles, or drastic purgatives.

_What to do._--The _treatment_, of course, must depend upon the
cause. If it arise from over-feeding, I would advise a dose of castor
oil to be given, and warm fomentations to be applied to the bowels,
and the mother, or the nurse, to be more careful for the future. If it
proceed from improper food, a dose or two of magnesia and rhubarb in a
little dill water, made palatable with simple syrup. [Footnote:

  Take of--Powdered Turkey Rhubarb, half a scruple;
           Carbonate of Magnesia, one scruple;
           Simple Syrup, three drachms;
           Dill Water, eight drachms;

Make a Mixture, One or two tea-spoonfuls (according to the age of the
child) to be taken every four boors, until relief be obtained--first
shaking the bottle.) If it arise from a mother's imprudence in eating
trash, or from her taking violent medicine, a warm bath, a warm bath,
indeed, let the cause of "griping" be what it may, usually affords
instant relief.

Another excellent remedy is the following--Soak a piece of new
flannel, folded into two or three thicknesses, in warm water, wring it
tolerably dry, and apply as hot as the child can comfortably bear it
to the bowels, then wrap him in a warm, dry blanket, and keep him, for
at least half an hour, enveloped in it. Under the above treatment, he
will generally soon fall into a sweet sleep, and awake quite

_What NOT to do_--Do not give opiates, astringents, chalk, or any
quack medicine whatever.

If a child suffer from a mother's folly in her eating improper food,
it will be cruel in the extreme for him a _second_ time to be
tormented from the same cause.

99. _What occasions Hiccup, and what is its treatment_?

Hiccup is of such a trifling nature as hardly to require
interference. It may generally be traced to over feeding. Should it be
severe, four or five grains of calcined magnesia, with a little syrup
and aniseed water, and attention to feeding are all that will be

100. _Will you describe the symptoms of Infantile Diarrhoea_?

Infantile diarrhoea, or _cholera infantum_, is one of the most
frequent and serious of infantile diseases, and carries off, during
the year, more children than any other complaint whatever a knowledge
of the symptoms, therefore, is quite necessary for a mother to know,
in order that she may, at the proper tune, call in efficient medical

It will be well, before describing the symptoms, to tell you how many
motions a young infant ought to have a day, their colour, consistence,
and smell. Well, then, he should have from three to six motions in
the twenty four hours, the colour ought to be a bright yellow,
inclining to orange, the consistence should be that of thick gruel;
indeed, his motion, if healthy, ought to be somewhat of the colour
(but a little more orange-tinted) and of the consistence of mustard
made for the table; it should be nearly, if not quite, devoid of
smell; it ought to have a faint and peculiar, but not a strong
disagreeable odour. If it have a strong and disagreeable smell, the
child is not well, and the case should be investigated, more
especially if there be either curds or lumps in the motions; these
latter symptoms denote that the food has not been properly digested.

Now, suppose a child should have a slight bowel complaint--that is to
say, that he has six or eight motions during the twenty-four
hours,--and that the stools are of a thinner consistence than what I
have described,--provided, at the same time, that he be not griped,
that he have no pain, and have not lost his desire for the
breast:--What ought to be done?_Nothing_. A slight looseness of the
bowels should _never_ be interfered with,--it is often an effort of
nature to relieve itself of some vitiated motion that wanted a
vent--or to act as a diversion, by relieving the irritation of the
gums. Even if he be not cutting his teeth, he may be "breeding"
them--that is to say, the teeth may be forming in his gums, and may
cause almost as much, irritation as though he were actually cutting
them. Hence, you see the immense good a slight "looseness of the
bowels" may cause. I think that I have now proved to you the danger of
interfering in such a case, and that I have shown you, the folly and
the mischief of at once giving astringents--such as Godfrey's Cordial,
Dalby's Carminative, &c.--to relieve a _slight_ relaxation.

A moderate "looseness of the bowels," then, is often a safety-valve,
and you may, with as much propriety, close the safety-valve of a steam
engine, as stop a moderate "looseness of the bowels!"

Now, if the infant, instead of having from three to six motions,
should have more than double the latter number; if they be more
watery; if they become slimy and green, or green in part and curdled;
if they should have an unpleasant smell; if he be sick, cross,
restless, fidgety, and poorly; if every time he have a motion he be
griped and in pain, we should then say that he is labouring under
Diarrhoea; then, it will be necessary to give a little medicine, which
I will indicate in a subsequent Conversation.

Should there be both blood and slime mixed with the stool, the case
becomes more serious; still, with proper care, relief can generally be
quickly obtained. If the evacuations--instead of being stool--are
merely blood and slime, and the child strain frequently and violently,
endeavouring thus, but in vain, to relieve himself, crying at each
effort, the case assumes the character of Dysentery. [Footnote: See
Symptoms and Treatment of Dysentery.]

If there be a mixture of blood, slime, and stool from the bowels, the
case would be called Dysenteric-diarrhoea. The latter case requires
great skill and judgment on the part of a medical men, and great
attention and implicit obedience from the mother and the nurse. I
merely mention these diseases in order to warn you of their
importance, and of the necessity of strictly attending to a doctor's

101. _What are the causes of Diarrhoea--"Looseness of the bowels?"_

Improper food; overfeeding; teething; cold; the mother's milk from
various causes disagreeing, namely, from her being out of health, from
her eating unsuitable food, from her taking improper and drastic
purgatives, or from her suckling her child when she is pregnant. Of
course, if any of these causes are in operation, they ought, if
possible, to be remedied, or medicine to the babe will be of little

102. _What is the treatment of Diarrhoea_?

_What to do._--If the case be _slight_, and has lasted two or three
days (do not interfere by giving medicine at first), and if the cause,
as it probably is, be some acidity or vitiated stool that wants a
vent, and thus endeavours to obtain one by purging, the best treatment
is, to assist nature by giving either a dose of castor oil, or a
moderate one of rhubarb and magnesia, [Footnote: For a rhubarb and
magnesia mixture prescription, see page 71 (_note_).] and thus to work
off the enemy. After the enemy has been worked off, either by the
castor oil, or by the magnesia and rhubarb, the purging will, in all
probability, cease; but if the relaxation still continue, that is to
say, for three or four days--then, if medical advice cannot be
procured, the following mixture should be given:--

  Take of--Aromatic Powder of Chalk and Opium, ten grains;
           Oil of Dill, five drops;
           Simple Syrup, three drachms;
           Water, nine drachms;

Make a Mixture, [Footnote: Let the mixture be made by a chemist.] Half
a tea-spoonful to be given to an infant of six months and under, and
one tea-spoonful to a child above that age, every four hours--first
shaking the bottle.

If the babe be at the breast, he ought, for a few days, to be kept
_entirely_ to it. The mother should be most particular in her own

_What NOT to do._--The mother must neither take greens, nor cabbage,
nor raw fruit, nor pastry, nor beer; indeed, while the diarrhoea of
her babe continues, she had better abstain from wine, as well as from
fermented liquors. The child, if at the breast, ought _not_, while
the diarrhoea continues, to have any artificial food. He must neither
be dosed with grey-powder (a favourite, but highly improper Remedy, in
these cases), nor with any quack medicines, such as Dalby's
Carminative or Godfrey's Cordial.

103. _What are the symptoms of Dysentery_?

Dysentery frequently arises from a neglected diarrhoea. It is more
dangerous than diarrhoea, as it is of an inflammatory character; and
as, unfortunately, it frequently attacks a delicate child, requires
skilful handling; hence the care and experience required in treating a
case of dysentery.

Well, then, what are the symptoms? The infant, in all probability, has
had an attack of diarrhoea--bowel complaint as it is called--for
several days; he having had a dozen or two of motions, many of them
slimy and frothy, like "frog-spawn," during the twenty-four hours.
Suddenly the character of the motion changes,--from being principally
stool, it becomes almost entirely blood and mucus; he is dreadfully
griped, which causes him to strain violently, as though his inside
would come away every time he has a motion,--screaming and twisting
about, evidently being in the greatest pain, drawing his legs up to
his belly and writhing in agony. Sickness and vomiting are always
present, which still more robs him of his little remaining strength,
and prevents the repair of his system. Now, look at his face! It is
the very picture of distress. Suppose he has been a plump, healthy
little fellow, you will see his face, in a few days, become
old-looking, care-worn, haggard, and pinched. Day and night the enemy
tracks him (unless proper remedies be administered); no sleep, or if
he sleep, he is, every few minutes, roused. It is heart-rending to
have to attend a bad case of dysentery in a child,--the writhing, the
screaming, the frequent vomiting, the pitiful look, the rapid wasting
and exhaustion, make it more distressing to witness than almost any
other disease a doctor attends.

104. _Can anything be done to relieve such a case_?

Yes. A judicious medical man will do a great deal. But, suppose that
yon are not able to procure one, I will tell you _what to do_ and
_what NOT to do_.

_What to do_.--If the child be at the breast, keep him to it, and let
him have nothing else for dysentery is frequently caused by improper
feeding. If your milk be not good, or it be scanty, _instantly_
procure a healthy wet-nurse. _Lose not a moment;_ for in dysentery,
moments are precious. But, suppose that you have no milk, and that no
wet-nurse can be procured: what then? Feed him entirely on cow's
milk--the milk of _one_ healthy cow; let the milk be unboiled, and be
fresh from the cow. Give it in small quantities at a time, and
frequently, so that it may be retained on the stomach. If a
table-spoonful of the milk make him sick, give him a dessert-spoonful;
if a dessert-spoonful cause sickness, let him only have a tea-spoonful
at a time, and let it be repeated every quarter of an hour. But,
remember, in such a case the breast milk--the breast milk alone--is
incomparably superior to any other milk or to any other food whatever.

If he be a year old, and weaned, then feed him, as above recommended,
on the cow's milk. If there be extreme exhaustion and debility, let
fifteen drops of brandy be added to each table-spoonful of new milk,
and let it be given every half hour.

Now with regard to medicine. I approach this part of the treatment
with some degree of reluctance,--for dysentery is a case requiring
opium--and opium I never like a mother of her own accord to
administer. But suppose a medical man cannot be procured in time, the
mother must then prescribe, or the child will die! _What then is to
be done?_ Sir Charles Locock considers "that, in severe dysentery,
especially where there is sickness, there is no remedy equal to pure
Calomel, in a full dose without opium." [Footnote: Communicated by Sir
Charles Locock to the Author.] Therefore, at the very _onset_ of the
disease, let from three to five grains (according to the age of the
patient) of Calomel, mixed with an equal quantity of powdered white
sugar, be put dry on the tongue. In three hours after let the
following mixture be administered:--

  Take of--Compound Powder of Ipecacuanha, five grains;
           Ipecacuanha Wine, one drachm;
           Simple Syrup, three drachms;
           Cinnamon Water, nine drachms;

To make a Mixture, A tea-spoonful to be given every three or four
hours, first _well_ shaking the bottle.

Supposing he cannot retain the mixture--the stomach rejecting it as
soon as swallowed--what then? Give the opium, mixed with small doses
of mercury with chalk and sugar, in the form of powder, and put one of
the powders _dry_ on the tongue, every three hours:--

  Take of--Powdered Opium, half a grain;
           Mercury with chalk, nine grains;
           Sugar of Milk, twenty-four grains;

Mix well in a mortar, and divide into twelve powders.

Now, suppose the dysentery has for several days persisted, and that,
during that time, nothing but mucus and blood--that no real stool--has
come from the bowels, then a combination of castor oil and opium
[Footnote: My friend, the late Dr Baly, who had made dysentery his
particular study, considered the combination of opium and castor oil
very valuable in dysentery.] ought, instead of the medicine
recommended above, to be given:--

  Take of--Mucilage of Gum Acacia, three drachms;
           Simple Syrup, three drachms;
           Tincture of Opium, ten drops (_not_ minims);
           Castor Oil, two drachms;
           Cinnamon water, four drachms:

Make a Mixture. A tea spoonful to be taken every four hours, first
_well_ shaking the bottle.

A warm bath, at the commencement of the disease, is very efficacious;
but it must be given at the _commencement_. If he has had dysentery
for a day or two, he will be too weak to have a warm bath; then,
instead of the bath, try the following:--Wrap him in a blanket, which
has been previously wrung out of hot water; over which envelope him in
a _dry_ blanket. Keep him in this hot, damp blanket for half an hour;
then take him out, put on his nightgown and place him in bed, which
has been, if it be winter time, previously warmed. The above "blanket
treatment" will frequently give great relief, and will sometimes cause
him to fall into a sweet sleep. A flannel bag, filled with hot
powdered table salt, made hot in the oven, applied to the bowels, will
afford much comfort.

_What NOT to do_.--Do not give aperients unless it be, as before
advised, the castor oil guarded with the opium; do not stuff him with
artificial food; do not fail to send for a judicious and an
experienced medical man; for, remember, it requires a skilful doctor
to treat a case of dysentery, more especially in a child.

105. _What are the symptoms, the causes and the treatment of

Nettle-rash consists of several irregular, raised wheals, red at the
base, and white on the summit, on different parts of the body; _but it
seldom attacks the face_. It is not contagious, and it may occur at
all ages and many times. It comes and goes, remaining only a short
time in a place. It puts on very much the appearance of the child
having been stung by nettles--hence its name. It produces great heat,
itching, and irritation, sometimes to such a degree as to make him
feverish, sick, and fretful. He is generally worse when he is warm in
bed, or when the surface of his body is suddenly exposed to the air.
Rubbing the skin, too, always aggravates the itching and the tingling,
and brings out a fresh crop.

The _cause_ of nettle-rash may commonly be traced to improper feeding;
although, occasionally, it proceeds from teething.

_What to do_.--It is a complaint of no danger, and readily gives way
to a mild aperient, and to attention to diet. There is nothing better
to relieve the irritation of the skin than a warm bath. If it be a
severe attack of nettle-rash, by all means call in a medical man.

_What NOT to do_.--Do not apply cold applications to his skin, and do
not wash him (while the rash is out) in quite _cold_ water. Do not
allow him to be in a draught, but let him be in a well-ventilated
room. If he be old enough to eat meat, keep it from him for a few
days, and let him live on milk and farinaceous diet. Avoid strong
purgatives, and calomel, and grey-powder.

106. _What are the symptoms and the treatment of Red-gum_?

Red-gum, tooth-rash, red-gown, is usually owing to irritation from
teething; not always from the cutting but from the evolution--the
"breeding," of the teeth. It is also sometimes owing to unhealthy
stools irritating the bowels, and showing itself, by sympathy, on the
skin. Red-gum consists of several small papulae, or pimples, about the
size of pins' heads, and may be known from measles--the only disease
for which it is at all likely to be mistaken--by its being unattended
by symptoms of cold, such as sneezing, running, and redness of the
eyes, &c., and by the patches _not_ assuming a crescentic--half-moon
shape; red-gum, in short, may readily he known by the child's health
being unaffected, unless, indeed, there be a great crop of pimples;
then there will be slight feverishness.

_What to do_.--Little need be done. If there be a good deal of
irritation, a mild aperient should be given. The child ought to be
kept moderately, but not very warm.

_What NOT to do_.--Draughts of air, or cold should be carefully
avoided; as, by sending the eruption suddenly in, either convulsions
or disordered bowels might be produced. Do not dose him with

107. _How would you prevent "Stuffing of the nose" in a new-born

Rubbing a little tallow on the bridge of the nose is the old-fashioned
remedy, and answers the purpose. It ought to be applied every evening
just before putting him to bed. If the "stuffing" be severe, dip a
sponge in hot water, as hot as he can comfortably bear; ascertain that
it be not too hot, by previously applying it to your own face, and
then put it for a few minutes to the bridge of his nose. As soon as
the hard mucus is within reach, it should be carefully removed.

108. _Do you consider sickness injurious to an infant_?

Many thriving babies are, after taking the breast, frequently sick;
still we cannot look upon sickness otherwise than as an index of
either a disordered or of an overloaded stomach. If the child be sick,
and yet be thriving, it is a proof that he overloads his stomach. A
mother, then, must not allow him to suck so much, at a time. She
should, until he retain all he takes, lessen the quantity of milk. If
he be sick and does _not_ thrive, the mother should notice if the milk
he throws up has a sour smell; if it have, she must first of all look
to her own health; she ought to ascertain if her own stomach be out of
order; for if such be the case, it is impossible for her to make good
milk. She should observe whether in the morning her own tongue be
furred and dry; whether she have a disagreeable taste in her mouth, or
pains at her stomach, or heart-burn, or flatulence. If she have all,
or any of these symptoms, the mystery is explained why he is sick and
does not thrive. She ought then to seek advice, and a medical man will
soon put her stomach into good order; and, by so doing, will, at the
same time, benefit her child.

But if the mother be in the enjoyment of good health, she must then
look to the babe himself, and ascertain if he be cutting his teeth; if
the gums require lancing; if the secretions from the bowels be proper
both in quantity and in quality; and, if he have had _artificial_
food--it being absolutely necessary to give such food--whether it
agree with him.

_What to do_.--In the first place, if the gums be red, hot, and
swollen, let them be lanced; in the second, if the secretion from the
bowels be either unhealthy or scanty, give him a dose of aperient
medicine, such as caster oil, or the following:--Take two or three
grains of powdered Turkey rhubarb, three grains of pure carbonate of
magnesia, and one grain of aromatic powder--Mix. The powder to be
taken at bed-time, mixed in a tea-spoonful of sugar and water, and
which should, if necessary, be repeated the following night. In the
third place, if the food he be taking does not agree with him, change
it (_vide_ answer to question 33). Give it in smaller quantities at a
time, and not so frequently; or what will be better still, if it be
possible, keep him, for a while, entirely to the breast.

_What NOT to do_.--Do not let him overload his stomach either with
breast milk, or with _artificial food_. Let the mother avoid, until
his sickness be relieved, greens, cabbage, and all other green

109. _What are the causes, the symptoms, the prevention, and the cure
of Thrush_?

The thrush is a frequent disease of an infant, and is often brought on
either by stuffing or by giving him improper food. A child brought up
_entirely_, for the first three or four months, on the breast, seldom
suffers from this complaint. The thrush consists of several irregular,
roundish, white specks on the lips, the tongue, the inside and the
angles of the mouth, giving the parts affected the appearance of curds
and whey having been smeared upon them. The mouth is hot and painful,
and he is afraid to suck; the moment the nipple is put to his mouth he
begins to cry. The thrush, sometimes, although but rarely, runs
through the whole of the alimentary canal. It should be borne in mind
that nearly every child, who is sucking, has his or her tongue white
or "frosted," as it is sometimes called. The thrush may be mild or
very severe.

Now with regard to what to do.--As the thrush is generally owing to
improper and to artificial feeding, _if the child be at the breast_,
keep him, for a time, entirely to it. Do not let him be always
sucking, as that will not only fret his month, but will likewise
irritate and make sore the mother's nipple.

_If he be not at the breast_, but has been weaned, then keep him for a
few days entirely to a milk diet--to the milk of ONE cow--either
boiled, if it be hot weather, to keep it sweet; or unboiled, in cool
weather--fresh as it comes from the cow, mixed with warm water.

The best medicine is the old-fashioned one of Borax, a combination of
powdered lump-sugar and borax being a good one for the purpose: the
powdered lump-sugar increases the efficacy, and the cleansing
properties of the borax; it tends, moreover, to make it more

  Take of--Borax, half a drachm;
           Lump Sugar, two scruples;

To be well mixed together, and made into twelve powders. One of the
powders to be put dry on the tongue every four hours.

The best _local_ remedy is Honey of Borax, which ought to be smeared
frequently, by means of the finger, on the parts affected.

Thorough ventilation of the apartment must be observed; and great
cleanliness of the vessels containing the milk should be insisted

In a bad case of thrush, change of air to the country is most
desirable; the effect is sometimes, in such cases, truly magical.

If the thrush be brought on either by too much or by improper food; in
the first case of course, a mother must lessen the quantity; and, in
the second, she should be more careful in her selection.

_What NOT to do_.--Do not use either a calf's teat or wash leather for
the feeding-bottle; fortunately, since the invention of India-rubber
teats, they are now nearly exploded; they were, in olden times,
fruitful causes of thrush. Do not mind the trouble of ascertaining
that the cooking-vessels connected with the baby's food are perfectly
clean and sweet. Do not leave the purity and the goodness of the cow's
milk (it being absolutely necessary to feed him on artificial food) to
be judged either by the milk-man, or by the nurse, but taste and prove
it yourself. Do not keep the milk in a warm place, but either in the
dairy or in the cellar; and, if it be summer time, let the jug holding
the milk be put in a crock containing lumps of ice. Do not use milk
that has been milked longer than twelve hours, but if practicable,
have it milked direct from the cow, and use it _immediately_--let it
be really and truly fresh and genuine milk.

When the disease is _severe_, it may require more active
treatment--such as a dose of calomel; _which medicine must never be
given unless it be either under the direction of a medical man, or
unless it be in an extreme case,--such as dysentery_; [Footnote: See
the Treatment of Dysentery.] therefore, the mother had better seek

In a _severe_ case of thrush, where the complaint has been brought on
by _artificial_ feeding--the babe not having the advantage of the
mother's milk--it is really surprising how rapidly a wet-nurse--if the
case has not been too long deferred--will effect a cure, where all
other means have been tried and have failed. The effect has been truly
magical! In a severe case of thrush pure air and thorough ventilation
are essential to recovery.

110. _Is anything to be learned from the cry of an infant_?

A babe can only express his wants and his necessities by a cry; he can
only tell his aches and his pains by a cry; it is the only language of
babyhood; it is the most ancient of all languages; it is the language
known by our earliest progenitors; it is, if listened to aright, a
very expressive language, although it is only but the language of a

  "Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry."--_Shakspeare_.

There is, then, a language in the cry of an infant, which to a mother
is the most interesting of all languages, and which a thoughtful
medical man can well interpret. The cry of a child, to an experienced
doctor, is, each and all, a distract sound, and is as expressive as
the notes of the gamut. The cry of passion, for instance, is a furious
cry; the cry of sleepiness is a drowsy cry; the cry of grief is a
sobbing cry; the cry of an infant when roused from sleep is a shrill
cry; the cry of hunger is very characteristic,--it is unaccompanied
with tears, and is a wailing cry; the cry of teething is a fretful
cry; the cry of pain tells to the practised ear the part of pain; the
cry of ear-ache is short, sharp, piercing, and decisive, the head
being moved about from side to side, and the little hand being often
put up to the affected side of the head; the cry of bowel-ache is also
expressive,--the cry is not so piercing as from ear-ache, and is an
interrupted, straining cry, accompanied with a drawing-up of the legs
to the belly; the cry of bronchitis is a gruff and phlegmatic cry; the
cry of inflammation of the lungs is more a moan than a cry; the cry of
croup is hoarse, and rough, and ringing, and is so characteristic that
it may truly be called "the croupy cry;" the cry of inflammation of
the membranes of the brain is a piercing shriek--a danger signal--most
painful to hear; the cry of a child recovering from a severe illness
is a cross, and wayward, and tearful cry; he may truly be said to be
in a quarrelsome mood; he bursts out, without rhyme or reason, into a
passionate flood of tears--into "a tempest of tears:" tears are
always, in a severe illness, to be looked upon as a good omen, as a

  "The tears that heal and bless"--_H. Bonar_.

Tears, when a child is dangerously ill, are rarely, if ever, seen; a
cry, at night, for light--a frequent cause of a babe crying--is a
restless cry:--

  "An infant--crying in the night;
   An infant crying for the light:
  And with no language hat a cry."--_Tennyson_.

111. _If an infant be delicate, have you any objection to his having
either veal or mutton broth, to strengthen him_?

Broths seldom agree with a babe at the breast I have known them
produce sickness, disorder the bowels, and create fever. I recommend
you, therefore, not to make the attempt.

Although broth and beef-tea, when taken by the mouth, will seldom
agree with an infant at the breast, yet, when used as an enema, and in
small quantities, so that they may be retained, I have frequently
found them to be of great benefit, they have in some instances
appeared to have snatched delicate children from the brink of the

112. _My baby's ankles are very weak: what do you advise to strengthen

If his ankles be weak, let them every morning be bathed, after the
completion of his morning's ablution, for fire minutes each time, with
bay-salt and water, a small handful of bay-salt dissolved in a quart
of rain water (with the chill of the water off in the winter, and of
its proper temperature in the summer time); then let them be dried;
after the drying, let the ankles he well rubbed with the following

  Take of--Oil of Rosemary, three drachms;
           Liniment of Camphor, thirteen drachms:

To make a Liniment

Do not let him be put on his feet early; but allow him to crawl, and
sprawl, and kick about the floor, until his body and his ankles become

Do not, on any account, without having competent advice on the
subject, use iron instruments, or mechanical supports of any kind: the
ankles are generally, by such artificial supports, made worse, in
consequence of the pressure causing a further dwindling away and
enfeebling of the ligaments of the ankles, already wasted and

Let him wear shoes with straps over the insteps to keep them on, and
not boots: boots will only, by wasting the ligaments, increase the
weakness of the ankles.

113. _Sometimes there is a difficulty in restraining the bleeding of
leech bites. What is the best method_?

The difficulty in these cases generally arises from the improper
method of performing it. For example--a mother endeavours to stop the
haemorrhage by loading the part with rag; the more the bites discharge,
the more rag she applies. At the same time, the child probably is in a
room with a, large fire, with two or three candles, with the doors
closed, and with perhaps a dozen people in the apartment, whom the
mother has, in her fright, sent for. This practice is strongly

If the bleeding cannot be stopped,--in the first place, the fire most
be extinguished, the door and windows should be thrown open, and the
room ought to be cleared of persons, with the exception of one, or, at
the most, two; and every rag should be removed. "Stopping of leech
bites.--The simplest and most certain way, till the proper assistance
is obtained, is the pressure of the finger, with nothing
intervening. It _cannot_ bleed through that." [Footnote: Sir Charles
Locock, in a _Letter_ to the Author.]

Many babies, by excessive loss of blood from leech bites, have lost
their lives from a mother not knowing how to act, and also from the
medical man either living at a distance, or not being at
hand. Fortunately for the infantile community, leeches are now very
seldom ordered by doctors.

114. _Supposing a baby to be poorly, have you any advice to give to
his mother as to her own management_?

She must endeavour to calm her feelings or her milk will be
disordered, and she will thus materially increase his illness. If he
be labouring under any inflammatory disorder, she ought to refrain
from the taking of beer, wine, and spirits, and from all stimulating
food; otherwise, she will feed his disease.

Before concluding the first part of my subject--the Management of
Infancy--let me again urge upon you the importance--the paramount
importance--if you wish your babe to be strong and hearty,--of giving
him as little opening physic as possible. The best physic for him is
Nature's physic--fresh air, and exercise, and simplicity of living. A
mother who is herself always drugging her child, can only do good to
two persons--the doctor and the druggist!

If an infant from his birth be properly managed,--if he have an
abundance of fresh air for his lungs,--if he have plenty of exercise
for his muscles (by allowing him to kick and sprawl on the floor),--if
he have a good swilling and sousing of water for his skin,--if, during
the _early_ months of his life, he have nothing but the mother's milk
for his stomach,--he will require very little medicine--the less the
better! He does not want his stomach to be made into a doctor's shop!
The grand thing is not to take every opportunity of administering
physic, but of using every means of with-holding it! And if physic be
necessary, not to doctor him yourself, unless it be in extreme and
urgent cases (which in preceding and succeeding Conversations I either
have or will indicate), but to employ an experienced medical man. A
babe who is always, without rhyme or reason, being physicked, is sure
to be puny, delicate, and unhealthy, and is ready at any moment to
drop into an untimely grave!

I will maintain that a healthy child _never_ requires drugging with
opening physic, and that costiveness is brought on by bad
management. Aperient medicines to a healthy child are so much poison!
_Let me impress the above remarks on every mother's mind;_ for it is a
subject of vital importance. Never, then, give a purgative to a
healthy child; for, if he be properly managed, he will never require
one. If you once begin to give aperients, you will find a difficulty
discontinuing them. Finally, I will only say with _Punch_,--"Don't"


115. In concluding the first part of our subject--Infancy--I beg to
remark: there are four things essentially necessary to a babe's
well-doing, namely, (1) plenty of water for his skin; (2) plenty of
fresh genuine milk mixed with water for his stomach (of course, giving
him ONLY his mother's milk during the first six, eight, or nine
months of his existence); (3) plenty of pure air for his lungs; (4)
plenty of sleep for his brain: these are the four grand essentials for
an infant; without an abundance of one and all of them, perfect health
is utterly impossible! Perfect health! the greatest earthly blessing,
and more to be coveted than ought else beside! There is not a more
charming sight in the universe than the beaming face of a perfectly
healthy babe,--

  "His are the joys of nature, his the smile,
  The cherub smile, of innocence and health."--_Knox._



  _The child is father of the man_.--WORDSWORTH.
  _Bairns are blessings_--SHAKESPEARE.
  _These are MY jewels!_--CORNELLA.


116. _At twelve months old, do you still recommend a child to be_ PUT
IN HIS TUB _to be washed_?

Certainly I do, as I have previously recommended at page 6, in order
that his skin may be well and thoroughly cleansed. If it be summer
time, the water should be used cold; if it be winter, a dash of warm
must be added, so that it may be of the temperature of new milk: but
do not, on any account use _very warm_ water. The head must be washed
(but not dried) before he be placed in a tub, then, putting him in the
tub (containing the necessary quantity of water, and washing him as
previously recommended), [Footnote: See Infancy-Ablution, page 6.] a
large sponge should be filled with the water and squeezed over his
head, so that the water may stream over the whole surface of his
body. A jugful of water should, just before taking him out of his
bath, be poured over and down his loins; all this ought rapidly to be
done, and he must be quickly dried with soft towels, and then
expeditiously dressed. For the washing of your child I would recommend
you to use Castile soap in preference to any other; it is more pure,
and less irritating, and hence does not injure the texture of the
skin. Take care that the soap does not get into his eyes, or it might
produce irritation and smarting.

117. _Some mothers object to a child's STANDING in the water._

If the head be wetted before he be placed in the tub, and if he be
washed as above directed, there can be no valid objection to it. He
must not be allowed to remain in his tab more than five minutes.

118. _Does not washing the child's head, every morning, make him more
liable to catch cold, and does it not tend to weaken his sight_?

It does neither the one nor the other; on the contrary, it prevents
cold, and strengthens his sight; it cleanses his scalp, prevents
scurf, and, by that means, causes a more beautiful bead of hair. The
head, after each washing, ought, with a soft brush, to be well
brushed, but should not be combed. The brushing causes a healthy
circulation of the scalp; but combing the hair makes the head scurfy,
and pulls out the hair by the roots.

119. _If the head, notwithstanding the washing, be scurfy, what should
be done_?

After the head has been well dried, let a little cocoa-nut oil be well
rubbed, for five minutes each time, into the roots of the hair, and,
afterwards, let the head be well brushed, but not combed. The
fine-tooth comb will cause a greater accumulation of scurf, and will
scratch and injure the scalp.

120. _Do you recommend a child to be washed_ IN HIS TUB _every night
and morning_?

No; once a day is quite sufficient; in the morning in preference to
the evening; unless he be poorly, then, evening instead of morning;
as, immediately after he has been washed and dried, he can be put to

121. _Ought a child to be placed in his tub whilst he is in a state of

Not whilst he is perspiring _violently,_ or the perspiration might he
checked suddenly, and ill consequences would ensue; _nor ought he to
be put in his tub when he is cold,_ or his blood would be chilled, and
would be sent from the skin to some internal vital part, and thus
would be likely to light up inflammation--probably of the lungs. His
skin, when he is placed in his bath, ought to be moderately and
comfortably warm; neither too hot nor too cold.

122. _When the child is a year old, do you recommend cold or warm
water to be used_?

If it be winter, a little warm water ought to be added, so as to raise
the temperature to that of new milk. As the summer advances, less and
less warm water is required, so that, at length, none is needed.

123. _If a child be delicate, do you recommend anything to be added to
the water which may tend to brace and strengthen him_?

Either a handful of table-salt, or half a handful of bay-salt, or of
Tidman's sea-salt, should be previously dissolved in a quart jug of
_cold_ water; then, just before taking the child out of his morning
bath, let the above be poured over and down the back and loins of the
child--holding the jug, while pouring its contents on the back, a foot
distant from the child, in order that it might act as a kind of douche

124. _Do you recommend the child, after he has been dried with the
towel, to be rubbed with the hand_?

I do; as friction encourages the cutaneous circulation, and causes the
skin to perform its functions properly, thus preventing the
perspiration (which is one of the impurities of the body) from being
sent inwardly either to the lungs or to other parts. The back, the
chest, the bowels, and the limbs are the parts that ought to be well


125. _Have you any remarks to make on the clothing of a child_?

Children, boys and girls, especially if they be delicate, ought always
to wear high dresses up to their necks. The exposure of the upper
part of the chest (if the child be weakly) is dangerous. It is in the
_upper_ part of the lungs, in the region of the collar bones, that
consumption first shows itself. The clothing of a child, more
especially about the chest, should be large and full in every part,
and be free from tight strings, so that the circulation of the blood
may not be impeded, and that there may be plenty of room for the fall
development of the rapidly-growing body.

His frock, or tonic, ought to be of woollen material--warm, light, and
porous, in order that the perspiration may rapidly evaporate. The
practice of some mothers in allowing their children to wear tight
bands round their waists, and tight clothes, is truly reprehensible.

_Tight_ bands or _tight_ belts around the waist of a child are very
injurious to health; they crib in the chest, and thus interfere with
the rising and the falling of the ribs--so essential to
breathing. _Tight_ hats ought never to be worn; by interfering with
the circulation they cause headaches. Nature delights in freedom, and
resents interference!

126. _What parts of the body in particular ought to be kept warm_?

The chest, the bowels, and the feet, should be kept comfortably
warm. We must guard against an opposite extreme, and not keep them too
hot. The head alone should be kept cool, on which account I do not
approve either of night or of day caps.

127. _What are the best kinds of hat for a child_?

The best covering for the head, when he is out and about, is a
loose-fitting straw hat, which will allow the perspiration to
escape. It should have a broad rim, to screen the eyes. A sun-shade,
that is to say, a sea-side hat--a hat made of cotton--with a wide brim
to keep off the sun, is also an excellent hat for a child; it is very
light, and allows a free escape of the perspiration. It can be
bought, ready made, at a baby-linen warehouse.

A knitted or crocheted woollen hat, with woollen rosettes to keep the
ears warm, and which may be procured at any baby-linen warehouse,
makes a nice and comfortable winter's hat for a child. It is also a
good hat for him to wear while performing a long journey. The colour
chosen is generally scarlet and white, which, in cold weather, gives
it a warm and comfortable appearance.

It is an abominable practice to cover a child's head with beaver or
with felt, or with any thick impervious material It is a
well-ascertained fact, that beaver and silk hats cause men to suffer
from headache, and to lose their hair--the reason being, that the
perspiration cannot possibly escape through them. Now, if the
perspiration cannot escape, dangerous, or at all events injurious,
consequences must ensue, as it is well known that the skin is a
breathing apparatus, and that it will not with impunity bear

Neither a child nor any one else should be permitted to be in the
glare of the son without his hat. If he be allowed, he is likely to
have a sun-stroke, which might either at once kill him, or might make
him an idiot for the remainder of his life; which latter would be the
worse alternative of the two.

128. _Have you, any remarks to make on keeping a child's hands and
legs warm when in the winter time he it carried out_?

When a child either walks or is carried out in wintry weather, be sure
and see that both his hands and legs are well protected from the
cold. There is nothing for this purpose like woollen gloves, and
woollen stockings coming up over the knees.

129. _Do you approve of a child wearing a flannel nightgown_?

He frequently throws the clothes off him, and has occasion to be taken
up in the night, and if he have not a flannel gown on, is likely to
catch cold; on which account I recommend it to be worn. The usual
calico night-gown should be worn _under_ it.

130. _Do you advise a child to be LIGHTLY clad, in order that he may
be hardened thereby_?

I should fear that such a plan, instead of hardening, would be likely
to produce a contrary effect. It is an ascertained fact that more
children of the poor, who are thus lightly clad, die, than of those
who are properly defended from the cold. Again, what holds good with a
young plant is equally applicable to a young child; and we all know
that it is ridiculous to think of unnecessarily exposing a tender
plant to harden it. If it were thus exposed, it would wither and die.

131. _If a child be delicate, if he have a cold body, or a languid
circulation, or if he be predisposed to inflammation of the lungs, do
you approve of his wearing flannel instead of linen shirts_?

I do; as flannel tends to keep the body at an equal temperature, thus
obviating the effects of the sudden changes of the weather, and
promotes by gentle friction the cutaneous circulation, thus warming
the cold body, and giving an impetus to the languid circulation, and
preventing an undue quantity of blood from being sent to the lungs,
either to light up or to feed inflammation _Fine_ flannel, of course,
ought to be worn, which should be changed as frequently as the usual

If a child have had an attack either of bronchitis or of inflammation
of the lungs, or if he have just recovered from scarlet fever, by all
means, if he have not previously worn flannel, _instantly_ let him
begin to do so, and let him, _next_ to the skin, wear a flannel
waistcoat. _This is important advice, and ought not to be

_Scarlet_ flannel is now much used instead of _white_ flannel; and as
scarlet flannel has a more comfortable appearance, and does not shrink
so much in washing, it may be substituted for the white.

132. _Have you any remarks to make on the shoes and stockings of a
child? and on the right way of cutting the toe-nails_?

He ought, daring the winter, to wear lamb's wool stockings that will
reach _above_ the knees, and _thick_ calico drawers that will reach a
few inches _below_ the knees; as it is of the utmost importance to
keep the lower extremities comfortably warm. It is really painful to
see how many mothers expose the bare legs of their little ones to the
frosty air, even in the depths of winter.

Be sure and see that the boots and shoes of your child be sound and
whole; for if they be not so, they will let in the damp, and if the
damp, disease and perhaps death. "If the poor would take better care
of their children's feet half the infantile mortality would
disappear. It only costs twopence to put a piece of thick felt or cork
into the bottom of a boot or shoe, and the difference is often between
that and a doctors bill, with, perhaps, the undertaker's
besides."--_Daily Telegraph_,

Garters ought not to be worn, as they impede the circulation, waste
the muscles, and interfere with walking. The stocking may be secured
in its place by means of a loop and tape, which should be fastened to
a part of the dress.

Let me urge upon you the importance of not allowing your child to wear
_tight_ shoes; they cripple the feet, causing the joints of the toes,
which ought to have free play, and which should assist in walking, to
be, in a manner, useless; they produce corns and bunions, and
interfere with the proper circulation of the foot. A shoe ought to be
made according to the shape of the foot--rights and lefts are
therefore desirable. The toe-part of the shoe must be made broad, so
as to allow plenty of room for the toes to expand, and that one toe
cannot overlap another. Be sure, then, that there be no pinching and
no pressure. In the article of shoes you ought to be particular and
liberal; pay attention to having nicely fitting ones, and let them be
made of soft leather, and throw them on one side the moment they are
too small. It is poor economy, indeed, because a pair of shoes be not
worn out, to run the risk of incurring the above evil consequences.

_Shoes are far preferable to boots:_ boots weaken instead of
strengthen the ankle. The ankle and instep require free play, and
ought not to be hampered by boots. Moreover, boots, by undue
pressure, decidedly waste away the ligaments of the ankle. Boots act
on the ankles in a similar way that stays do on the waist--they do
mischief by pressure. Boots waste away the ligaments of the ankle;
stays waste away the muscles of the back and chest; and thus, in both
cases, do irreparable mischief.

A shoe for a child ought to be made with a narrow strap over the
instep, and with button and button-hole; if it be not made in this
way, the shoe will not keep on the foot.

It is a grievous state of things, that in the nineteenth century there
are but few shoemakers who know how to make a shoe! The shoe is made
not to fit a real foot, but a fashionable imaginary one! The poor
unfortunate toes are in consequence screwed up as in a vice!

Let me strongly urge you to be particular that the sock, or stocking,
fits nicely--that it is neither too small nor too large; if it be too
small, it binds up the toes unmercifully, and makes one toe to ride
over the other, and thus renders the toes perfectly useless in
walking; if it be too large, it is necessary to lap a portion of the
sock, or stocking, either under or over the toes, which thus presses
unduly upon them, and gives pain and annoyance. It should be borne in
mind, that if the toes have full play, they, as it were, grasp the
ground, and greatly assist in locomotion--which, of course, if they
are cramped up, they cannot possibly do. Be careful, too, that the
toe-part of the sock, or stocking, be not pointed; let it be made
square in order to give room to the toes. "At this helpless period of
life, the delicately feeble, outspreading toes are wedged into a
narrow-toed stocking, often so short as to double in the toes,
diminishing the length of the rapidly growing foot! It is next,
perhaps, tightly laced into a boot of less interior dimensions than
itself; when the poor little creature is left to sprawl about with a
limping, stumping gait, thus learning to walk as it best can, under
circumstances the most cruel and torturing imaginable." [Footnote:
_The Foot and its Covering_, second edition. By James Dowie. London:
1872. I beg to call a mother's especial attention to this valuable
little book: it is written by an earnest intelligent man, by one who
has studied the subject in all its bearings, and by one who is himself
a shoemaker.]

It is impossible for either a stocking, or a shoe, to fit nicely
unless the toe-nails be kept in proper order. Now, in cutting the
toe-nails, there is, as in everything else, a right and a wrong
way. The _right_ way of cutting a toe-nail is to cut it straight--in a
straight line. The _wrong_ way is to cut the corners of the nail--to
round the nail as it is called. This cutting the corners of the nails
often makes work for the surgeon, as I myself can testify; it
frequently produces "growing-in" of the nail, which sometimes
necessitates the removal of either the nail, or a portion of it.

133. _At what time of the year should a child leave off his winter

A mother ought not to leave off her children's winter clothing until
the spring be far advanced: it is far better to be on the safe side,
and to allow the winter clothes to be worn until the end of May. The
old adage is very good, and should be borne in mind:--

  "Button to chin
  Till May be in;
  Ne'er cast a clout
  Till May be out."

134. _Have you any general remarks to make on the present fashion of
dressing children_?

The present fashion is absurd. Children are frequently dressed like
mountebanks, with feathers and furbelows and finery; the boys go
bare-legged; the little girls are dressed like women, with their
stuck-out petticoats, crinolines, and low dresses! Their poor little
waists are drawn in tight, so that they can scarcely breathe; their
dresses are very low and short, the consequence is, that a great part
of the chest is exposed to our variable climate; their legs are bare
down to their thin socks, or if they be clothed, they are only covered
with gossamer drawers; while their feet are encased in tight shoes of
paper thickness! Dress! dress! dress! is made with them, at a tender
age, and when first impressions are the strongest, a most important
consideration. They are thus rendered vain and frivolous, and are
taught to consider dress "as the one thing needful" And if they live
to be women--which the present fashion is likely frequently to
prevent--what are they? Silly, simpering, delicate, lack-a-daisical
nonentities; dress being their amusement, their occupation, their
conversation, their everything, their thoughts by day and their dreams
by night! Truly they are melancholy objects to behold! Let children be
dressed as children, not as men and women. Let them be taught that
dress is quite a secondary consideration. Let health, and not
fashion, be the first, and we shall then have, with God's blessing,
blooming children, who will, in time, be the pride and strength of
dear old England!


135. _At TWELVE months old, have you any objection to a child having
any other food besides that you mentioned in answer to the 34th

There is no objection to his _occasionally_ having, for dinner, either
a mealy, _mashed_ potato and gravy, or a few crumbs of bread and
gravy. Rice-pudding or batter-pudding may, for a change, be given; but
remember, the food recommended in a former Conversation is what, until
he be eighteen months old, must be principally taken. During the early
months of infancy--say, for the first six or seven--if artificial food
be given at all, it should be administered by means of a
feeding-bottle. After that time, either a spoon, or a nursing boat,
will be preferable. The food as he becomes older, ought to be made
more solid.

136. _At_ EIGHTEEN _months old, have you any objection to a child
having meat_?

He ought not to have meat until he have several teeth to chew it
with. If he has most of his teeth--which he very likely at this age
will have--there is no objection to his taking a small slice either of
mutton, or occasionally of roast beef, which should be well cut into
very small pieces, and mixed with a mealy _mashed_ potato, and a few
crumbs of bread and gravy; either _every_ day, if he be delicate, or
every _other_ day, if he be a gross or a fast-feeding child. It may be
well, in the generality of cases, for the first few months to give him
meat _every other_ day, and either potato or gravy, or rice or
suet-pudding or batter-pudding on the alternate days; indeed, I think
so highly of rice, of suet, and of batter-puddings, and of other
farinaceous puddings, that I should advise you to let him have either
the one or the other even on those days that he has meat--giving it
him _after_ his meat. But remember, if he have meat _and_ pudding, the
meat ought to be given sparingly. If he be gorged with food, it makes
him irritable, cross, and stupid; at one time, clogging up his bowels,
and producing constipation; at another, disordering his liver, and
causing either clay-coloured stools--denoting a _deficiency_ of bile,
or dark and offensive motions--telling of _vitiated_ bile; while, in a
third case, cramming him with food might bring on convulsions.

137. _As you are to partial to puddings for a child, which do you
consider the best for him_?

He ought, every day, to have a pudding for his dinner--either rice,
arrow-root, sago, tapioca, suet-pudding, batter-pudding, or
Yorkshire-pudding, mixed with crumbs of bread and gravy--free from
grease. A well boiled suet-pudding, with plenty of suet in it, is one
of the best puddings he can have; it is, in point of fact, meat and
farinaceous food combined, and is equal to, and will oftentimes
prevent the giving of, cod-liver oil; before cod-liver oil came into
vogue, suet boiled in milk was _the_ remedy for a delicate child. He
may, occasionally, have fruit-pudding, provided the pastry be both
plain and light.

The objection to fruit pies and puddings is, that the pastry is often
too rich for the delicate stomach of a child; there is so objection,
certainly not, to the fruit--cooked fruit being, for a child, most
wholesome; if, therefore, fruit puddings and pies be eaten, the pastry
part ought to be quite plain. There is, in "Murray's Modern Cookery
Book," an excellent suggestion, which I will take the liberty of
quoting, and of strongly urging my fair reader to carry into
practice:--"_To prepare fruit for children, a far more wholesome way
than in pies and puddings_, is to put apples sliced, or plums,
currants, gooseberries, &c., into a stone jar; and sprinkle among them
as much Lisbon sugar as necessary. Set the jar on an oven or on a
hearth, with a tea-cupful of water to prevent the fruit from burning;
or put the jar into a saucepan of water, till its contents be
perfectly done. Slices of bread or some rice may be put into the jar,
to eat with the fruit."

_Jam_--such as strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry--_is most wholesome
for a child_, and ought occasionally to be given, in lieu of sugar,
with the rice, with the batter, and with the other puddings.
Marmalade, too, is very wholesome.

Puddings ought to be given _after_ and not _before_ his meat and
vegetables; if you give him pudding before his meat, he might refuse
to eat meat altogether. By adopting the plan of giving puddings
_every_ day, your child will require _less_ animal food; _much_ meat
is injurious to a young child. But do not run into an opposite
extreme: a _little_ meat ought, every day, to be given, _provided he
has cut the whole of his first set of teeth_; until then, meat every
_other_ day will be often enough.

138. _As soon as a child has cut the whole of his first set of teeth,
what ought to be his diet?--What should be his breakfast_?

He can, then, have nothing better, where it agrees, than scalding hot
new milk poured on sliced bread, with a slice or two of bread and
butter to eat with it. Butter, in moderation, is nourishing,
fattening, and wholesome. Moreover, butter tends to keep the bowels
regular. These facts should be borne in mind, as some mothers
foolishly keep their children from butter, declaring it to be too rich
for their children's stomachs! New milk should be used in preference
either to cream or to skim-milk. Cream, as a rule, is too rich for
the delicate stomach of a child, and skim-milk is too poor when robbed
of the butter which the cream contains. But give cream and water,
where new milk (as is _occasionally_ the case) does not agree; but
never give skim-milk. _Skim_-milk (among other evils) produces
costiveness, and necessitates the frequent administration of
aperients. Cream, on the other hand, regulates and tends to open the

Although I am not, as a rule, so partial to cream as I am to good
genuine fresh milk, yet I have found, in cases of great debility, more
especially where a child is much exhausted by some inflammatory
disease, such as inflammation of the lungs, the following food most
serviceable:--Beat up, by means of a fork, the yolk of an egg, then
mix, little by little, half a tea-cupful of very weak _black_ tea,
sweeten with one lump of sugar, and add a table-spoonful of cream. Let
the above, by tea-spoonfuls at a time be frequently given. The above
food is only to be administered until the exhaustion be removed, and
is not to supersede the milk diet, which must, at stated periods, be
given, as I have recommended in answers to previous and subsequent

When a child has costive bowels, there is nothing better for his
breakfast than well-made and well-boiled oatmeal stir-about, which
ought to be eaten with milk fresh from the cow. Scotch children
scarcely take anything else, and a finer race is not in existence;
and, as for physic, many of them do not even know either the taste or
the smell of it! You win find Robinson's Pure Scotch Oatmeal (sold in
packets) to be very pure, and sweet, and good. Stir-about is truly
said to be--

  "The halesome parritch, chief of Scotia's food."--_Burns._

Cadbury's Cocoa Essence, made with equal parts of boiling water and
fresh milk, slightly sweetened with lump sugar, is an admirable food
for a delicate child. Bread and butter should be eaten with it.

139. _Have you any remarks to make on cow's milk as an article of

Cow's milk is a valuable, indeed, an indispensable article of diet,
for the young; it is most nourishing, wholesome, and digestible. The
finest and the healthiest children are those who, for the first four
or five years of their lives, are fed _principally_ upon it. Milk
ought then to be their staple food. No child, as a rule, can live, or,
if he live, can be healthy, unless milk be the staple article of his
diet. There is no substitute for milk. To prove the fattening and
strengthening qualities of milk, look only at a young calf who lives
on milk, and on milk alone! He is a Samson in strength, and is "as fat
as butter;" and all young things if they are in health are fat!

Milk, then, contains every ingredient to build up the body, which is
more than can be said of any other known substance besides. A child
may live entirely, and grow, and become both healthy and strong, on
milk and on milk alone, as it contains every constituent of the human
body. A child cannot "live by bread alone," but he might on milk
alone! Milk is animal and vegetable--it is meat and bread--it is food
and drink--it is a fluid, but as soon as it reaches the stomach it
becomes a solid [Footnote: How is milk in the making of cheese,
converted into curds? By rennet. What is rennet? The juice of a
calf's maw or stomach. The moment the milk enters the human maw or
stomach, the juice of the stomach converts it into curds--into solid
food, just as readily as when it enters a calfs maw or stomach, and
much more readily than by rennet, as the _fresh_ juice is stronger
than the _stale_. An ignorant mother often complains that because,
when her child is sick, the milk curdles, that it is a proof that it
does not agree with him! If, at those times, it did _not_ curdle, it
would, indeed, prove that his stomach was in a wretchedly weak state;
she would then have abundant cause to be anxious.]--solid food; it is
the most important and valuable article of diet for a child in
existence. It is a glorious food for the young, and must never, on any
account whatever, in any case be dispensed with. "Considering that
milk contains in itself most of the constituents of a perfect diet,
and is capable of maintaining life in infancy without the aid of any
other substance, it is marvellous that the consumption of it is
practically limited to so small a class; and not only so, but that in
sick-rooms, where the patient is surrounded with every luxury,
arrow-root, and other compounds containing much less nutriment, should
so often be preferred to it."--_The Times._

Do not let me be misunderstood. I do not mean to say, but that the
mixing of farinaceous food--such as Lemann's Biscuit Powder, Robb's
Biscuit, Hard's Farinaceous Food, Brown and Polson's Corn Flour, and
the like, with the milk, is an improvement, in some cases--a great
improvement; but still I maintain that a child might live and thrive,
and that for a lengthened period, on milk--and on milk alone!

A dog will live and fatten for six weeks on milk alone; while he will
starve and die in a shorter period on strong beef-tea alone!

It is a grievous sin for a milkman to adulterate milk. How many a
poor infant has fallen a victim to that crime!--for crime it may be
truly called.

It is folly in the extreme for a mother to bate a milkman down in the
price of his milk; if she does, the milk is sure to be either of
inferior quality, or adulterated, or diluted with water; and woe
betide the poor unfortunate child if it be either the one or the
other! The only way to insure good milk is, to go to a respectable
cow-keeper, and let him be made to thoroughly understand the
importance of your child having _genuine_ milk, and that you are then
willing to pay a fair remunerative price for it. Rest assured, that if
you have to pay one penny or even twopence a quart more for _genuine_
milk, it is one of the best investments that you ever have made, or
that you are ever likely to make in this world! Cheap and inferior
milk might well be called cheap and nasty; for inferior or adulterated
milk is the very essence, the conglomeration of nastiness; and,
moreover, is very poisonous to a child's stomach. One and the
principal reason why so many children are rickety and scrofulous, is
the horrid stuff called milk that is usually given to them. It is a
crying evil, and demands a thorough investigation and reformation, and
the individual interference of every parent. Limited Liability
Companies are the order of the day; it would really be not a bad
speculation if one were formed in every large town, in order to insure
good, genuine, and undiluted milk.

_Young_ children, as a rule, are allowed to eat too much meat. It is a
mistaken notion of a mother that they require so much animal food. If
more milk were given and less meat, they would he healthier, and would
not be so predisposed to disease, especially to diseases of debility,
and to skin-disease.

I should strongly recommend you, then, to be extravagant in your milk
score. Each child ought, in the twenty-four hours, to take at least a
quart of good, fresh, new milk. It should, of course, be given in
various ways,--as bread and milk, rice-puddings, milk and differents
kinds of farinaceous food, stir-about, plain milk, cold milk, hot
milk, any way, and every way, that will please his palate, and that
will induce him to take an abundant supply of it. The "advice" I have
just given you is of paramount importance, and demands your most
earnest attention. There would be very few rickety children in the
world if my "counsel" were followed out to the very letter.

140. _But suppose my child will not take milk, he having an aversion
to it, what ought then to be done_?

Boil the milk, and sweeten it to suit his palate. After he has been
accustomed to it for a while, he will then, probably, like
milk. Gradually reduce the sugar, until at length it be dispensed
with. A child will often take milk this way, whereas he will not
otherwise touch it.

If a child will not drink milk, he _must_ eat meat; it is absolutely
necessary that he should have either the one or the other; and, if he
have cut nearly all his teeth, he ought to have both meat and
milk--the former in moderation, the latter in abundance.

141. _Supposing milk should not agree with my child, what must then be

Milk, either boiled or unboiled, almost always agrees with a child. If
it does not, it must be looked upon as the exception, and not as the
rule. I would, in such a case, advise one-eighth of lime water to be
added to seven-eighths of new milk--that is to say, two
table-spoonfuls of lime water should be mixed with half a pint of new

142. _Can you tell me of a way to prevent milk, in hot weather, from
turning sour_?

Let the jug of milk be put into a crock, containing ice--Wenham Lake
is the best--either in the dairy or in the cellar. The ice may at any
time, be procured of a respectable fishmonger, and should be kept,
wrapped either in flannel or in blanket, in a cool place, until it be

143. _Can you tell me why the children of the rich suffer so much more
from costiveness than do the children of the poor_?

The principal reason is that the children of the rich drink milk
without water, while the children of the poor drink water without, or
with very little, milk--milk being binding, and water opening to the
bowels. Be sure then, and bear in mind, _as this is most important
advice_, to see that water is mixed with all the milk that is given to
your child. The combination of milk and water for a child is a
glorious compound--strengthening, fattening, refreshing, and
regulating to the bowels, and thus doing away with that disgraceful
proceeding so common in nurseries, of everlastingly physicking,
irritating and irreparably injuring the tender bowels of a child.

My opinion is, that aperients, as a rule, are quite unnecessary, and
should only be given in severe illness, and under the direction of a
judicious medical man. How much misery, and injury, might be averted
if milk were always given to a child in combination with water!

Aperients, by repetition, unlike water, increase the mischief tenfold,
and cork them up most effectually; so that the bowels, in time, will
not act without them!

A mother before she gives an aperient to her child should ponder well
upon what I have said upon the subject, it being a vital question,
affecting, as it does, the well-being and the well-doing of her child.

144. _But, if a child's bowels be very costive, what is to be done to
relieve them_?

Do not give him a grain or a drop of opening medicine, but in lieu
thereof, administer, by means of a 6 oz. India-rubber Enema Bottle,
half a tea-cup or a tea-cupful, according to the age of the child,
[Footnote: For a babe, from birth until he be two years old, one, two,
or three table-spoonfuls of warm water will be sufficient, and a 2
oz. Enema Bottle will be the proper size for the purpose of
administering it.] of warm water; now this will effectually open the
bowels, without confining them afterwards, which opening physic would
most assuredly do!

145. _Is it necessary to give a child luncheon_?

If he want anything to eat between breakfast and dinner let him have a
piece of dry bread; and if he have eaten very heartily at dinner, and,
like Oliver Twist, "asks for more!" give him, to satisfy his craving,
a piece of _dry_ bread. He will never eat more of that than will do
him good, and yet he will take sufficient to satisfy his hunger, which
is very important.

146. _What ought now to be his dinner_?

He should now have meat, either mutton or beef, daily, which must be
cut up very small, and should be mixed with mealy, _mashed_ potato and
gravy. He ought _always_ to be accustomed to eat salt with his
dinner. Let a mother see that this advice is followed, or evil
consequences will inevitably ensue. Let him be closely watched, to
ascertain that he well masticates his food, and that he does not eat
too quickly; for young children are apt to bolt their food.

147. _Have you any objection to pork for a change_?

I have a great objection to it for the young. It is a rich, gross, and
therefore unwholesome food for the delicate stomach of a child. I have
known it, in several instances, produce violent pain, sickness,
purging, and convulsions. If a child be fed much, upon such meat, it
will be likely to produce "breakings-out" on the skin. In fine, his
blood will put on the same character as the food he is fed
with. Moreover, pork might be considered a _strong meat_, and
"_strong_ meat and _strong_ drink can only be taken by _strong_ men."

148. _Do you approve of veal for a child_?

My objection to pork was, that it was rich and gross; this does not
apply to veal; but the objection to it is, that it is more difficult
of digestion that either mutton or beef; indeed, all young meats are
harder of digestion than meats of maturity; thus mutton is more
digestible than lamb, and beef than veal.

149. _Do you disapprove of salted and boiled beef for a child_?

If beef be _much_ salted it is hard of digestion, and therefore ought
not to be given to him; but if it have been but _slightly_ salted,
then for a change there will be no objection to a little. There is no
necessity in the _winter_ time to _salt_ meat intended for boiling;
then boiled _unsalted_ meat makes a nice change for a child's dinner.
Salt, of course, _must_ with the unsalted meat be eaten.

150. _But suppose there is nothing on the table that a child may with
impunity eat_?

He should then have either a grilled mutton chop, or a lightly-boiled
egg; indeed, the latter, at any time, makes an excellent change. There
is great nourishment in an egg; it will not only strengthen the frame,
but it will give animal heat as well: these two qualities of an egg
are most valuable; indeed, essential for the due performance of
health: many articles of food contain the one qualification, but not
the other: hence the egg is admirably suitable for a child's
_occasional_ dinner.

151. _Are potatoes an unwholesome food for a child_?

New ones are; but old potatoes well cooked and mealy, are the best
vegetable he can have. They ought to be _well mashed_, as I have known
lumps of potatoes cause convulsions.

152. _Do you approve of any other vegetables for a child_?

Occasionally: either asparagus or broccoli, or cauliflower, or
turnips, or French beans, which latter should be cut up fine, may with
advantage be given. Green peas may occasionally be given, provided
they be thoroughly well boiled, and mashed with the knife on the
plate. Underdone and unmashed peas are not fit for a child's stomach:
there is nothing more difficult of digestion than underdone peas. It
is important, too, to mash them, even if they be well done, as a child
generally bolts peas whole; and they pass through the alimentary canal
without being in the least digested.

153. _Might not a mother be too particular in dieting her child_?

Certainly not. If blood can be too pure and too good she might! When
we take into account that the food we eat is converted into blood;
that if the food be good the blood is good; and that if the food be
improper or impure, the blood is impure likewise; and, moreover, when
we know that every part of the body is built up by the blood, we
cannot be considered to be too particular in making our selection of
food. Besides if indigestible or improper food be taken into the
stomach, the blood will not only be made impure, but the stomach and
the bowels will be disordered. Do not let me be misunderstood: I am no
advocate for a child having the same food one day as another--
certainly not. Let there be variety, but let it be _wholesome_
variety. Variety in a child's (not in infant's) food is necessary. If
he were fed, day after day, on mutton, his stomach would, at length be
brought into that state, that in time it would not properly digest any
other meat, and a miserable existence would be the result.

154. _What ought a child to drink with his dinner_?

Toast and water, or, if he prefer it, plain spring water. Let him
have as much as he likes. If you give him water to drink, there is no
fear of his taking too much; Nature will tell him when he has had
enough. Be careful of the quality of the water, and the source from
which you procure it. If the water be _hard_--provided it be free from
organic matter--so much the better. [Footnote: See the _third_ edition
of _Counsel to a Mother_, under the head of "Hard or soft water as a
beverage!"] Spring water from a moderately deep well is the best. If
it come from a land spring, it is apt, indeed, is almost sure to be
contaminated by drains, &c.; which is a frequent cause of fevers, of
diphtheria, of Asiatic cholera, and of other blood poisons.

Guard against the drinking water being contaminated with lead; never,
therefore, allow the water to be collected in leaden cisterns, as it
sometimes is if the water be obtained from Water-works companies. Lead
pumps, for the same reason, ought never to be used for drinking
purposes. Paralysis, constipation, lead colic, dropping of the wrist,
wasting of the ball of the thumb, loss of memory, and broken and
ruined health, might result from neglect of this advice.

The drinking fountains are a great boon to poor children, as water and
plenty of it, is one of the chief necessaries of their existence; and,
unfortunately, at their own homes they are not, oftentimes, able to
obtain a sufficient supply. Moreover, drinking fountains are the best
advocates for Temperance.

Some parents are in the habit of giving their children beer with their
dinners--making them live as they live themselves! This practice is
truly absurd, and fraught with great danger! not only so, but it is
inducing a child to be fond of that which in after life might be his
bane and curse! No good end can be obtained by it; it will _not_
strengthen so young a child; it will on the contrary, create fever,
and will thereby weaken him; it will act injuriously upon his
delicate, nervous, and vascular systems, and by means of producing
inflammation either of the brain or of its membranes, might thus cause
water on the brain (a disease to which young children are subject), or
it might induce inflammation of the lungs.

155. _What ought a child who has cut his teeth to have for his

The same that he has for breakfast. He should sup at six o'clock.

156. _Have you any general remarks to make on a child's meals_?

I recommended a great sameness in an _infant's_ diet; but a _child's_
meals, his dinners especially, ought to be much varied. For instance,
do not let him have day after day mutton; but ring the changes on
mutton, beef, poultry, game, and even occasionally fish--sole or cod.

Not only let there be a change of meat, but let there be a change in
the manner of cooking it; let the meat sometimes be roasted; let it at
other times be boiled. I have known a mother who has prided herself as
being experienced in these matters, feed her child, day after day, on
mutton chops! Such a proceeding is most injurious to him, as after a
while his unfortunate stomach will digest nothing but mutton chops,
and, in time, not even those!

With regard to vegetables, potatoes--_mashed_ potatoes--ought to be
his staple vegetable; but, every now and then, cauliflower, asparagus,
turnips, and French beans, should be given.

With respect to puddings, vary them; rice, one day; suet, another;
batter, a third; tapioca, a fourth; or, even occasionally, he might
have either apple or gooseberry or rhubarb pudding--provided the
pastry be plain and light.

It is an excellent plan, as I have before remarked, to let her child
eat jam--such as strawberry, raspberry, or gooseberry--and that
without stint, either with rice or with batter puddings.

_Variety of diet_, then, is _good for a child:_ it will give him
muscle, bone, and sinew; and, what is very important, it will tend to
regulate his bowels, and it will thus prevent the necessity of giving
him aperients.

But do not stuff a child--do not press him, as is the wont of some
mothers, to eat more than he feels inclined. On the contrary, if you
think that he is eating too much--that he is overloading his
stomach--and if he should ask for more, then, instead of giving him
either more meat or more pudding, give him a piece of dry bread. By
doing so, you may rest assured that he will not eat more than is
absolutely good for him.

157. _If a child be delicate, is there any objection to a little wine,
such as cowslip or tent, to strengthen him_?

Wine ought not to be given to a child unless it be ordered by a
medical man; it is even more injurious than beer. Wine, beer, and
spirits, principally owe their strength to the alcohol they contain;
indeed, nearly _all_ wines are _fortified_ (as it is called) with
brandy. Brandy contains a large quantity of alcohol, more than any
other liquor, namely 55.3 per cent. If, therefore, you give wine, it
is, in point of fact, giving diluted brandy--diluted alcohol; and
alcohol acts, unless it be used as a medicine, and under skilful
medical advice, as a poison to a child.

158. _Suppose a child suddenly to lose his appetite? is any notice to
be taken of it_?

If he cannot eat well, depend upon it, there is something wrong about
the system. If he be teething, let a mother look well to his gums, and
satisfy herself that they do not require lancing. If they be red, hot,
and swollen, send for a medical man, that he may scarify them. If his
gums be not inflamed, and no tooth appears near, let her look well to
the state of his bowels; let her ascertain that they be sufficiently
opened, and that the stools be of a proper consistence, colour, and
smell. If they be neither the one nor the other, give a dose of
aperient medicine, which will generally put all to rights. If the gums
be cool, and the bowels be right, and his appetite continue bad, call
in medical aid.

A child asking for something to eat, is frequently, in a severe
illness, the first favourable symptom; we may generally then
prognosticate that all will soon be well again.

If a child refuse his food, neither coax nor tempt him to eat: as food
without an appetite will do him more harm than it will do him good; it
may produce either sickness, bowel-complaint, or fever. Depend upon
it, there is always a cause for a want of appetite;--perhaps his
stomach has been over-worked, and requires repose; or his bowels are
loaded, and Nature wishes to take time to use up the old
material;--there might be fever lurking in his system; Nature stops
the supplies, and thus endeavours, by not giving it food to work with,
to nip it in the bud;--there might be inflammation; food would then be
improper, as it would only add fuel to the fire; let, therefore, the
cause be either an overworked stomach, over-loaded bowels, fever, or
inflammation, food would be injurious. Kind Nature if we will but
listen to her voice, will tell us when to eat, and when to refrain.

159. _When a child is four or five years old, have you any objection
to his drinking tea_?

Some parents are in the habit of giving their children strong (and
frequently green) tea. This practice is most hurtful. It acts
injuriously upon their delicate, nervous system, and thus weakens
their whole frame. If milk does not agree, a cup of very weak tea,
that is to say, water with a dash of _black_ tea in it, with a
table-spoonful of cream, may be substituted for milk; but a mother
must never give tea where milk agrees.

160. _Have you any objection to a child occasionally having either
cakes or sweetmeats_?

I consider them as so much slow poison. Such things both cloy and
weaken the stomach, and thereby take away the appetite, and thus
debilitate the frame. Moreover "sweetmeats are coloured with poisonous
pigments." A mother, surely, is not aware, that when she is giving
her child Sugar Confectionery she is, in many cases, administering a
deadly poison to him? "We beg to direct the attention of our readers
to the Report of the Analytical Sanitary Commission, contained in the
_Lancet_ of the present week (Dec. 18, 1858), on the pigments employed
in colouring articles of Sugar Confectionery. From this report it
appears that metallic pigments of a highly dangerous and even
poisonous character, containing chromic acid, lead, copper, mercury,
and arsenic, are commonly used in the colouring of such articles."

If a child be never allowed to eat cakes and sweetmeats, he will
consider a piece of dry bread a luxury, and will eat it with the
greatest relish.

161. _Is bakers' or is home-made bread the most wholesome for a

Bakers' bread is certainly the lightest; and, if we could depend upon
its being unadulterated, would, from its lightness, be the most
wholesome; but as we cannot always depend upon bakers' bread,
home-made bread, as a rule should be preferred. If it be at all heavy,
a child must not be allowed to partake of it; a baker's loaf ought
then to be sent for, and continued to be eaten until light home-made
bread can be procured. Heavy bread is most indigestible. He must not
be allowed to eat bread until it be two or three days old. If it be a
week old, in cold weather, it will be the more wholesome.

162. _Do you approve either of caraway seeds or of currants in bread
or in cakes--the former to disperse wind, the latter to open the

There is nothing better than plain bread: the caraway-seeds generally
pass through the bowels undigested, and thus might irritate, and might
produce, instead of disperse wind. [Footnote: Although caraway seeds
_whole_ are unwholesome, yet caraway tea, made as recommended in a
previous Conversation, is an excellent remedy to disperse wind.] Some
mothers put currants in cakes, with a view of opening the bowels of
their children; but they only open them by disordering them.

163. _My child has an antipathy to certain articles of diet: what
would you advise to be done_?

A child's antipathy to certain articles of diet should be respected:
it is a sin and a shame to force him to eat what he has a great
dislike to: a child, for instance, sometimes dislikes the fat of meat,
underdone meat, the skin off boiled milk and off rice-pudding. Why
should he not have his likes and dislikes as well as "children of a
larger growth?" Besides, there is an idiosyncrasy--a peculiarity of
the constitution in some children--and Nature oftentimes especially
points out what is good and what is bad for them individually, and we
are not to fly in the face of Nature. "What is one man's meat is
another man's poison." If a child be forced to eat what he dislikes,
it will most likely not only make him sick, but will disorder his
stomach and bowels; food, if it is really to do him good, must be
eaten by him with a relish, and not with disgust and aversion. Some
mothers, who are strict disciplinarians, pride themselves on
compelling their children to eat whatever they choose to give them!
Such children are to be pitied!

164. _When ought a child to commence to dine with his parents_?

As soon as he be old enough to sit up at the table, provided the
father and mother either dine or lunch in the middle of the day. "I
always prefer having children about me at meal tines. I think it makes
them little gentlemen and gentlewomen in a manner that nothing else
will."--_Christian's Mistake_.


165. _Save you any remarks to make on the selection, the ventilation,
the warming, the temperature, and the arrangements of a nursery? and
have you any further observations to offer conducive to the well-doing
of my child_?

The nursery ought to be the largest and the most airy room in the
house. In the town, if it be in the topmost story (provided the
apartment be large and airy) so much the better, as the air will then
be purer. The architect, in the building of a house, ought to be
particularly directed to pay attention to the space, the loftiness,
the ventilation, the light, the warming, and the conveniences of a
nursery. A bath-room attached to it will be of great importance and
benefit to the health of a child.

It will be advantageous to have a water-closet near at hand, which
should be well supplied with water, be well drained, and be well
ventilated. If this be not practicable, the evacuations ought to be
removed as soon as they are passed. It is a filthy and an idle habit
of a nurse-maid to allow a motion to remain for any length of time in
the room.

The VENTILATION of a nursery is of paramount importance. There ought
to be a constant supply of fresh pure air in the apartment. But how
few nurseries have fresh, pure air! Many nurseries are nearly
hermetically sealed--the windows are seldom, if ever, opened; the
doors are religiously closed; and, in summer time, the chimneys are
carefully stuffed up, so that a breath of air is not allowed to enter!
The consequences are, the poor unfortunate children "are poisoned by
their own breaths," and are made so delicate that they are constantly
catching cold; indeed, it might be said that they are labouring under
chronic catarrhs, all arising from Nature's laws being set at

The windows ought to be large, and should be made to freely open both
top and bottom. Whenever the child is out of the nursery, the windows
ought to be thrown wide open; indeed, when he is in it, if the weather
be fine, the upper sash should be a little lowered. A child should be
encouraged to change the room, frequently, in order that it may be
freely ventilated; for good air is as necessary to his health as
wholesome food, and air cannot be good if it be not frequently
changed. If you wish to have a strong and healthy child, ponder over
and follow this advice.

I have to enter my protest against the use of a stove in a nursery. I
consider a gas stove _without a chimney_ to be an abomination, most
destructive to human life. There is nothing like the old-fashioned
open fire-place with a good-sized chimney, so that it may not only
carry off the smoke, but also the impure air of the room.

Be strict in not allowing your child either to touch or to play with
fire; frightful accidents have occurred from mothers and nurses being
on these points lax. The nursery ought to have a large fire-guard, to
go all round the hearth, and which should be sufficiently high to
prevent a child from climbing over. Not only must the nursery have a
guard, but every room where he is allowed to go should he furnished
with one on the bars.

Moreover, it will be advisable to have a guard in every room where a
fire is burning, to prevent ladies from being burned. Fortunately for
them, preposterous crinolines are out of fashion: when they were in
fashion, death from burning was of every-day occurrence; indeed,
lady-burning was then to be considered one of the institutions of our

A nursery is usually kept too hot; the temperature in the winter time
ought _not to exceed_ 60 degrees Fahrenheit A _good_ thermometer
should be considered an indispensable requisite to a nursery. A child
in a hot, close nursery is bathed in perspiration; if he leave the
room to go to one of lower temperature, the pores of his skin are
suddenly closed, and either a severe cold or an inflammation of the
lungs, or an attack of bronchitis, is likely to ensue. Moreover, the
child is both weakened and enervated by the heat, and thus readily
falls a prey to disease.

A child ought never to be permitted to sit with his back to the fire;
if he be allowed, it weakens the spine, and thus his whole frame; it
causes a rash of blood to the head and face, and predisposes him to
catch cold.

Let a nurse make a point of opening the nursery window every time that
she and her little charge leave the nursery, if her absence be only
for half an hour. The mother herself ought to see that this advice is
followed, pure air is so essential to the well-being of a child. Pure
air and pure water, and let me add, pure milk, are for a child the
grand and principal requirements of health.

Look well to the DRAINAGE of your house and neighbourhood. A child is
very susceptible to the influence of bad drainage. Bad drains are
fruitful sources of scarlet fever, of diphtheria, of diarrhoea,
&c. "It is sad to be reminded that, whatever evils threaten the health
of population, whether from pollutions of water or of air,--whether
from bad drainage or overcrowding, they fall heaviest upon the most
innocent victims--upon children of tender years. Their delicate frames
are infinitely more sensitive than the hardened constitutions of
adults, and the breath of poison, or the chill of hardships, easily
blights their tender life."--_The Times._

A nursery floor ought not to be _washed_ oftener than once a week; and
then the child or children should, until it be dry, be sent into
another room. During the drying of the floor, the windows must, of
course, be thrown _wide_ open.

The constant _wetting_ of a nursery is a frequent source of illness
among children. The floor ought, of course, to be kept clean; but this
may be done by the servant thoroughly sweeping the room out every
morning before her little charge makes his appearance.

Do not have your nursery wall covered with green paper-hangings. Green
paper-hangings contain large quantities of arsenic--arsenite of copper
(Scheele's green)--which, I need scarcely say, is a virulent poison,
and which flies about the room in the form of powder. There is
frequently enough poison on the walls of a room to destroy a whole

There is another great objection to having your nursery walls covered
with _green_ paper-hangings; if any of the paper should become loose
from the walls, a little child is very apt to play with it, and to put
it, as he does every thing else, to his mouth. This is not an
imaginary state of things, as four children in one family have just
lost their lives from sucking green paper-hangings.

Green dresses, as they are coloured with a preparation of arsenic, are
equally as dangerous as green paper-hangings; a child ought,
therefore, never to wear a green dress. "It may be interesting to some
of our readers," says _Land and Water_, "to know that the new green,
so fashionable for ladies' dresses, is just as dangerous in its nature
as the green wall-paper, about which so much was written some time
since. It is prepared with a large quantity of arsenic; and we have
been assured by several of the leading dressmakers, that the workwomen
employed in making up dresses of this colour are seriously affected
with all the symptoms of arsenical poisoning. Let our lady friends
take care."

Children's toys are frequently painted of a green colour with arsenite
of copper, and are consequently, highly dangerous for him to play
with. The best toy for a child is a box of _unpainted_ wooden bricks,
which is a constant source of amusement to him.

If you have your nursery walls hung with paintings and engravings, let
them be of good quality. The horrid daubs and bad engravings that
usually disfigure nursery walls, are enough to ruin the taste of a
child, and to make him take a disgust to drawing, which would be a
misfortune. A fine engraving and a good painting expand and elevate
his mind. We all know that first impressions are the most vivid and
the most lasting. A taste in early life for everything refined and
beautiful purifies his mind, cultivates his intellect, keeps him from
low company, and makes him grow up a gentleman!

Lucifer matches, in case of sudden illness, should, both in the
nursery and in the bedroom, be always in readiness; but they must be
carefully placed out of the reach of children, as lucifer matches are
a deadly poison. Many inquests have been held on children who have,
from having sucked them, been poisoned by them.

166. _Have you any observation to make on the LIGHT of a nursery_?

Let the window, or what is better, the windows, of a nursery be very
large, so as to thoroughly light up every nook and corner of the room,
as there is nothing more conducive to the health of a child than an
abundance of light in the dwelling. A room cannot, then, be too light.
The windows of a nursery are generally too small. A child requires as
much light as a plant. Gardeners are well aware of the great
importance of light in the construction of their greenhouses, and yet
a child, who requires it as much, and is of much greater importance,
is cooped up in dark rooms!

The windows of a nursery ought not only to be frequently opened to let
in fresh air, but should be _frequently cleaned_, to let in plenty of
light and of sunshine, as nothing is so cheering and beneficial to a
child as an abundance of light and sunshine!

_With regard to the best artificial light for a nursery._--The air of
a nursery cannot be too pure; I therefore do not advise you to have
gas in it, as gas in burning gives off quantities of carbonic acid and
sulphuretted hydrogen, which vitiate the air. The paraffine lamp, too,
makes a room very hot and close. There is no better light for a
nursery than either Price's patent candles or the old-fashioned

Let a child's _home_ he the happiest _house_ to him in the world; and
to be happy he must be merry, and all around him should be merry and
cheerful; and he ought to have an abundance of playthings, to help on
the merriment. If he have a dismal nurse, and a dismal home, he may
as well be incarcerated in a prison, and be attended by a gaoler. It
is sad enough to see dismal, doleful men and women, but it is a truly
lamentable and unnatural sight to see a doleful child! The young ought
to be as playful and as full of innocent mischief as a kitten. There
will be quite time enough in after years for sorrow and for sadness.

Bright colours, plenty of light, _clean_ windows (mind this, if you
please), an abundance of _good_-coloured prints, and toys without
number, are the proper furnishings of a nursery. Nursery! why, the
very name tells you what it ought to be--the home of childhood--the
most important room in the house,--a room that will greatly tend to
stamp the character of your child for the remainder of his life.

167. _Have you any more hints to offer conducive to the well-doing of
my child_?

You cannot be too particular in the choice of those who are in
constant attendance upon him. You yourself, of course, must be his
_head-nurse_--you only require some one to take the drudgery off your
hands! You ought to be particularly careful in the selection of his
nurse. She should be steady, lively, truthful, and good tempered; and
must be free from any natural imperfection, such as squinting,
stammering, &c., for a child is such an imitative creature that he is
likely to acquire that defect, which in the nurse is natural.
"Children, like babies, are quick at 'taking notice.' What they see
they mark, and what they mark they are very prone to copy."--_The

She ought not to be very young, or she may be thoughtless, careless,
and giggling. You have no right to set a child to mind a child; it
would be like the blind leading the blind. No! a child is too precious
a treasure to be entrusted to the care and keeping of a young girl.
Many a child has been ruined for life by a careless young nurse
dropping him and injuring his spine.

A nurse ought to be both strong and active, in order that her little
charge may have plenty of good nursing; for it requires great strength
in the arms to carry a heavy child for the space of an hour or two at
a stretch, in the open air; and such is absolutely necessary, and is
the only way to make him strong, and to cause him to cut his teeth
easily, and at the same time to regulate his bowels; a noise,
therefore, most be strong and active, and not mind hard, work, for
hard work it is; but, after she is accustomed to it, pleasant

Never should a nurse be allowed to wear a mask, nor to dress up and
paint herself as a ghost, or as any other frightful object. A child is
naturally timid and full of fears, and what would not make the
slightest impression upon a grown-up person might throw a child into

  "The sleeping, and the dead,
  Are but as pictures: 'tis the age of childhood
  That fears a painted devil."--_Shakspeare_.

Never should she be permitted to tell her little charge frightful
stories of ghosts and hobgoblins; if this be allowed, the child's
disposition will become timid and wavering, and may continue so for
the remainder of his life.

If a little fellow were not terrified by such stories, the darkness
would not frighten him more than the light. Moreover, the mind thus
filled with fear, acts upon the body, and injures the health. A child
must never be placed in a dark cellar, nor frightened by tales of
rats, &c. Instances are related of fear thus induced impairing the
intellect for life; and there are numerous examples of sudden fright
causing a dangerous and even a fatal illness.

_Night-terrors_.--This frightening of a child by a silly nurse
frequently brings on night-terrors. He wakes up suddenly, soon after
going to sleep, frightened and terrified; screaming violently, and
declaring that he has seen either some ghost, or thief, or some object
that the silly nurse had been previously in the day describing, who is
come for him to take him away. The little fellow is the very picture
of terror and alarm; he hides his face in his mother's bosom, the
perspiration streams down him, and it is some time before he can be
pacified--when, at length, he falls into a troubled feverish slumber,
to awake in the morning unrefreshed. Night after night these terrors
harass him, until his health materially suffers, and his young life
becomes miserable looking forward with dread to the approach of

_Treatment of night terrors_.--If they have been brought on by the
folly of the nurse, discharge her at once, and be careful to select a
more discreet one. When the child retires to rest, leave a candle
burning, and let it burn all night, sit with him until he be asleep,
and take care, in case he should rouse up in one of his night-terrors,
that either yourself or some kind person be near at hand. Do not scold
him for being frightened--he cannot help it, but soothe him, calm him,
fondle him, take him into your arms and let him feel that he has some
one to rest upon, to defend and to protect him. It is frequently in
these cases necessary before he can be cared to let him have change of
air and change of scene. Let him live, in the day time, a great part
of the day in the open air.

A nurse maid should never, on any account whatever, be allowed to whip
a child. "Does ever any man or woman remember the feeling of being
'whipped' as a child, the fierce anger, the insupportable ignominy,
the longing for revenge, which blotted out all thought of contrition
for the fault or rebellion against the punishment? With this
recollection on their own parts, I can hardly suppose any parents
venturing to inflict it, much less allowing its infliction by another
under any circumstances whatever. A nurse-maid or domestic of any
sort, once discovered to have lifted up her hand against a child,
ought to meet instant severe rebuke, and on a repetition of the
offence instant dismissal." [Footnote: _A Woman's Thoughts about

I have seen in the winter tune a lazy nurse sit before the fire with a
child on her lap, rubbing his cold feet just before putting him to his
bed. Now, this is not the way to warm his feet. The right method is to
let him romp and run either about the room, or the landing, or the
hall--this will effectually warm them, but, of course, it will entail
a little extra trouble on the nurse, as she will have to use a little
exertion to induce him to do so, and this extra trouble a lazy nurse
will not relish. Warming the feet before the fire will give the
little fellow chilblains, and will make him when he is in bed more
chilly. The only way for him to have a good romp before he goes to
bed, is for the mother to join in the game. She may rest assured, that
if she does so, her child will not be the only one to benefit by
it. She herself will find it of marvellous benefit to her own health;
it will warm her own feet, it will be almost sure to insure her a good
night, and will make her feel so light and buoyant as almost to fancy
that she is a girl again! Well, then, let every child, before going to
bed, hold a high court of revelry, let him have an hour--the
Children's Hour--devoted to romp, to dance, to shout, to sing, to
riot, and to play, and let him be the master of the revels--

  "Between the dark and the daylight,
     When the night is beginning to lower,
   Comes a pause in the day's occupation,
     Which is known as the Children's Hour."


Let a child be employed--take an interest in his employment, let him
fancy that he is useful--_and he is useful_, he is laying in a stock
of health. He is much more usefully employed than many other grown-up
children are!

A child should be happy; he must, in every way, be made happy;
everything ought to be done to conduce to his happiness, to give him
joy, gladness, and pleasure. Happy he should be, as happy as the day
is long. Kindness should be lavished upon him. Make a child
understand that you love him; prove it in your actions--these are
better than words; look after his little pleasures--join in his little
sports; let him never hear a morose word--it would rankle in his
breast, take deep root, and in due time bring forth bitter
fruit. Love! let love be his pole-star; let it be the guide and the
rule of all you do and all you say unto him. Let your face, as well as
your tongue speak love. Let your hands be ever ready to minister to
his pleasures and to his play. "Blessed be the hand that prepares a
pleasure for a child, for there is no saying when and where it may
again bloom forth. Does not almost everybody remember some
kind-hearted man who showed him a kindness in the dulcet days of
childhood? The writer of this recollects himself, at this moment, a
bare-footed lad, standing at the wooden fence of a poor little garden
in his native village, while, with longing eyes, he gazed on the
flowers which were blooming there quietly in the brightness of the
Sabbath morning. The possessor came from his little cottage. He was a
wood-cutter by trade, and spent the whole week at work in the
woods. He had come into the garden to gather flowers to stick in his
coat when he went to church. He saw the boy, and breaking off the most
beautiful of his carnations (it was streaked with red and white), he
gave it to him. Neither the giver nor the receiver spoke a word, and
with bounding steps the hoy ran home. And now, here, at a vast
distance from that home, after so many events of so many years, the
feeling of gratitude which agitated the breast of the boy, expressed
itself on paper. The carnation has long since faded, but it now
bloometh afresh."--_Douglas Jerrold_.

The hearty ringing laugh of a child is sweet music to the ear. There
are three most joyous sounds in nature--the hum of a bee, the purr of
a cat, and the laugh of a child. They tell of peace, of happiness, and
of contentment, and make one for a while forget that there is so much
misery in the world.

A man who dislikes children is unnatural, he has no "milk of human
kindness" in him; he should be shunned. Give me, for a friend, a man--

  "Who takes the children on his knee,
  And winds their curls, about his hand."--_Tennyson_.

168. _If a child be peevish, and apparently in good health, have you
any plan to propose to allay his irritability_?

A child's troubles are soon over--his tears are soon dried; "nothing
dries sooner than a tear"--if not prolonged by improper management--

  "The tear down childhood's check that flows
  Is like the dew-drop on the rose;
  When next the summer breeze comes by,
  And waves the bush, the flower is dry."--_Scott_.

Never allow a child to be teased; it spoils his temper. If he be in a
cross humour take no notice of it, but divert his attention to some
pleasing object. This may be done without spoiling him. Do not combat
bad temper with bad temper--noise with noise. Be firm, be kind, be
gentle, [Footnote: "But we were gentle among you, even as a women
cherisheth her children."--1 Thess. ii. 7.] be loving, speak quietly,
smile tenderly, and embrace him fondly, but _insist upon implicit
obedience_, and you will have, with God's blessing, a happy child--

  "When a little child is weak
    From fever passing by,
  Or wearied out with restlessness
    Don't scold him if he cry.

  Tell him some pretty story--
    Don't read it from a book;
  He likes to watch you while you speak,
    And take in every look.

  Or sometimes singing gently--
    A little song may please,
  With quiet and amusing words,
    And tune that flows with ease.

  Or if he is impatient,
    Perhaps from time to time
  A simple hymn may suit the best,
    In short and easy rhyme.

  The measured verses flowing
    In accents clear and mild,
  May blend into his troubled thought,
    And soothe the little child.

  But let the words be simple,
    And suited to his mind,
  And loving, that his weary heart
    A resting-place may find."--_Household Verses_.

Speak, _gently_ to a child; speak _gently_ to all; but more especially
speak _gently_ to a child. "A gentle voice is an excellent thing in a
woman," and is a jewel of great price, and is one of the concomitants
of _perfect_ lady. Let the hinges of your disposition be well
oiled. "'I have a dear friend. He was one of those well-oiled
dispositions which turn upon the hinges of the world without
creaking.' Would to heaven there were more of them! How many there are
who never turn upon the hinges of this world without a grinding that
sets the teeth of a whole household on edge! And somehow or other it
has been the evil fate of many of the best spirits to be so
circumstanced; both men and women, to whom life is 'sweet habitude of
being,' which has gone far to reconcile them to solitude as far less
intolerable! To these especially the creakings of those said rough
hinges of the world is one continued torture, for they are all too
finely strung; and the oft-recurring grind jars the whole sentient
frame, mars the beautiful lyre, and makes cruel discord in a soul of
music. How much of sadness there is in such thoughts! Seems there not
a Past in some lives, to which it is impossible ever to become
reconciled!"--_Life's Problems_.

Pleasant words ought always to be spoken to a child; there must be
neither snarling, nor snapping, nor snubbing, nor loud contention
towards him. If there be it will ruin his temper and disposition, and
will make him hard and harsh, morose and disagreeable.

Do not always be telling your child how wicked he is; what a naughty
boy he is; that God will never love him, and all the rest of such
twaddle and blatant inanity! Do not, in point of fact, bully him, as
many poor little fellows are bullied! It will ruin him if you do; it
will make him in after years either a coward or a tyrant. Such
conversations, like constant droppings of water, will make an
impression, and will cause him to feel that it is of no use to try to
be good--that he is hopelessly wicked! Instead of such language, give
him confidence in himself; rather find out his good points and dwell
upon them; praise him where and whenever you can; and make him feel
that, by perseverance and God's blessing, he will make a good
man. Speak truthfully to your child; if you once deceive him, he will
not believe you for the future. Not only so, but if you are truthful
yourself you are likely to make him truthful--like begets like. There
is something beautiful in truth! A lying child is an abomination! Sir
Walter Scott says "that he taught his son to ride, to shoot, and to
tell the truth" Archdeacon Hare asserts "that Purity is the feminine,
Truth the masculine of Honour."

As soon as a child can speak he should be made to lisp the noble words
of truth, and to love it, and to abhor a lie! What a beautiful
character he will then make! Blessed is the child that can say,--

  "Parental cares watched o'er my growing youth,
    And early stamped it with the love of truth."

  _Leadbeater Papers._

Have no favourites, show no partiality; for the young are very
jealous, sharp-sighted, and quick-witted, and take a dislike to the
petted one. Do not rouse the old Adam in them. Let children be taught
to be "kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;" let
them be encouraged to share each other's toys and playthings, and to
banish selfishness.

Attend to a child's _little_ pleasures. It is the _little_ pleasures
of a child that constitute his happiness. Great pleasures to him and
to us all (as a favourite author remarks) come but seldom, and are the
exceptions, and not the rule.

Let a child he nurtured in love. "It will be seen," says the author of
_John Halifax_, "that I hold this law of kindness as the Alpha and
Omega of education. I once asked one, in his own house, a father in
everything but the name, his authority unquestioned, his least word
held in reverence, his smallest wish obeyed--'How did you ever manage
to bring up these children?' He said: '_By love_.'"

Let every word and action prove that you love your children. Enter
into all their little pursuits and pleasures. Join them in their play,
and be a "child again!" If they are curious, do not check their
curiosity; but rather encourage it; for they have a great deal--as we
all have--to learn, and how can they know if they are not taught? You
may depend upon it the knowledge they obtain from observation is far
superior to that obtained from books. Let all you teach them, let all
you do, and let all you say bear the stamp of love. "Endeavour, from
first to last, in your intercourse with your children, to let it bear
the impress of _love_. It is not enough that you _feel_ affection
towards your children--that you are devoted to their interests; you
must show in your manner the fondness of your hearts towards
them. Young minds cannot appreciate great sacrifices made for them;
they judge their parents by the words and deeds of every-day
life. They are won by _little_ kindnesses, and alienated by _little_
acts of neglect or impatience. One complaint unnoticed, one appeal
unheeded, one lawful request arbitrarily refused, will be remembered
by your little ones more than a thousand acts of the most devoted
affection."--_The Protoplast_.

A placid, well-regulated temper is very conducive to health. A
disordered, or an over-loaded stomach, is a frequent cause of
peevishness. Appropriate treatment in such a case will, of course, be

169. _My child stammers: can you tell me the cause, and can you
suggest a remedy_?

A child who stammers is generally "nervous," quick, and impulsive. His
ideas flow too rapidly for speech. He is "nervous;" hence, when he is
alone, and with those he loves, he oftentimes speaks fluently and
well; he stammers more both when he is tired and when he is out of
health--when the nerves are either weak or exhausted. He is
emotional: when he is either in a passion or in excitement, either of
joy or of grief, he can scarcely speak--"he stammers all over." He is
impulsive: he often stammers in consequence. He is in too great a
hurry to bring out his words; they do not flow in proper sequence:
hence his words are broken and disjointed.

Stammering, of course, might be owing either to some organic defect,
such as from defective palate, or from defective brain, then nothing
will cure him; or it might be owing to "nervous" causes--to "irregular
nervous action," then a cure might, with care and perseverance, be
usually effected.

In all cases of stammering of a child, let both the palate of his
mouth and the bridle of his tongue be carefully examined, to see that
neither the palate be defective, nor the bridle of the tongue be too
short--that he be not tongue-tied.

_Now, with regard to Treatment._--Make him speak slowly and
deliberately: let him form each word, without clipping or chopping;
let him be made, when you are alone with him, to exercise himself in
elocution. If he speak quickly, stop him in his mid-career, and make
him, quietly and deliberately, go through the sentence again and
again, until he has mastered the difficulty; teach him to collect his
thoughts, and to weigh each word ere he give it utterance; practise
him in singing little hymns and songs for children; this you will find
a valuable help in the cure. A stammerer seldom stutters when he
sings. When he sings, he has a full knowledge of the words, and is
obliged to keep in time--to sing neither too fast nor too
slow. Besides, he sings in a different key to his speaking voice. Many
professors for the treatment of stammering cure their patients by
practising lessons of a sing-song character.

Never jeer him for stammering, nor turn him to ridicule; if you do, it
will make him ten times worse; but be patient and gentle with him, and
endeavour to give him confidence, and encourage him to speak to you as
quietly, as gently, and deliberately as you speak to him; tell him not
to speak, until he has arranged his thoughts and chosen his words; let
him do nothing in a hurry.

Demosthenes was said, in his youth, to have stammered fearfully, and
to have cured himself by his own prescription, namely, by putting a
pebble in his mouth, and declaiming, frequently, slowly quietly, and
deliberately, on the sea-shore--the fishes alone being his audience,--
until at length he cured himself, and charmed the world with his
eloquence and with his elocution. He is held up, to this very day, as
the personification and as the model of an orator. His patience,
perseverance, and practice ought, by all who either are, or are,
interested in a stammerer, to be borne in mind and followed.

170. _Do you approve of a carpet in a nursery_?

No, unless it be a small piece for a child to roll upon. A carpet
harbours dirt and dust, which dust is constantly floating about the
atmosphere, and thus making it impure for him to breathe. The truth of
this may be easily ascertained by entering a darkened room, where a
ray of sunshine is struggling through a crevice in the shutters. If
the floor of a nursery must be covered, let drugget be laid down, and
this may every morning be taken up and shaken. The less furniture a
nursery contains the better, for much furniture obstructs the free
circulation of the air, and, moreover, prevents a child from taking
proper play and exercise in the room--an abundance of which are
absolutely necessary for his health.

171. _Supposing there is not a fire in the nursery grate, ought the
chimney to be stopped to prevent a draught in the room_?

Certainly not. I consider the use of a chimney to be two-fold--first,
to carry off the smoke, and secondly (which is of quite as much
importance), to ventilate the room, by carrying off the impure air,
loaded as it is with carbonic acid gas--the refuse of respiration. The
chimney, therefore, should never, either winter or summer, be allowed
for one moment to be stopped. This is important advice, and requires
the strict supervision of every mother, as servants will, if they have
the chance, stop all chimneys that have no fires in the grates.


172. _Do you approve, during the summer months, of sending a child out
BEFORE breakfast_?

I do, when the weather will permit, and provided the wind be neither
in an easterly nor in a north-easterly direction; indeed, _he can
scarcely be too much in the open air_. He must not be allowed to stand
about draughts or about entries, and the only way to prevent him doing
so is for the mother herself to accompany the nurse. She will then
kill two birds with one stone, as she will, by doing so, benefit her
own as well as her child's health.

173. _Ought a child to be early put on his feet to walk_?

No: let him learn to walk himself. He ought to be put upon a carpet;
and it will be found that when he is strong enough, he will hold by a
chair, and will stand alone: when he can do so, and attempts to walk,
he should then be supported. You must, on first putting him upon his
feet, be guided by his own wishes. He will, as soon as he is strong
enough to walk, have the inclination to do so. When he has the
inclination and the strength it will be folly to restrain him; if he
have neither the inclination nor the strength, it will be absurd to
urge him on. Rely, therefore, to a certain extent, upon the
inclination of the child himself. Self-reliance cannot be too early
taught him, and, indeed, every one else. In the generality of
instances, however, a child is put on his feet too soon, and the
bones, at that tender age, being very flexible, bend, causing bowed
and bandy-legs; and the knees, being weak, approximate too closely
together, and thus they become knock-kneed. This advice of _not_
putting a child _early_ on his feet, I must strongly insist on, as
many mothers are so ridiculously ambitious that their young ones
should walk early--that they should walk before other children of
their acquaintance have attempted--that they have frequently caused
the above lamentable deformities; which is a standing reproach to them
during the rest of their lives.

174. _Do you approve of perambulators_?

I do not, for two reasons:--first, because when a child is strong
enough, he had better walk as much as he will; and, secondly, the
motion is not so good, and the muscles are not so much put into
action, and consequently cannot be so well developed, as when he is
earned. A perambulator is very apt to make a child stoop, and to make
him both crooked and round-shouldered. He is cramped by being so long
in one position. It is painful to notice a babe of a few months old in
one of these newfangled carriages. His little head is bobbing about
first on one side and then on the other--at one moment it is dropping
on his chest, the next it is forcibly jolted behind: he looks, and
doubtless feels, wretched and uncomfortable. Again, these
perambulators are dangerous in crowded thoroughfares. They are a
public nuisance, inasmuch as they are wheeled against and between
people's legs, and are a fruitful source of the breaking of shins, of
the spraining of ankles, of the crushing of corns, and of the ruffling
of the tempers of the foot-passengers who unfortunately come within
their reach; while, in all probability, the gaping nurses are staring
another way, and every way indeed but the right, more especially if
there be a redcoat in the path!

Besides, in very cold weather, or in a very young infant, the warmth
of the nurse's body, while he is being carried, helps to keep him
warm, he himself being naturally cold. In point of fact, the child,
while being borne in the nurse's arms, reposes on the nurse, warm and
supported, as though he were in a nest! While, on the other hand, if
he be in a perambulator, he is cold and unsupported, looking the very
picture of misery, seeking everywhere for test and comfort, and
finding none!

A nurse's arm, then, is the only proper carriage for a _young_ child
to take exercise on. She ought to change about, first carrying frim on
the one arm, and then on the other. Nursing him on one arm only might
give his body a twist on one side, and thus might cause deformity.

When he is old enough to walk, and is able properly to support the
weight of his own neck and back, then there will be no objection,
provided it be not in a crowded thoroughfare, to his riding
occasionally in a perambulator; but when he is older still, and can
sit either a donkey or a pony, such exercise will be far more
beneficial, and will afford him much greater pleasure.

175. _Supposing it to be wet under foot, but dry above, do you then
approve of sending a child out_?

If the wind be neither in the east nor the north-east, and if the air
be not damp, let him be well wrapped up and be sent out. If he be
labouring under an inflammation of the lungs, however slight, or if he
be just recovering from one, it would, of coarse, be highly improper.
In the management of a child, we must take care neither to coddle nor
to expose him unnecessarily, as both are dangerous.

Never send a child out to walk in a fog; he will, if you do, be almost
sure to catch cold. It would be much safer to send him out in rain
than in fog, though neither the one nor the other would be desirable.

176. _How many times a day in fine weather ought a child to be sent

Let him be sent out as often as it be possible. If a child lived more
in the open air than he is wont to do, he would neither be so
susceptible of disease, nor would he suffer so much from teething, nor
from catching cold.

177. _Supposing the day to be wet, what exercise would you then

The child ought to run either about a large room, or about the hall;
and if it does not rain violently, you should put on his hat and throw
up the window, taking care while the window is open that he does not
stand still. A wet day is the day for him to hold his high court of
revelry, and "to make him as happy as the day is long."

Do not on any account allow him to sit any length of time at a table,
amusing himself with books, &c.; let him be active and stirring, that
his blood may freely circulate as it ought to do, and that his muscles
may be well developed. I would rather see him actively engaged in
mischief than sitting still, doing nothing! He ought to be put on the
carpet, and should then be tumbled and rolled about, to make the blood
bound merrily through, the, vessels, to stir up the liver, to promote
digestion, and to open the bowels. The misfortune of it is, the
present race of nurses are so encumbered with long dresses, and so
screwed in with tight stays (aping their betters), that they are not
able to stoop properly, and thus to have a good game of romps with
their little charges. "Doing nothing is doing ill" is as true a saying
as was ever spoken.

178. _Supposing it to be winter, and the weather to be very cold,
would you still send a child out_?

Decidedly, provided he be well wrapped up. The cold will brace and
strengthen him. Cold weather is the finest tonic in the world.

In frosty weather, the roads being slippery, when you send him out to
walk, put a pair of large old woollen stockings over his boots or
shoes. This will not only keep his feet and his legs warm, but it will
prevent him from falling down and hurting himself. While thus
equipped, he may even walk on a slide of ice without falling down!

A child, in the winter time, requires, to keep him warm, plenty of
flannel and plenty of food, plenty of fresh and genuine milk, and
plenty of water in his tub to wash and bathe him in a morning, plenty
of exercise and plenty of play, and then he may brave the frosty air.
It is the coddled, the half-washed, and the half-starved child
(half-washed and half-starved from either the mother's ignorance or
from the mother's timidity), that is the chilly starveling,--catching
cold at every breath of wind, and every time he either walks or is
carried out,--a puny, skinny, scraggy, scare-crow, more dead than
alive, and more fit for his grave than for the rough world he will
have to struggle in! If the above advice be strictly followed, a child
may be sent out in the coldest weather, even--

  "When icicles hang by the wall,
     And Dick, the shepherd, blows his nail;
   And Tom bears logs into the hall,
     And milk comes frozen home in pail."



179. _Have you any remarks to make on the amusements of a child_?

Let the amusements of a child be as much as possible out of doors; let
him spend the greater part of every day in the open air; let him exert
himself as much as he please, his feelings will tell him when to rest
and when to begin again; let him be what Nature intended Mm to be--a
happy, laughing, joyous child. Do not let him be always poring over

  "Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife,
    Come, hear the woodland linnet!
  How sweet his music! On my life,
    There's more of wisdom in it.

  And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
    He, too, is no mean preacher:
  Come forth into the light of things,--
    Let Nature be your teacher.

  She has a world of ready wealth,
    Our minds and hearts to bless,--
  Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
    Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

  One impulse from a vernal wood
    May teach you more of man,
  Of moral evil and of good,
    Than, all the sagea can."--_Wordsworth._

He ought to be encouraged to engage in those sports wherein the
greatest number of muscles are brought into play. For instance, to
play at ball, or hoop, or football, to play at horses, to run to
certain distances and back; and, if a girl, to amuse herself with a
skipping rope, such, being excellent exercise--

  "By sports like these are all their cares beguiled,
  The sports of children satisfy the child."--_Goldsmith._

Every child, where it be practicable, should have a small plot of
ground to cultivate, that he may dig and delve in, and make dirt-pies
if he choose. Children now-a-days, unfortunately, are not allowed to
soil their hands and their fine clothes. For my own part, I dislike
such model children; let a child be natural--let him, as far as is
possible, choose his own sports. Do not be always interfering with his
pursuits, and be finding fault with him. Remember, what may be amusing
to you may be distasteful to him. I do not, of course, mean but that
you should constantly have a watchful eye over him; yet do not let him
see that he is under restraint or surveillance; if you do, you will
never discover his true character and inclinations. Not only so, but
do not dim the bright sunshine of his early life by constantly
checking and thwarting him, Tupper beautifully says--

  "And check not a child in his merriment,--
  Should not his morning be sunny?"

When, therefore, he is either in the nursery or in the play-ground,
let him shout and riot and romp about as much as he please. His lungs
and his muscles want developing, and his nerves require strengthening;
and how can such be accomplished unless you allow them to be developed
and strengthened by natural means?

The nursery is a child's own domain; it is his castle, and he should
be Lord Paramount therein. If he choose to blow a whistle, or to
spring a rattle, or to make any other hideous noise, which to him is
sweet music, he should be allowed, without let or hindrance, to do
so. If any members of the family have weak nerves, let them keep at a
respectful distance.

A child who never gets into mischief must be either sly, or delicate,
or idiotic; indeed, the system of many persons, in bringing up
children, is likely to make them either the one or the other. The
present plan of training children is nearly all work (books), and very
little play. Play, and plenty of it, is necessary to the very
existence of a child.

A boy not partial to mischief, innocent mischief, and play, is
unnatural; he is a man before his time, he is a nuisance, he is
disagreeable to himself and to every one around. He is generally a
sneak, and a little humbug.

Girls, at the present time, are made clever simpletons; their brains
are worked with useless knowledge, which totally unfits them for
every-day duties. Their muscles are allowed to be idle, which makes
them limp and flabby. The want of proper exercise ruins the
complexion, and their faces become of the colour of a tallow candle!
And precious wives and mothers they make when they do grow up! Grow
up, did I say? They grow all manner of ways, and are as crooked as
crooked sticks!

What an unnatural thing it is to confine a child several hours a day
to his lessons; why, you might as well put a colt in harness, and make
him work for his living! A child is made for play; his roguish little
eye, his lithe figure, his antics, and his drollery, all point out
that he is cut out for play--that it is as necessary to his existence
as the food he eats, and as the air he breathes!

A child ought not to be allowed to have playthings with which he can
injure either himself or others, such as toy-swords, toy-cannons,
toy-paint-boxes, knives, bows and arrows, hammers, chisels, saws,
&c. He will not only be likely to injure himself and others, but will
make sad havoc on furniture, house, and other property. Fun, frolic,
and play ought, in all innocent ways, to be encouraged; but wilful
mischief and dangerous games ought, by every means, to be
discountenanced. This advice is frequently much needed, as children
prefer to have and delight in dangerous toys, and often coax and
persuade weak and indulgent mothers to gratify their wishes.

_Painted_ toys are, many of them, highly dangerous, those painted
_green_ especially, as the colour generally consists of Scheele's
green--arsenite of copper.

Children's paint-boxes are very dangerous toys for a child to play
with; many of the paints are poisonous, containing arsenic, lead,
gamboge, &c, and a child, when painting, is apt to put the brush into
his mouth, to absorb the superabundant fluid. Of all the colours, the
_green_ paint is the most dangerous, as it is frequently composed of
arsenite of copper--arsenic and copper--two deadly poisons.

There are some paint-boxes warranted not to contain a particle of
poison of any kind these ought, for a child, to be chosen by a mother.

But, remember, although he ought not to be allowed to have poison
paint-boxes and poison painted toys, _he must have an abundance of
toys,_ such as the white wood toys--brewers' drays, millers' waggons,
boxes of wooden bricks, &c. The Noah's Ark is one of the most amusing
and instructive toys for a child. "Those fashioned out of brown,
unpainted pine-wood by the clever carvers of Nuremberg or the Black
Forest are the best, I think, not only because they are the most
spirited, but because they will survive a good deal of knocking about
and can be sucked with impunity From the first dawn of recollection,
children are thus familiarised with the forms of natural objects, and
may be well up in natural history before they have mastered the ABC"
[Footnote: From an excellent article _About Toys,_ by J Hamilton Fyfe
in _Good Words_ for December 1862.]

Parents often make Sunday a day of gloom; to this I much object. Of
all the days in the week, Sunday should be the most cheerful and
pleasant. It is considered by our Church a festival, and a glorious
festival it ought to be made, and one on which our Heavenly Father
wishes to see all His children happy and full of innocent joy. Let
Sunday, then, be made a cheerful, joyous, innocently happy day, and
not, as it frequently is, the most miserable and dismal in the
week. It is my firm conviction that many men have been made
irreligious by the ridiculously strict and dismal way they were
compelled, as children, to spend their Sundays. You can no more make
a child religious by gloomy asceticism, than yon can make people good
by Act of Parliament.

One of the great follies of the present age is, children's parties,
where they are allowed to be dressed up like grown-up women, stuck out
in petticoats, and encouraged to eat rich cake and pastry, and to
drink wine, and to sit up late at night! There is something disgusting
and demoralising in all this. Their pure minds are blighted by it. Do
not let me be misunderstood: there is not the least objection, but, on
the contrary, great advantage, for friends' children to meet friends'
children; but then let them be treated as children, and not as men and

180. _Do you approve of public play-grounds for children_?

It would be well, in every village, and in the outskirts of every
town, if a large plot of ground were set apart for children to play
in, and to go through regular gymnastic exercises. Play is absolutely
necessary to a child's very existence, as much as food and sleep; but
in many parts of England where is he to have it? Playgrounds and play
are the best schools we have; they teach a great deal not taught
elsewhere; they give lessons in health, which is the grandest wealth
that can be bestowed--"for health is wealth;" they prepare the soil
for the future schoolmaster; they clear the brain, and thus the
intellect, they strengthen the muscles; they make the blood course
merrily through the arteries; they bestow healthy food for the lungs;
they give an appetite; they make a child, in due time, become every
inch a man! Play-grounds and play are one of the finest institutions
we possess. What would our large public schools be without their play
and cricket grounds? They would be shorn of half their splendour and
their usefulness!

There is so much talk now-a-days about _useful_ knowledge, that the
importance of play and play-grounds is likely to be forgotten. I
cannot help thinking however, that a better state of things is
dawning. "It seems to be found out that in our zeal for useful
knowledge, that knowledge is found to be not the least useful which
treat boys as active, stirring, aspiring, and ready." [Footnote: _The
Saturday Review_, December 13, 1862.]

181. _Do you approve of infant schools_?

I do, if the arrangements be such that health is preferred before
learning. [Footnote: "According to Aristotle, more care should be
taken of the body than of the mind for the first seven years; strict
attention to diet be enforced, &c. . . . . . The eye and ear of the
child should be most watchfully and severely guarded against
contamination of every kind, and unrestrained communication with
servants be strictly prevented. Even his amusements should be under
due regulation, and rendered as interesting and intellectual as
possible."--The Rev John Williams, in his _Life and Actions of
Alexander the Great_] Let children be only confined for three or four
hours a day, and let what little they learn be taught as an amusement
rather than as a labour. A play-ground ought to be attached to an
infant school; where, in fine weather, for every half-hour they spend
in-doors, they should spend one in the open air; and, in wet weather,
they ought to have, in lieu of the play-ground, a large room to romp,
and shout, and riot in. To develop the different organs, muscles, and
other parts of the body, children require fresh air, a free use of
their lungs, active exercise, and their bodies to be thrown into all
manner of attitudes. Let a child mope in a corner, and he will become
stupid and sickly. The march of intellect, as it is called, or rather
the double quick march of intellect, as it should be called, has
stolen a march upon health. Only allow the march of intellect and the
march of health to take equal strides, and then we shall have "_mens
sana in corpore sano_" (a sound mind in a sound body).

In the education of a young child, it is better to instruct him by
illustration, by pictures, and by encouraging observation on things
around and about him, than by books. It is surprising how much,
without endangering his health, may be taught in this way. In
educating your child, be careful to instil and to form good
habits--they will then stick to him for life.

Children at the present day are too highly educated--their brains are
over-taxed, and thus weakened. The consequence is, that as they grow
up to manhood, if they grow up at all, they become fools! _Children_
are now taught what formerly _youths_ were taught. The chord of a
child's life is ofttimes snapped asunder in consequence of over

  "Screw not the cord too sharply, lest it snap"--_Tennyson_.

You should treat a child as you would a young colt. Think only at
first of strengthening his body. Let him have a perfectly free, happy
life, plenty of food to eat, abundance of air to breathe, and no work
to do; there is plenty of time to think of his learning--of giving him
brain work. It will come sadly too soon; but do not make him old
before his time.

182. _At what age do you advise my child to begin his course of
education--to have his regular lessons_?

In the name of the prophet,--Figs! Fiddlesticks! about courses of
education and regular lessons for a child! You may as well ask me
when he, a child, is to begin Hebrew, the Sanscrit, and Mathematics!
Let him have a course of education in play; let him go through regular
lessons in foot-ball, bandy, playing at tic, hares and hounds, and
such like excellent and really useful and health-giving lessons. Begin
his lessons! Begin brain work, and make an idiot of him! Oh! for
shame, ye mothers! You who pretend to love your children so much, and
to tax, otherwise to injure, irreparably to injure their brains, and
thus their intellects and their health, and to shorten their very
days. And all for what? To make prodigies of them! Forsooth! to make
fools of them in the end,

183. _Well, then, as you have such a great objection to a child
commencing his education early in life, at what age may he, with
safety, commence his lessons? and which do you prefer--home or school

Home is far preferable to a school education. He is, if at home, under
your own _immediate_ observation, and is not liable to be contaminated
by naughty children; for, in every school, there is necessarily a
great mixture of the good and of the bad; and a child, unfortunately,
is more likely to be led by the bad than by the good. Moreover, if he
be educated at home, the mother can see that his brain is not
over-worked. At school the brain is apt to be over-worked, and the
stomach and the muscles to be under-worked.

Remember, as above stated, _the brain must have but very little work
until the child be seven years old;_ impress this advice upon your
memory, and let no foolish ambition to make your child a clever child
allow you, for one moment, to swerve from this advice.

Build up a strong, healthy body, and in due time the brain will bear a
_moderate_ amount of intellectual labour.

As I have given _you_ so much advice, permit me, for one moment, to
address a word to the father of your child:--

Let me advise you, then, Mr. _Pater familias_, to be careful how you
converse, what language you use, while in the company of your
child. Bear in mind, a child is very observant, and thinks much,
weighs well, and seldom forgets all you say and all you do! Let no
hasty word, then, and more especially no oath, or no impious language,
ever pass your lips, if your child be within hearing. It is, of
course, at all times wicked to swear; but it is heinously and
unpardonably sinful to swear in the presence of your child! "Childhood
is like a mirror, catching and reflecting images. One impious or
profane thought, uttered by a parent's lip, may operate upon the young
heart like a careless spray of water thrown upon polished steel,
staining it with rust, which no after scouring can efface."

Never talk secrete before a child--"little pitchers have long ears;"
if you do, and he disclose your secrets--as most likely he will--and
thus make mischief, it will be cruel to scold him; you will, for your
imprudence, have yourself only to blame. Be most careful, then, in the
presence of your child, of what you say, and of whom you speak. This
advice, if followed, might save a great deal of annoyance and

184. _Are you an advocate for a child being taught singing?_

I am: I consider singing a part of his education. Singing expands the
walls of his chest, strengthens and invigorates his lungs, gives
sweetness to his voice, improves his pronunciation, and is a great
pleasure and amusement to him.


185. _Do you approve of a child sleeping on a_ FEATHER _bed_?

A _feather_ bed enervates his body, and, if he be so predisposed,
causes rickets, and makes him crooked. A horse-hair mattress is the
best for a child to lie on. The pillow, too, should be made of
horse-hair. A _feather_ pillow often causes the bead to be bathed in
perspiration, thus enervating the child, and making him liable to
catch cold. If he be at all rickety, if he be weak in the neck, if he
be inclined to stoop, or if he be at all crooked, let him, by all
means, lie without a pillow.

186. _Do you recommend a child, in the middle of the day, to be put to

Let him be put on his mattress _awake_, that he may sleep for a couple
of hours before dinner, then he will rise both refreshed and
strengthened for the remainder of the day. I said, let him be put down
_awake_. He might, for the first few times, cry, but, by perseverance,
he will without any difficulty fall to sleep. The practice of sleeping
before dinner ought to be continued until he be three years old, and,
if he can be prevailed upon, even longer. For if he do not have sleep
in the middle of the day, he will all the afternoon and the evening be
cross; and when he does go to bed, he will probably be too tired to
sleep, or his nerves having been exhausted by the long wakefulness, he
will fall into a troubled, broken slumber, and not into that sweet,
soft, gentle repose, so characteristic of healthy, happy childhood!

187. _At what hour ought a child to be put to bed in the evening_?

At six in the winter, and at seven o'clock in the summer. _Regularity_
ought to be observed, _as regularity is very conducive to health._ It
is a reprehensible practice to keep a child up until nine or ten
o'clock at night. If this be done, he will, before his time, become
old, and the seeds of disease will be sown,

As soon as he can run, let him be encouraged, for half an hour before
he goes to bed, to race either about the hall, or the landing, or a
large room, which will be the best means of warming his feet, of
preventing chilblains, and of making him sleep soundly.

188. _Have you any directions to give me at to the placing of my child
in his bed_?

If a child lie alone, place him fairly on his aide in the middle of
the bed; if it be winter time, see that his arms and hands be covered
with the bed-clothes; if it be summer, his hands might be allowed to
be outside the clothes. In putting him down to sleep, you should
ascertain that his face be not covered with the bedclothes; if it be,
he will he poisoned with his own breath--the breath constantly giving
off carbonic acid gas; which gas must, if his face be smothered in the
clothes; be breathed--carbonic acid gas being highly poisonous.

You can readily prove the existence of carbonic and gas in the
breathing, by simply breathing into a little lime-water; after
breathing for a few seconds into it, a white film will form on the
top; the carbonic acid gas from the breath unites with the lime of the
lime-water and the product of the white film is carbonate of lime.

189. _Do you advise a bedroom to be darkened at night_?

Certainly: a child sleeps sounder and sweeter in a dark than in a
light room. There is nothing better for the purpose of darkening a
bedroom, than Venetian blinds. Remember, then, a well-ventilated, but
a darkened, chamber at night. The cot or the crib ought _not_ to face
the window, "as the light is best behind." [Footnote: Sir Charles
Locock in a Letter to the Author. ]

190. _Which is the beat position for a child when sleeping--on his
back, or on his side_?

His side: he ought to be accustomed to change about on the right side
one night, on the left another; and occasionally, for a change, he
should lie on his back. By adopting this plan, you will not only
improve his figure, but likewise his health. Lying, night after night,
in one position, would be likely to make him crooked.

191. _Do you advise, in the winter time, that there should be a fire
in the night nursery_?

Certainly not, unless the weather be intensely cold. I dislike fires
in bedrooms, especially for children; they are very enervating, and
make a child liable to catch cold. Cold weather is very bracing,
particularly at night "Generally speaking," says the _Siecle_, "during
winter, apartments are too much heated. The temperature in them ought
not to exceed 16 deg. Centigrade (59 deg. Fahrenheit); and even in periods of
great cold scientific men declare that 12 deg. or 14 deg. had better not be
exceeded. In the wards of hospitals, and in the chambers of the sick,
care is taken not to have greater heat than 15 deg.. Clerks in offices,
and other persons of sedentary occupations, when rooms in which they
sit are too much heated, are liable to cerebral [brain] congestion and
to pulmonary [lung] complaints. In bedrooms, and particularly those of
children, the temperature ought to be maintained rather low; it is
even prudent only rarely to make fires in them, especially during the

If "a cold stable make a healthy horse," I am quite sure that a
moderately cold and well-ventilated bedroom helps to make a healthy
child. But, still, in the winter time, if the weather be biting cold,
a _little_ fire in the bedroom grate is desirable. In bringing up
children, we must never run into extremes--the coddling system and the
hardening system are both to be deprecated; the coddling system will
make the strong child weakly, while the hardening system will probably
kill a delicate one.

A child's bed ought, of course, to be comfortably clothed with
blankets--I say blankets, as they are much superior to coverlids; the
perspiration will more readily pass through a blanket than a
coverlid. A _thick_ coverlid ought never to be used; there is nothing
better, for a child's bed, than the old-fashioned patchwork coverlid,
as the perspiration will easily escape through it.

192. _Should a child be washed and dressed_ AS SOON AS HE AWAKE _in
the morning_?

He ought, if he awake in anything like reasonable time; for if he doze
after he be once awake, such slumber does him more harm than good. He
should be up every morning as soon as it is light If, as a child, he
be taught to rise early, it will make him an early riser for life, and
will tend greatly to prolong both his existence and his happiness.

_Never awake a child from his sleep_ to dress him, to give him
medicine, or for any other purpose; _let him always sleep as long as
he can;_ but the moment he awakes let him be held out, and then let
him be washed and dressed, and do not wait, as many a silly nurse
does, until he have wet his bed, until his blood be chilled, and until
he be cross, miserable, and uncomfortable! How many babes are made
ill by such foolish practices!

The moment he leaves his bed, turn back to the fullest extent the
clothes, in order that they may be thoroughly ventilated and
sweetened. They ought to be exposed to the air for at least an hour
before the bed be made. As soon as he leaves his room, be it winter or
summer, throw open the windows.

193. _Ought a child to lie alone_?

He should, after he is weaned. He will rest more comfortably, and his
sleep will be more refreshing.

194. _Supposing a child should not sleep well, what ought to be done?
Would you give him a dose of composing medicine_?

Certainly not. Try the effects of exercise. Exercise in the open air
is the best composing medicine in the world. Let the little fellow be
well tired out, and there will be little fear of his not sleeping.

195. _Have you any further observations to make on the subject of

Send a child joyful to bed. Do not, if you can possibly help it, let
him go to bed crying. Let the last impressions he has at night be of
his happy home, and of his loving father and mother and let his last
thoughts be those of joy and gladness. He will sleep all the sounder
if he be sent to bed in such a frame of mind, and he will be more
refreshed and nourished in the morning by his sleep.

196. _What are the usual causes of a child walking in his sleep, and
what measures during such times, ought to be adopted to prevent his
injuring himself_?

A disordered stomach, in a child of nervous temperament, or worms, are
usually the causes. The means to be adopted to prevent his throwing
himself out of the window, are to have bars to his chamber present,
and if that be not practicable, to have either nails or screws driven
into the window sash to allow the window to open only for a sufficient
space for ventilation, and to have a screw window fastening, in order
that he cannot, without difficulty, open the window, to have a trusty
person to sleep in his room, who should have directions given not to
rouse him from his sleep, but to gently lead him back to his bed,
which may frequently be done without awaking him, and to consult a
medical man, who will adopt means to destroy the worms, to put his
stomach into order, to brace his nerves, and to strengthen his general
system. A trip to the coast and sea bathing, in such a case, is often
of great service.


197. _When does a child commence to cut his SECOND set of teeth_?

Generally at seven years old. He _begins to cut_ them at about that
time: but it should be borne in mind (so wonderful are the works of
God) that the _second_ crop of teeth, _in embryo_, is actually bred
and formed from the very commencement of his life, _under_ the first
tier of teeth, but which remain in abeyance for years, and do not come
into play until the _first_ teeth, having done their duty, loosen and
fall out, and thus make room for the more numerous, larger, stronger,
and more permanent teeth, which latter have to last for the remainder
of his existence. The _first_ set is sometimes cut with a great deal
of difficulty, and produces various diseases; the _second_, or
permanent teeth, come easily, and are unaccompanied with any disorder.
The following is the process:--One after another of the _first_ set
gradually loosen, and either drop out, or with little pain are readily
pulled out; under these, the _second_--the permanent--teeth make their
appearance, and fill up the vacant spaces. The fang of the tooth that
has dropped out is nearly all absorbed or eaten away, leaving little
more than the crown. The _first_ set consists of twenty; the _second_
(including the wise-teeth, which are not, generally cut until after
the the age of twenty-seven) consists of thirty-two.

I would recommend you to pay particular attention to the teeth of your
children; for, besides their being ornamental, their regularity and
soundness are of great importance to the present as well as to the
future health of your offspring. If there be any irregularity in the
appearance of the _second_ set, lose no time in consulting an
experienced and respectable dentist.


198. _Do you think it important that I should be made acquainted with
the symptoms of the SERIOUS diseases of children_?

Certainly I am not advocating the doctrine of a mother _treating
serious_ diseases; far from it, it is not her province, except in
certain cases of extreme urgency, where a medical man cannot be
procured, and where delay might be death; but I do insist upon the
necessity of her knowing the _symptoms_ of disease. My belief is, that
if parents were better informed on such subjects, many children's
lives might be saved, much suffering averted, and sorrow spared. The
fact is, the knowledge of the symptoms of disease is, to a mother,
almost a sealed book. If she were better acquainted with these
matters, how much more useful would she be in a sick-room, and how
much more readily would she enter into the plans and views of the
medical man! By her knowledge of the symptoms, and by having his
advice in time, she would nip disease in the bud, and the fight might
end in favour of life, for "sickness is just a fight between life and
death."--_Geo. M'Donald._

It is really lamentable to contemplate the amount of ignorance that
still exists among mothers in all that appertains to the diseases of
children; although, fortunately, they are beginning to see and to feel
the importance of gaining instruction on such subjects; but the light
is only dawning. A writer of the _Medical Times and Gazette_ makes the
following remarks, which somewhat bear on the subject in question. He
observes--"In spite of the knowledge and clear views possessed by the
profession on all that concerns the management of children, no fact is
more palpable than that the most grievous ignorance and incompetency
prevail respecting it among the public. We want some means of making
popular the knowledge which is now almost restricted to medical men,
or, at most, to the well-educated classes."

In the earlier editions of this work I did not give the _treatment_ of
any serious diseases, however urgent. In the eight last editions, I
have been induced, for reasons I will presently state, to give the
_treatment_ of some of the more urgent _serious_ diseases, when a
medical man cannot instantly be procured, and where delay might be

Sir CHARLES LOCOCK, who has taken a kind interest in this little work,
has given me valid reasons why a mother should be so enlightened. The
following extracts are from a letter which I received from Sir CHARLES
on the subject, and which he has courteously allowed me to publish. He
says,--"As an old physician of some experience in complaints of
infants and children, I may perhaps be allowed to suggest that in a
future edition you should add a few words on the actual treatment of
some of the more urgent infantile diseases. It is very right to
caution parents against superseding the doctor, and attempting to
manage serious illness themselves, but your advice, with very small
exceptions, always being 'to lose no tune in sending for a medical
man,' much valuable and often irremediable time may be lost _when a
medical man is not to be had_. Take, for instance, a case of croup
there are no directions given at all, except to send for a medical
man, and always to keep medicines in the house which he may have
directed. But how can this apply to a first attack? You state that a
first attack is generally the worst. But why is it so? Simply because
it often occurs when the parents do not recognise it, and it is
allowed to get a worse point than in subsequent attacks, when they are
thoroughly alive to it. As the very best remedy, and often the only
essential one, if given early, is a full emetic, surely it is better
that you should give some directions as to this in a future edition,
and I can speak from my own experience when I say that an emetic,
_given in time_, and repeated to free vomiting, will cut short _any_
case of croup. In nine cases out of ten the attack takes place in the
evening or early night, and when vomiting is effected the dinner of
that day is brought up nearly undigested, and the seventy of the
symptoms at once cut short. Whenever any remedy is valuable, the more
by its being administered _in time_, it is surely wiser to give
directions as to its use, although, as a general rule, it is much
better to advise the sending for medical advice."

The above reasons, coming from such a learned and experienced
physician as Sir Charles Locock, are conclusive, and have decided me
to comply with his advice, to enlighten a mother on the _treatment_ of
some of the more urgent diseases of infants and of children. In a
subsequent letter addressed to myself, Sir Charles has given me the
names of those _urgent_ diseases, which he considers may be treated by
a mother "where a medical man cannot be procured quickly, or not at
all." They are Croup: Inflammation of the Lungs; Diptheria; Dysentry;
Diarrhoea; Hooping Cough, in its various stages; and Shivering
Fit. Sir Charles sums up his letter to me by saying, "Such a book
ought to be made as complete as possible, and the objections to
medical treatment being so explained as to induce mothers to try to
avoid medical men is not so serious as that of leaving them without
any guide in those instances where every delay is dangerous, and yet
where medical assistance is not to be obtained or not to be had

In addition to the above I shall give you the _treatment_ of
Bronchitis, Measles, and Scarlet Fever. Bronchitis is one of the most
common diseases incidental to childhood, and, with judicious
treatment, is, in the absence of the medical man, readily managed by a
sensible mother. Measles is very submissive to treatment. Scarlet
Fever, _if it be not malignant_, and, _if it be not complicated with
diphtheric-croup_, and if certain rules be strictly followed, is also
equally amenable to treatment.

I have been fortunate in treating Scarlet Fever, and I therefore think
it desirable to enter fully into the _treatment_ of a disease which is
looked upon by many parents, and, according to the usual mode of
treatment, with just cause, with great consternation and dread. By
giving my plan of treatment, fully and simply, and without the
slightest reservation, I am fully persuaded, through God's blessing,
that I may be the humble means of saving the lives of numbers of

The diseases that might be treated by a mother, in the absence of a
medical man, will form the subject of future Conversations.

I think it right to promise that in all the prescriptions for a child
I have for the use of a mother given, I have endeavoured to make them
as simple as possible, and have, whenever practicable, avoided to
recommend powerful drugs. Complicated prescriptions and powerful
medicines might, as a rule, to be seldom given; and when they are,
should only be administered by a judicious medical man: a child
requiring much more care and gentleness in his treatment than an
adult: indeed, I often think it would be better to leave a child to
nature rather than to give him powerful and large doses of
medicines. A remedy--calomel, for instance--has frequently done more
mischief than the disease itself; and the misfortune of it is, the
mischief from that drug has oftentimes been permanent, while the
complaint might, if left alone, have only been temporary.

199. _At what age does Water in the Brain usually occur, and how is a
mother to know that her child is about to labour under that disease_?

Water on the brain is, as a rule, a disease of childhood: after a
child is seven years old it is comparatively rare. It more frequently
attacks delicate children--children who have been dry nursed
(especially if they have been improperly fed), or who have been
suckled too long, or who have had consumptive mothers, or who have
suffered severely from toothing, or who are naturally of a feeble
constitution. Water on the brain sometimes follows an attack of
inflammation of the lungs, more especially if depressing measures
(such as excessive leeching and the administration of emetic tartar)
have been adopted. It occasionally follows in the train of contagious
eruptive diseases, such as either small-pox or scarlatina. We may
divide the symptoms of water on the brain into two stages. The
first--the premonitory stage--which lasts for or five days, in which
medical aid might be of great avail: the second--the stage of
drowsiness and of coma--which usually ends in death.

I shall dwell on the first--the premonitory stage--in order that a
mother may see the importance without loss of time of calling in a
medical man:--

If her child be feverish and irritable, if his stomach be disordered,
if he have urgent vomitings, if he have a foul breath, if his appetite
be capricious and bad, if his nights be disturbed (screaming out in
his sleep), if his bowels be disordered, more especially if they be
constipated, if he be more than usually excited, if his eye gleam with
unusual brilliancy, if his tongue run faster than it is wont, if his
cheek be flushed and his head be hot, and if he be constantly putting
his hand to his head; there is cause for suspicion. If to these
symptoms be added, a more than usual carelessness in tumbling about,
in hitching his foot in the carpet, or in dragging one foot after the
other; if, too, he has complained of darting, shooting, lancinating
pains in his head, it may then be known that the _first_ stage of
inflammation (the forerunner of water on the brain) either has taken,
or is about taking place. Remember no time ought to be lost in
obtaining medical aid; for the _commencement_ of the disease is the
golden opportunity, when life might probably be saved.

200. _At what age, and in what neighbourhood, is a child most liable
to croup, and when is a mother to know that it is about to take

It is unusual for a child until he be twelve months old to have croup:
but, from that time until the age of two years, he is more liable to
it than at any other period. The liability after two years, gradually,
until he be ten years old, lessens, after which time it is rare.

A child is more liable to croup in a low and damp, than in a high and
dry neighbourhood; indeed, in some situations, croup is almost an
unknown disease; while in others it is only too well understood. Croup
is more likely to prevail when the wind is either easterly or

There is no disease that requires more prompt treatment than croup,
and none that creeps on more insidiously. The child at first seems to
be labouring under a slight cold, and is troubled with a little _dry_
cough, he is hot and fretful, and hoarse when he cries. Hoarseness is
one of the earliest symptoms of croup, and it should be borne in mind
that a young child, unless he be going to have croup, is seldom
hoarse, if, therefore, your child be hoarse, he should be carefully
watched, in order that, as soon as croup be detected, not a moment be
lost in applying the proper remedies.

His voice at length becomes gruff, he breathes as though it were
through muslin, and the cough becomes crowing. These three symptoms
prove that the disease is now fully formed. These latter symptoms
sometimes come on without any previous warning, the little fellow
going to bed apparently quite well, until the mother is awakened,
perplexed and frightened, in the middle of the night, by finding him
labouring under the characteristic cough and the other symptoms of
croup. If she delay either to send for assistance, _or if proper
medicines be not instantly given_, in a few hours it will probably be
of no avail, and in a day or two the little sufferer will be a corpse.

When once a child has had croup the after attacks are generally
milder. If he has once had an attack of croup, I should advise you
always to have in the house medicine--a 4 oz. bottle of Ipecacuanha
Wine, to fly to at a moments notice, [Footnote: In case of a sudden
attack of croup, _instantly_ give a teaspoonful of Ipecacuanha Wine,
and repeat it every fire minutes natal free vomiting be excited.] but
never omit, where practicable, in a case of croup, whether the case be
severe or mild to send _immediately_ for medical aid. There is no
disease in which time is more precious than in croup, and where the
delay of an hour may decide either for life or for death.

201. _But suppose a medical man is not IMMEDIATELY to be procured,
what then am I to do? more especially, as you say, that delay might be

_What to do_.--I never, in my life, lost a child with croup with
catarrhal croup where I was called in at the _commencement_ of the
disease, and where my plans were carried out to the very letter. Let
me begin by saying, look well to the goodness and purity of the
medicine, for the life of your child may depend upon the medicine
being genuine. What medicine! _Ipecacuanha Wine!_ At the earliest dawn
of the disease give a few spoonful of Ipecacuanha Wine every five
minutes, until free vomiting be exerted. In croup, then, before he be
safe, free vomiting _must_ be established, and that without loss of
time. If, _after_ the expiration of an hour, the Ipecacuanha Wine
(having given during that hour one or two tea-spoonfuls of it every
five minutes) be not sufficiently powerful for the purpose--although
it generally is so--(_if the Ipecacuanha Wine be good_)--then let the
following mixture be substituted--

  Take of--Powdered Ipecacuanha, one scruple,
           Wine of Ipecacuanha, one ounce and a half

Make a mixture. One or two tea spoonfuls to be given every five
minutes, until free vomiting be excited, first well shaking the

After the vomiting, place the child for a quarter of an hour in a warm
bath. [Footnote: See "Warm Baths"--directions and precautions to be
observed.] When out of the bath give him small doses of Ipecacuanha
Wine every two or three hours. The following is a palatable form for
the mixture--

  Take of--Wine of Ipecacuanha, three drachms;
           Simple syrup, three drachms,
           Water, six drachms

Make a Mixture. A tea-spoonful to be taken every two or three hours.

But remember the emetic which is given at _first_ is _pure Ipecacuanha
Wine, without a drop of either water or of syrup._

A large sponge dipped out of very hot water, and applied to the
throat, and frequently renewed, oftentimes affords great relief in
croup, and ought during the time the emetic is being administered in
all cases to be adopted.

If it be a _severe_ case of croup, and does not in the course of two
hours yield to the free exhibition of the Ipecacuanha Emetic, apply a
narrow strip of _Smith's Tela Vesicularia_ to the throat, prepared in
the same way as for a case of inflammation of the lungs (see the
Conversation on the _treatment_ of inflammation of the lungs). With
this only difference, let it be a narrower strip, only one-half the
width there recommended, and apply it to the throat instead of to the
chest. If a child has a very short, fat neck, there may not be room
for the _Tela_, then you ought to apply it to the _upper_ part of the
chest--just under the collar-bones.

Let it be understood, the the _Tela Vesicularia_ is not a severe
remedy, that the _Tela_ produces very little pain--not nearly so much
as the application of leeches; although, in its action, it is much
more beneficial, and is not nearly so weakening to the system.

Keep the child from all stimulants; let him live on a low diet, such
as milk and water, toast and water, arrowroot, &c.; and let the room
be, if practicable, at a temperate heat--60 deg. Fahrenheit, and be well

So you see that the _treatment_ of croup is very simple, and the the
plan might be carried out by an intelligent mother. Notwithstanding
which, it is your duty, where practicable, to send, at the very
_onset_ of the disease, for a medical man.

Let me again reiterate that, if your child is to be saved, the
_Ipecacuanha Wine must be genuine and good_. This can only be effected
by having the medicine from a highly respectable chemist. Again, if
ever your child has had croup, let me again urge you _always_ to have
in the house a 4 oz. bottle of Ipecacuanha Wine, that you may resort
to at a moment's notice, in case there be the slightest return of the

Ipecacuanha Wine, unfortunately, is not a medicine that keeps well,
therefore, every three or four months a fresh bottle ought to be
procured, either from a medical man or from a chemist. As long as the
Ipecacuanha Wine remains _clear_, it is good; but as soon as it
becomes _turbid_, it is bad, and ought to be replaced by a fresh
supply. An intelligent correspondent of mine makes the following
valuable remarks on the preservation of Ipecacuanha Wine:--"Now, I
know that there are some medicines and chemical preparations which,
though they spoil rapidly when at all exposed to the air, yet will
keep perfectly good for an indefinite time if hermetically sealed up
in a _perfectly full_ bottle. If so, would it not be a valuable
suggestion if the Apothecaries' Hall, or some other London firm of
_undoubted_ reliability, would put up 1 oz. phials of Ipecacuanha Wine
of guaranteed purity, sealed up so as to keep good so long as
unopened, and sent out in sealed packages, with the guarantee of their
name. By their keeping a few such ounce bottles in an unopened state
in one's house, one might rely in being ready for any emergency. If
you think this suggestion worth notice, and could induce some
first-rate house to carry it out, and mention the fact in a subsequent
edition of your book, you would, I think, be adding another most
valuable item to an already invaluable book."

The above suggestion of preserving Ipecacuanha Wine in ounce bottles,
quite full, and hermetically sealed, is a very good one. The best way
of hermetically sealing the bottle would be, to cut the cork level
with the lip of the bottle, and to cover the cork with sealing-wax, in
the same manner wine merchants serve some kinds of their wines, and
then to lay the bottles on their sides in sawdust in the cellar. I
have no doubt, if such a plan were adopted, the Ipecacuanha Wine would
for a length of time keep good. Of course, if the Wine of Ipecacuanha
be procured from the Apothecaries' Hall Company, London (as suggested
by my correspondent), there can be no question as to the genuineness
of the article.

_What NOT to do_--Do not give emetic tartar, do not apply leeches, do
not keep the room very warm, do not give stimulants, do not omit to
have always in the house either a 4 oz. bottle, or three or four 1
oz. bottles, of Ipecacuanha Wine.

202. _I have heard Child crowing mentioned as a formidable disease,
would you describe the symptoms_?

Child-crowing, or spasm of the glottis, or _spurious croup_, as it is
sometimes called, is occasionally mistaken for _genuine croup_. It is
a more frequent disorder than the latter, and requires a different
plan of treatment Child crowing is a disease that invariably occurs
only during dentition, and is _most perilous_, indeed, painful
dentition is _the_ cause--_the_ only cause--of child crowing. But, if
a child labouring under it can fortunately escape suffocation until he
have cut the whole of his first set of teeth--twenty--he is then safe.

Child-crowing comes on in paroxysms. The breathing during the
intervals is quite natural--indeed, the child appears perfectly well,
hence, the dangerous nature of the disease is either overlooked, or is
lightly thought of, until perhaps a paroxysm worse than common takes
place, and the little patient dies of suffocation, overwhelming the
mother with terror, with confusion, and dismay.

The _symptoms_ in a paroxysm of child-crowing are as follows--The
child suddenly loses and fights for his breath, and in doing so, makes
a noise very much like that of crowing, hence the name child-crowing.
The face during the paroxysm becomes bluish or livid. In a favourable
case, after either a few seconds, or even, in some instances, a
minute, and a frightful straggle to breathe, he regains his breath,
and is, until another paroxysm occurs, perfectly well. In an
unfavourable case, the upper part (chink) of the windpipe--the
glottis--remains for a minute or two closed, and the child, not being
able to breathe, drops a corpse in his nurse's arms! Many children,
who are said, to have died of fits, hare really died of child-crowing.

Child-crowing is very apt to cause convulsions, which complication, of
course, adds very much to the danger. Such a complication requires
the constant supervision of an experienced and skilful medical man.

I have entered thus rather fully into the subject, as nearly every
life might be saved, if a mother knew the nature and the treatment of
the complaint, and of the _great necessity during the paroxysm of
prompt and proper measures_. For, too frequently, before a medical man
has had time to arrive, the child has breathed his last, the parent
himself being perfectly ignorant of the necessary treatment; hence the
vital importance of the subject, and the paramount necessity of
imparting such information, in a _popular_ style, in conversations of
this kind.

203. _What treatment, then, during a paroxysm of Child-crowing should
you advise_?

The first thing, of course, to be done, is to send _immediately_ for a
medical man. Have a plentiful supply of cold and of hot water always
at hand, ready at a moment's notice for use. The instant the paroxysm
is upon the child, plentifully and perseveringly dash _cold_ water
upon his head and face. Put his foot and legs in _hot_ salt, mustard,
and water; and, if necessary, place him up to his neck in a hot bath,
still dashing water upon his face and head. If he does not quickly
come round, sharply smack his back and buttocks.

In every severe paroxysm of child-crowing, put your fore-finger down
the throat of the child, and pull his tongue forward. This plan of
pulling the tongue forward opens the epiglottis (the lid of the
glottis), and thus admits air (which is so sorely needed) into the
glottis and into the lungs, and thus staves off impending
suffocation. If this plan were generally known and adopted, many
precious lives might be saved. [Footnote: An intelligent correspondent
first drew my attention to the efficacy of pulling forward the tongue
in every severe paroxysm of child-crowing.]

There is nothing more frightfully agonising to a mother's feelings
than to see her child strangled,--as it were,--before her eyes, by a
paroxysm of child crowing.

As soon as a medical man arrives, he will lose no time in thoroughly
lancing the gums, and in applying other appropriate remedies.

Great care and attention ought, during the intervals, to be paid to
his diet. If the child be breathing a smoky, close atmosphere, he
should be immediately removed to a pure one. In this disease, indeed,
there is no remedy equal to a change of air--to a dry, bracing
neighbourhood. Change of air, even if it be winter, is the best
remedy, either to the coast or to a healthy mountainous district. I am
indebted to Mr Roberton of Manchester (who has paid great attention to
this disease, and who has written a valuable essay on the subject
[Footnote: See the end of the volume of "Physiology and Diseases of
Women," &c. Churchill, 1851.]) for the knowledge of this fact. Where,
in a case of this kind, it is not practicable to send a child _from_
home, then let him be sent out of doors the greater part of every day;
let him, in point of fact, almost live in the open air. I am quite
sure, from an extensive experience, that in this disease, fresh air,
and plenty of it, is the best and principal remedy. Cold sponging of
the body too is useful.

Mr Roberton, who, at my request, has kindly given me the benefit of
his extensive experience in child-crowing, considers that there is no
remedy, in this complaint, equal to fresh air--to dry cold winds--that
the little patient ought, in fact, nearly to live, during the day, out
of doors, whether the wind be in the east or in the north-east,
whether it be biting cold or otherwise, provided it be dry and
bracing, for "if the air be dry, the colder the better,"--taking care,
of course, that he be well wrapped up. Mr Roberton, moreover, advises
that the child should be sent away at once from home, either to a
bracing sea-side place, such as Blackpool or Fleetwood; or to a
mountainous district, such as Buxton.

As the subject is so important, let me recapitulate: the gums ought,
from time to time, to be well lanced, in order to remove the
irritation of painful dentition--painful dentition being the real
cause of the disease. Cold sponging should be used twice or thrice
daily. The diet should be carefully attended to (see Dietary of
Child); and everything conducive to health should (as recommended in
these Conversations) be observed. But, remember, after all that can
be said about the treatment, there is nothing like change of air, of
fresh air, of cold, dry pure air, and of plenty of it--the more the
little fellow can inhale, during the day, the better it will be for
him, it will be far better than any drug contained in the

I have dwelt on this subject at some length--it being a most important
one--as, if the above advice were more generally known and followed,
nearly every child, labouring under this complaint, would be saved;
while now, as coroners' inquests abundantly testify, the disease
carries off yearly an immense number of victims.

204. _When is a mother to know that a cough is not a "tooth cough" but
one of the symptoms of Inflammation of the lungs_?

If the child has had a shivering fit; if his skin be very hot and very
dry; if his lips be parched; if there be great thirst; if his cheeks
be flushed; if he be dull and heavy, wishing to be quiet in his cot or
crib; if his appetite be diminished; if his tongue be furred; if his
mouth be _burning_ hot and dry; [Footnote: If you put your finger into
the mouth of a child labouring under inflammation of the lungs, it is
like putting your finger into a hot apple pie, the heat is so great.]
if his urine be scanty and high-coloured, staining the napkin or the
linen; _if his breathing be short, panting, hurried, and oppressed; if
there be a hard dry cough, and if his skin be burning hot;_--then
there is no doubt that inflammation of the lungs has taken place.

No time should be lost in sending for medical aid; indeed, the _hot,
dry mouth and skin, and short, hurried breathing_ would be sufficient
cause for your procuring _immediate_ assistance. If inflammation of
the lungs were properly treated at the _onset_, a child would scarcely
ever be lost by that disease. I say this advisedly, for in my own
practice, _provided I am called in early, and if my plans are strictly
carried out_, I scarcely ever lose a child from inflammation of the

You may ask--What are your plans? I will tell you, in case _you cannot
promptly obtain medical advice,_ as delay might be death!

_The treatment of Inflammation of the Lungs, what to do._--Keep the
child to one room, to his bedroom, and to his bed. Let the chamber be
properly ventilated. If the weather be cool, let a small fire be in
the grate; otherwise, he is better without a fire. Let him live on low
diet, such as weak black tea, milk and water (in equal quantities),
and toast and water, thin oatmeal gruel, arrow-root, and such like
simple beverages, and give him the following mixture:--

  Take of--Wine of Ipecacuanha, three drachms;
           Simple Syrup, three drachms;
           Water, six drachms;

Make a Mixture. A tea-spoonful of the mixture to be taken every four

Be careful that you go to a respectable chemist, in order _that the
totality of the Ipecacuanha Wine may be good, as the child's life may
depend upon it._

If the medicine produce sickness, so much the better; continue it
regularly until the short, oppressed, and hurried breathing has
subsided, and has become natural.

If the attack be very severe, in addition to the above medicine, at
once apply a blister, not the common blister, but _Smith's Tela
Vesicatoria_ [Footnote: Manufactured by T. & H. Smith, chemists,
Edinburgh, and may be procured of Southalls, chemists, Birmingham.]--a
quarter of a sheet. If the child be a year old, the blister ought to
be kept on for three hours, and then a piece of dry, soft linen rag
should be applied for another three hours. At the end of which
time--six hours--there will be a beautiful blister, which must then,
with a pair of scissors, be cut, to let out the water, and then let
the blister be dressed, night and morning, with simple cerate spread
on lint.

If the little patient be more than one year, say two years old, let
the Tela remain on for five hours, and the dry linen rag for five
hours more, before the blister, as above recommended, be cut and

If in a day or two the inflammation still continue violent, let
another Tela Vesicatoria be applied, not over the old blister, but let
a narrow strip of it be applied on each side of the old blister, and
managed in the same manner as before directed.

_I cannot speak too highly of Smith's Tela Vesicatoria._ It has, in my
hands, through God's blessing, saved the lives of scores of
children. It is far, very far, superior to the old fashioned
blistering plaster. It seldom, if the above rules be strictly
observed, fails to rise, it gives much less pain than the common
blister, when it has had the desired effect, it readily heals, which
cannot always be said of the common fly blister, more especially with

My sheet anchors, then, in the inflammation of the lungs of children
are, Ipecacuanha Wine and Smith's _Tela Vesicatoria_. Let the greatest
care, as I before advised, be observed in obtaining the Ipecacuanha
Wine genuine and good. This can be only depended upon by having the
medicine from a highly respectable chemist, Ipecacuanha Wine, when
genuine and good, is, in many children's diseases, is one of the most
valuable of medincies.

_What, in a case of inflammation of the lungs, NOT to do_--Do not, on
any account, apply leeches. They draw out the life of the child, but
not his disease. Avoid--_emphatically let me say so_--giving emetic
tartar It is one of the most lowering and death-dealing medicines that
can be administered either to an infant or to a child! If you wish to
try the effect of it, take a dose yourself, and I am quite sure that
you will then never be inclined to poison a child with such an
abominable preparation! In olden times--many, many years ago--I myself
gave it in inflammation of the lungs, and lost many children! Since
leaving it off, the recoveries of patients by the Ipecacuanha
treatment, combined with the external application of Smith's _Tela
Vesicatoria_, have been in many cases marvellous. Avoid broths and
wine, and all stimulants. Do _not_ put the child into a warm bath, it
only oppresses the already oppressed breathing. Moreover, after he is
out of the bath, it causes a larger quantity of blood to rush back to
the lungs and to the bronchial tubes, and thus feeds the
inflammation. Do not, by a large fire, keep the temperature of the
room high. A small fire, in the winter time, encourages ventilation,
and in such a case does good. When the little patient is on the
mother's or on the nurse's lap, do not burden him either with a
_heavy_ blanket or with a _thick_ shawl. Either a _thin_ child's
blanket, or a _thin_ woollen shawl, in addition to his usual
nightgown, is all the clothing necessary.

205. _Is Bronchitis a more frequent disease than Inflammation of the
Lungs? Which is the most dangerous? What are the symptoms of

Bronchitis is a much more frequent disease than inflammation of the
lungs, indeed, it is one of the most common complaints both of infants
and of children, while inflammation of the lungs is comparatively a
rare disease. Bronchitis is not nearly such a dangerous disease as
inflammation of the lungs.

_The symptoms_--The child for the first few days labours under
symptoms of a heavy cold, he has not his usual spirits. In two or
three days, instead of the cold leaving him, it becomes more
confirmed, he is now really poorly, fretful, and feverish, his
breathing becomes rather hurried and oppressed, his cough is hard and
dry, and loud, he wheezes, and if you put your ear to his naked back,
between his shoulder blades, you will hear the wheezing more
distinctly. If at the breast, he does not suck with his usual avidity;
the cough, notwithstanding the breast is a great comfort to him,
compels him frequently to loose the nipple; his urine is scanty, and
rather high-coloured, staining the napkin, and smelling strongly. He
is generally worse at night.

Well, then, remember if the child be feverish, if he have symptoms of
a heavy cold, if he have an oppression of breathing, if he wheeze, and
if he have a tight, dry, noisy cough, you may be satisfied that he has
an attack of bronchitis.

206. _How can I distinguish between Bronchitis and Inflammation of the

In bronchitis the skin is warm, but moist; in inflammation of the
lungs it is hot and dry: in bronchitis the mouth is warmer than usual,
but moist; in inflammation of the lungs it is burning hot: in
bronchitis the breathing is rather hurried, and attended with
wheezing; in inflammation of the lungs it is very short and panting,
and is unaccompanied with wheezing, although occasionally a very
slight crackling sound might be heard: in bronchitis the cough is long
and noisy; in inflammation of the lungs it is short and feeble: in
bronchitis the child is cross and fretful; in inflammation of the
lungs he is dull and heavy, and his countenance denotes distress.

We have sometimes a combination of bronchitis and of inflammation of
the lungs, an attack of the latter following the former. Then the
symptoms will be modified, and will partake of the character of the
two diseases.

207. _How would you treat a case of Bronchitis_?

If a medical man cannot be procured, I will tell you _What to do_:
Confine the child to his bedroom, and if very ill, to his bed. If it
be winter time, have a little fire in the grate, but be sure that the
temperature of the chamber be not above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and let
the room be properly ventilated, which may be effected by occasionally
leaving the door a little ajar.

Let him lie either _outside_ the bed or on a sofa, if he be very ill,
_inside_ the bed, with a sheet and a blanket only to cover him, but no
thick coverlid. If he be allowed to be on the lap, it only heats him
and makes him restless. If he will not lie on the bed, let him rest on
a pillow placed on the lap, the pillow will cause him to lie cooler,
and will more comfortably rest his weaned body. If he be at the
breast, keep him to it, let him have no artificial food, unless, if he
be thirsty a little toast and water. If he be weaned, let him have
either milk and water, arrow root made with equal parts of milk and
water, toast and water, barley water, or weak black tea, with plenty
of new milk in it, &c., but, until the inflammation have subsided,
neither broth nor beef tea.

Now, with regard to medicine, the best medicine is Ipecacuanha Wine,
given in large doses, so as to produce constant nausea. The
Ipecacuanha abates fever, acts on the skin, loosens the cough, and, in
point of fact, in the majority of cases, will rapidly effect a cure. I
have in a preceding Conversation given you a prescription for the
Ipecacuanha Wine Mixture. Let a tea-spoonful of the mixture be taken
every four hours.

If in a day or two he be no better, but worse, by all means continue
the mixture, whether it produce sickness or otherwise, and put on the
chest a _Tela Vesicatoria_, a quarter of a sheet.

The Ipecacuanha Wine and the Tela Vesicatoria are my sheet anchors in
the bronchitis, both of infants and of children. They rarely, even in
very severe cases, fail to effect a cure, provided the Tela
Vesicatorina be properly applied, and the Ipecacuanha Wine be genuine
and of good quality.

If there be any difficulty in procuring _good_ Ipecacuanha Wine, the
Ipecacuanha may be given in powder instead of the wine The following
is a pleasant form--

  Take of--Powder of Ipecacuanha, twelve grains
           White Sugar thirty six grains

Mix well together and divide into twelve powders. One of the powders
to be put dry on the tongue every four hours.

The Ipecacuanha Powder will keep better than the Wine--an important
consideration to those living in country places, nevertheless, if the
Wine can be procured fresh and good, I far prefer the Wine to the

When the bronchitis has disappeared, the diet ought gradually to be
improved--rice, sago, tapioca, and light batter-pudding, &c.; and, in
a few days, either a little chicken or a mutton chop, mixed with a
well-mashed potato and crumb of bread, should be given. But let the
improvement in his diet be gradual, or the inflammation might return.

_What NOT to do_.--Do not apply leeches. Do not give either emetic
tartar or antimonial wine, which is emetic tartar dissolved in
wine. Do not administer either paregoric or syrup of poppies, either
of which would stop the cough, and would thus prevent the expulsion of
the phlegm. Any fool can stop a cough, but it requires a wise man to
rectify the mischief. A cough is an effort of Nature to bring up the
phlegm, which would otherwise accumulate, and in the end cause
death. Again, therefore, let me urge upon you the immense importance
of _not_ stopping the cough of a child. The Ipecacuanha Wine will, by
loosening the phlegm, loosen the cough, which is the only right way to
get rid of a cough. Let what I have now said be impressed deeply upon
your memory, as thousands of children in England are annually
destroyed by having their coughs stopped. Avoid, until the bronchitis
be relieved, giving him broths, and meat, and stimulants of all
kinds. For further observations on _what NOT to do_ in bronchitis, I
beg to refer you to a previous Conversation we had on _what NOT to do_
in inflammation of the lungs. That which is injurious in the one case
is equally so in the other.

208. _What are the symptoms of Diphtheria, or, as it is sometimes
called, Boulogne Sore-throat_?

This terrible disease, although by many considered to be a new
complaint, is, in point of fact, of very ancient origin. Homer, and
Hippocrates, the Father of Physic, have both described it. Diphtheria
first appeared in England in the beginning of the year 1857, since
which time it has never totally left our shores.

_The symptoms_--The little patient, before the disease really shows
itself, feels poorly, and is "out of sorts." A shivering fit, though
not severe, may generally be noticed. There is heaviness, and slight
headache, principally over the eyes. Sometimes, but not always, there
is a mild attack of delirium at night The next day he complains of
slight difficulty of swallowing. If old enough, he will complain of
constriction about the swallow. On examining the throat, the tonsils
will be found to be swollen and redder--more darkly red than
usual. Slight specks will be noticed on the tonsils. In a day or two
an exudation will cover them, the back of the swallow, the palate, the
tongue, and sometimes the inside of the cheeks and of the
nostrils. This exudation of lymph gradually increases until it becomes
a regular membrane, which puts on the appearance of leather, hence its
name diphtheria. This membrane peels off in pieces, and if the child
be old and strong enough he will sometimes spit it up in quantities,
the membrane again and again rapidly forming as before. The discharges
from the throat are occasionally, but not always, offensive. There is
danger of croup from the extension of the membrane into the wind
pipe. The glands about the neck and under the jaw are generally much
swollen, the skin is rather cold and clammy, the urine is scanty and
usually pale, the bowels at first are frequently relaxed. This
diarrhoea may, or may not, cease as the disease advances.

The child is now in a perilous condition, and it becomes a battle
between his constitution and the disease. If, unfortunately, as is
too often the case--diphtheria being more likely to attack the
weakly--the child be very delicate, there is but slight hope of
recovery. The danger of the disease is not always to be measured by
the state of the throat. Sometimes, when the patient appears to be
getting well, a sudden change for the worse rapidly carries him
off. Hence the importance of great caution, in such cases, in giving
an opinion as to ultimate recovery. I have said enough to prove the
terrible nature of the disease, and to show the necessity of calling
in, at the earliest period of the symptoms, an experienced and skilful
medical man.

209. _Is Diphtheria contagious_?

_Decidedly_. Therefore, when practicable, the rest of the children
ought instantly to be removed to a distance. I say _children_, for it
is emphatically a disease of childhood. When adults have it, it is the
exception and not the rule: "Thus it will be seen, in the account
given of the Boulogne epidemic, that of 366 deaths from this cause,
341 occurred amongst children under ten years of age. In the
Lincolnshire epidemic, in the autumn of 1858, all the deaths at
Horncastle, 25 in number, occurred amongst children under twelve years
of age." [Footnote: _Diphtheria_: by Ernest Hart. A valuable pamphlet
on the subject. Dr Wade of Birmingham has also written an interesting
and useful monograph on Diphtheria. I am indebted to the above authors
for much valuable information.]

210. _What are the causes of Diphtheria_?

Bad and imperfect drainage; [Footnote: "Now all my carefully conducted
inquiries induce me to believe that the disease comes from
drain-poison. All the cases into which I could fully inquire, have
brought conviction to my mind that there is a direct law of sequence
in some peculiar conditions of atmosphere between diphtheria and bad
drainage; and, if this be proved by subsequent investigations, we may
be able to prevent a disease which, in too many cases, our known
remedies cannot cure."--W. Carr, Esq., Blackheath, _British Medical
Journal_, December 7, 1861.] want of ventilation; overflowing privies;
low neighbourhoods in the vicinity of rivers; stagnant waters; indeed,
everything that vitiates the air, and thus depresses the system, more
especially if the weather be close and muggy; poor and, improper food;
and last, though not least, contagion. Bear in mind, too, that a
delicate child is much more predisposed to the disease than a strong

211. _What is the treatment of Diptheria_?

_What to do_--Examine well into the ventilation, for as diphtheria is
frequently caused by deficient ventilation, the best remedy is
thorough ventilation. Look well both to the drains and to the privies,
and see that the drains from the water-closets and from the privies do
not in any way contaminate the pump-water. If the drains be defective
or the privies be full, the disease in your child will be generated,
fed, and fostered. Not only so, but the disease will spread in your
family and all around you.

Keep the child to his bedroom and to his bed. For the first two or
three days, while the fever runs high, put him on a low diet, such as
milk, tea, arrow root, &c.

Apply to his throat every four hours a warm barm and oatmeal
poultice. If he be old enough to have the knowledge to use a gargle,
the following will be found serviceable--

  Take of--Permanganate of Potash, pure, four grams,
           Water eight ounces

To make a Gargle


  Take of--Powdered Alum, one drachm,
           Simple Syrup one ounce,
           Water, seven ounces

To make a Gargle

The best medicine for the first few days of the attack, is the
following mixture--

  Take of--Chlorate of Potash two drachms,
           Boiling Water seven ounces
           Syrup of Red Poppy one ounce

To Make a mixture. A table spoonful to be taken every four hours.

Or the chlorate of potash might be given in the form of powder--

  Take of--Chlorate of Potash two scruples,
           Lump Sugar one drachm

Mix and divide into eight powders. One to be put into a dry tea spoon
and then placed on the tongue every three hours, These powders are
very useful in diphtheria; they are very cleansing to the tongue and
throat. If they produce much smarting as where the mouth is very sore
they sometimes do, let the patient, after taking one, drink
plentifully of milk, indeed I have known these powders induce a
patient to take nourishment, in the form of milk, which he otherwise
would not have done, and thus to have saved him from dying of
starvation, which, before taking the powders, there was every
probability of his doing. An extensive experience has demonstrated to
me the great value of these powders in diphtheria, but they must be
put on the tongue dry.

As soon as the skin has lost its preternatural heat, beef tea and
chicken broth ought to be given. Or if great prostration should
supervene, in addition to the beef tea, port wine, a table spoonful
every four hours, should be administered. If the child be cold, and
there be great sinking of the vital powers, brandy and water should be
substituted for the port wine. Remember, in ordinary cases, port wine
and brandy are not necessary, _but in cases of extreme exhaustion_
they are most valuable.

As soon as the great heat of the skin has abated and the debility has
set in, one of the following mixtures will be found useful--

  Take of--Wine of Iron, one ounce and a half,
           Sample Syrup, one ounce,
           Water, three ounces and a half

To make a Mixture. A table spoonful to be taken every four hours.


  Take of--Tincture of Perchloride of Iron, one drachm
           Simple Syrup, one ounce,
           Water, three ounces

To make a Mixture. A table spoonful to be taken three times a day.

If the disease should travel downwards, it will cause all the symptoms
of croup, then it must be treated as croup, with this only difference,
that a blister (_Tela Vesicatoria_) must _not_ be applied, or the
blistered surface may be attacked by the membrane of diphtheria, which
may either cause death or hasten that catastrophe. In every other
respect treat the case as croup, by giving an emetic, a tea spoonful
of Ipecacuanha Wine every five minutes, until free vomiting be
excited, and then administer smaller doses of Ipecacuanha Wine every
two or three hours, as I recommended when conversing with you on the
treatment of croup.

_What NOT to do_--Do not, on any account, apply either leeches or a
blister. If the latter be applied, it is almost sure to be covered
with the membrane of diphtheria, similar to that inside of the mouth
and of the throat, which would be a serious complication. Do not give
either calomel or emetic tartar. Do not depress the system by
aperients, for diphtheria is an awfully depressing complaint of
itself, the patient, in point of fact, is labouring under the
depressing effects of poison, for the blood has been poisoned either
by the drinking water being contaminated by faecal matter from either a
privy or from a water-closet, by some horrid drain, by proximity to a
pig-sty, by an overflowing privy, especially if vegetable matter be
rotting at the same time in it, by bad ventilation, or by
contagion. Diphtheria may generally be traced either to the one or to
the other of the above causes, therefore let me urgently entreat you
to look well into all these matters, and thus to stay the pestilence!
Diphtheria might long remain in a neighbourhood if active measures be
not used to exterminate it.

212. _Have the goodness to describe the symptoms of Measles_?

Measles commences with symptoms of a common cold, the patient is at
first chilly, then hot and feverish, he has a running at the nose,
sneezing, watering, and redness of the eyes, headache, drowsiness, a
hoarse and peculiar ringing cough, which nurses call "measle-cough,"
and difficulty of breathing. These symptoms usually last three days
before the eruption appears, on the fourth it (the eruption) generally
makes its appearance, and continues for four days and then disappears,
lasting altogether, from the commencement of the symptoms of cold to
the decline of the eruption, seven days. It is important to bear in
mind that the eruption consists of _crescent-shaped--half
moon-shaped--patches_, that they usually appear first about the face
and the neck, in which places they are the best marked; then on the
body and on the arms; and, lastly, on the legs, and that they are
slightly raised above the surface of the skin. The face is swollen,
more especially the eye-lids which are sometimes for a few days

Well, then, remember, _the running at the nose, the, sneezing, the
peculiar hoarse cough, and the half-moon-shaped patches_, are the
leading features of the disease, and point out for a certainty that it
is measles.

213. _What constitutes the principal danger in Measles_?

The affection of the chest. The mucous or lining membrane of the
bronchial tubes is always more or less inflamed, and the lungs
themselves are sometimes affected.

214. _Do you recommend "surfeit water" and saffron tea to throw out
the eruption in Measles_?

Certainly not. The only way to throw out the eruption, as it is
called, is to keep the body comfortably warm, and to give the
beverages ordered by the medical man, with the chill off. "Surfeit
water," saffron tea, and remedies of that class, are hot and
stimulating. The only effect they can have, will be to increase the
fever and the inflammation--to add fuel to the fire.

215. _What is the treatment of Measles_?

_What to do_.--The child ought to be confined both to his room and to
his bed, the room being kept comfortably warm; therefore, if it be
winter time, there should be a small fire in the grate; in the summer
time, a fire would be improper. The child must not be exposed to
draughts; notwithstanding, from time to time, the door ought to be
left a little ajar in order to change the air of the apartment; for
proper ventilation, let the disease be what it may, is absolutely

Let the child, for the first few days, be kept on a low diet, such as
on milk and water, arrow-root, bread and butter, &c.

If the attack be mild, that is to say, if the breathing be not much
affected (for in measles it always is more or less affected), and if
there be not much wheezing, the Acidulated Infusion of Roses' Mixture
[Footnote: See page 178] will be all that is necessary.

But suppose that the breathing is short, and that there is a great
wheezing, then instead of giving him the mixture just advised, give
him a tea-spoonful of a mixture composed of Ipecacuanha Wine, Syrup,
and Water, [Footnote: See page 161] every four hours. And if, on the
following day, the breathing and the wheezing be not relieved in
addition to the Ipecacuanha Mixture, apply a Tola Vesicatoria, as
advised under the head of Inflammation of the Lungs.

When the child is convalescing, batter puddings, rice, and sago
puddings, in addition to the milk, bread and butter, &c, should be
given, and, a few days later, chicken, mutton chops, &c.

The child ought not, even in a mild case of measles, and in favourable
weather to be allowed to leave the house under a fortnight, or it
might bring on an attack of bronchitis.

_What NOT to do_--Do not give either "surfeit water" or wine. Do not
apply leeches to the chest. Do not expose the child to the cold
air. Do not keep the bed room very hot, but comfortably warm. Do not
let the child leave the house, even under favourable circumstances,
under a fortnight. Do not, while the eruption is out, give
aperients. Do not, "to ease the cough," administer either emetic
tartar or paregoric--the former drug is awfully depressing, the latter
will stop the cough, and will thus prevent the expulsion of the

216. _What is the difference between Scarlatina and Scarlet Fever_?

They are indeed one and the same disease, scarlatina being the Latin
for scarlet fever. But, in a _popular_ sense, when the disease is
mild, it is usually called scarlatina. The latter term does not sound
so formidable to the ears either of patients or of parents.

217. _Will you describe the symptoms of Scarlet Fever_?

The patient is generally chilly, languid, drowsy, feverish, and poorly
for two days before the eruption appears. At the end of the second
day, the characteristic, bright scarlet efflorescence, somewhat
similar to the colour of a boiled lobster, usually first shows itself.
The scarlet appearance is not confined to the skin; but the tongue,
the throat, and the whites of the eyes put on the same appearance;
with this only difference, that on the tongue and on the throat the
scarlet is much darker; and, as Dr Elliotson accurately describes
it,--"the tongue looks as if it had been slightly sprinkled with
Cayenne pepper;" the tongue, at other times, looks like a strawberry;
when it does, it is called "the strawberry tongue." The eruption
usually declines on the fifth, and is generally indistinct on the
sixth day; on the seventh it has completely faded away. There is
usually, after the first few days, great itching on the surface of the
body. The skin, at the end of the week, begins to peel and to dust
off, making it look as though meal had been sprinkled upon it.

There are three forms of scarlet fever;--the one where the throat is
little, if at all, affected, and this is a mild form of the disease;
the second, which is generally, especially at night, attended with
delirium, where the throat is _much_ affected, being often greatly
inflamed and ulcerated; and the third (which is, except in certain
unhealthy districts, comparatively rare, and which is VERY dangerous),
the malignant form.

218. _Would it be well to give a little cooling, opening physic as
soon as a child begins to sicken for Scarlet Fever_?

_On no account whatever._ Aperient medicines are, in my opinion,
highly improper and dangerous both before and during the period of the
eruption. It is my firm conviction, that the administration of opening
medicine, at such times, is one of the principal causes of scarlet
fever being so frequently fatal. This is, of course, more applicable
to the poor, and to those who are unable to procure a skilful medical

219. _What constitutes the principal danger in Scarlet Fever_?

The affection of the throat, the administration of opening medicine
during the first ten days, and a peculiar disease of the kidneys
ending in _anasarca_ (dropsy), on which account, the medical man
ought, when practicable, to be sent for at the onset, that no time may
be lost in applying _proper_ remedies.

When Scarlet Fever is complicated--as it sometimes is--with
diphtheria, the diphtheric membrane is very apt to travel into the
wind-pipe, and thus to cause diphtheric croup, it is almost sure, when
such is the case, to end in death. When a child dies from such a
complication, the death might truly be said to be owing to the
diphtheric croup, and not to the Scarlet Fever, for if the diphtheric
croup had not occurred, the child would, in all probability, have been
saved. The deaths from diphtheria are generally from diphtheric croup,
if there be no croup, there is, as a rule, frequent recovery.

220. _How would you distinguish between Scarlet Fever and Measles_?

Measles commences with symptoms of a common cold, scarlet fever does
not. Measles has a _peculiar hoarse_ cough, scarlet fever has not. The
eruption of measles is in patches of a half moon shape, and is
slightly raised above the skin, the eruption of scarlet fever is _not_
raised above the skin at all, and is one continued mass. The colour of
the eruption is much more vivid in scarlet fever than in measles. The
chest is the part principally affected in measles, and the throat in
scarlet fever.

There is an excellent method of determining, for a certainty, whether
the eruption be that of scarlatina or otherwise. I myself have, in
several instances, ascertained the truth of it--"For several years M
Bouchut has remarked in the eruptions of scarlatina a curious
phenomenon, which serves to distinguish this eruption from that of
measles, erythema, erysipelas &c., a phenomenon essentially vital,
and which is connected with the excessive contractability of the
capillaries. The phenomenon in question is a _white line_, which can
be produced at pleasure by drawing the back of the nail along the skin
where the eruption, is situated. On drawing the nail, or the extremity
of a hard body (such as a pen-holder), along the eruption, the skin is
observed to grow pale, and to present a white trace, which remains for
one or two minutes, or longer, and then disappears. In this way the
diagnosis of the disease may be very distinctly written on the skin;
the word 'Scarlatina' disappears as the eruption regains its uniform
tint."--_Edinburgh Medical Journal._

221. _Is it of so much importance, then, to distinguish between
Scarlet fever and Measles_?

It is of great importance, as in measles the patient ought to be kept
_moderately_ warm, and the drinks should be given with the chill off;
while in scarlet fever the patient ought to be kept cool--indeed, for
the first few days, _cold_--and the beverages, such as spring-water,
toast and water, &c., should be administered quite cold.

222. _Do you believe in "Hybrid" Scarlet Fever--that is to say, in a
cross between Scarlet Fever and Measles_?

I never in my life saw a case of "hybrid" scarlet fever--nor do I
believe in it. Scarlet fever and measles are both blood poisons, each
one being perfectly separate and distinct from the other. "Hybrid"
Scarlet fever is, in my opinion, an utter impossibility. In olden
times, when the symptoms of diseases were not so well and carefully
distinguished as now, scarlet fever and measles were constantly
confounded one with the other, and was frequently said to be
"hybrid"--a cross between measles and scarlet fever--to the patient's
great detriment and danger, the two diseases being as distinct and
separate as their treatment-and management ought to be.

223. _What is the treatment of Scarlet Fever?_ [Footnote: On the 4th
of March 1856, I had the honour to read a _Paper on the Treatment of
Scarlet Fever_ before the members of Queens College Medico-Chirugical
Society, Birmingham--which _Paper_ was afterwards published in the
_Association Journal_ (March 15 1856) and in Braithwaite's _Retrospect
of Medicine_ (January--June, 1856) and in Rankings _Half Yearly
Abstract of the Medical Sciences_ (July--December, 1856), besides in
other publications. Moreover the _Paper_ was translated into German,
and published in _Canstatts Jahresbericht_, iv 456, 1859]

_What to do_--Pray pay attention to my rules, and carry out my
directions to the letter--I can then promise, _that if the scarlet
fever be neither malignant nor complicated with diphtheria_, the plan
I am about to advise will, with God's blessing, be usually successful.

What is the first thing to be done? Send the child to bed, throw open
the windows, be it winter or summer, and have a thorough ventilation,
for the bedroom must be kept cool, I may say cold. Do not be afraid of
fresh air, for fresh air, for the first few days, is essential to
recovery. _Fresh air, and plenty of it, in scarlet fever, is the best
doctor_ a child can have let these words be written legibly on your
mind. [Footnote: In the _Times_ of Sept 4, 1863, is the following
copied from the _Bridgewater Mercury_--

GROSS SUPERSTITION--In one of the streets of Taunton, there resides a
man and his wife who have the care of a child This child was attacked
with scarlatina, and to all appearance death was inevitable. A jury of
matrons was as it were empanelled, and to prevent the child 'dying
hard' all the doors in the house all the drawers, all the boxes all
the cupboards were thrown wide open, the keys taken out and the body
of the child placed under a beam, whereby a sure, certain, and easy
passage into eternity could be secured. Watchers held their vigils
throughout the weary night, and in the morning the child, to the
surprise of all, did not die, and is now gradually recovering.

These old women--this jury of matrons--stumbled on the right remedy,
"all the doors in the house....were thrown vide open," and thus they
thoroughly ventilated the apartment. What was the consequence? The
child who, just before the opening of the doors, had all the
appearances "that death was inevitable," as soon as fresh air was let
in showed symptoms of recovery, "and in the morning the child, to the
surprise of all, did not die, and is now gradually recovering." There
is nothing wonderful--there is nothing surprising to my mind--in all
this. Ventilation--thorough ventilation--is the grand remedy for
scarlatina! Oh, that there were in scarlet fever cases a good many
such old women's--such a "jury of matrons'"--remedies! We should not
then be horrified, as we now are, at the fearful records of death,
which the Returns of the Registrar General disclose!]

If the weather be either intensely cold, or very damp, there is no
objection to a small fire in the grate provided there be, at the same
time, air--an abundance of fresh air--admitted into the room.

Take down the curtains of the bed, remove the valances. If it be
summer time, let the child be only covered with a sheet. If it be
winter time, in addition to the sheet, he should have one blanket over

Now for the throat--The best _external_ application is a barm and
oatmeal poultice How ought it to be made, and how applied? Put half a
tea-cupful of barm into a saucepan, put it on the fire to boil; as
soon as it boils, take it off the fire, and stir oatmeal into it,
until it be of the consistence of a nice soft poultice; then place it
on a rag, and apply it to the throat, carefully fasten it on with a
bandage, two or three turns of the bandage going round the throat, and
two or three over the crown of the head, so as nicely to apply the
poultice where it is wanted--that is to say, to cover the tonsils.
Tack the bandage: do not pin it. Let the poultice be changed three
times a day. The best medicine is the Acidulated Infusion of Roses,
sweetened with syrup:--

  Take of--Dilated Sulphuric Acid, half a drachm;
           Simple Syrup, one ounce and a half;
           Acid Infusion of Roses, four ounces and a half:

To make a Mixture. A table-spoonful to be taken every four hours.

It is grateful and refreshing, it is pleasant to take, it abates fever
and thirst, it cleanses the throat and tongue of mucus, and is
peculiarly efficacious in scarlet fever; as soon as the fever is
abated it gives an appetite. My belief is that the sulphuric acid in
the mixture is a specific in scarlet fever, as much as quinine is in
ague, and sulphur in itch. I have reason to say so, for, in numerous
cases I have seen its immense value.

Now, with regard to food.--If the child be at the breast, keep him
entirely to it. If he be weaned, and under two years old, give him
milk and water, and cold water to drink. If he be older, give him
toast and water, and plain water from the pump, as much as he chooses;
let it be quite cold--the colder the better. Weak black tea, or thin
gruel, may be given, but not caring, unless he be an infant at the
breast, if he take nothing but _cold_ water. If the child be two years
old and upwards, roasted apples with sugar, and grapes, will be very
refreshing, and will tend to cleanse both the mouth and the throat
Avoid broths and stimulants.

When the appetite returns, you may consider the patient to be
safe. The diet ought now to be gradually improved. Bread and butter,
milk and water, and arrowroot made with equal parts of new milk and
water, should for the first two or three days be given. Then a light
batter or rice pudding may be added, and in a few days, either a
little chicken or a mutton chop.

The essential remedies, then, in scarlet fever, are, for the first few
days--(1) plenty of fresh air and ventilation, (2) plenty of cold
water to drink, (3) barm poultices to the throat, and (4) the
Acidulated Infusion of Roses Mixture as a medicine.

Now, then, comes very important advice. After the first few days,
probably five or six, sometimes as early as the fourth day--_watch
carefully and warily, and note the time, the skin will suddenly become
cool_, the child will say that he feels chilly; then is the time you
must now change your tactics--_instantly close the windows and put
extra clothing_, a blanket or two, on his bed. A flannel nightgown
should, until the dead skin have peeled off, be now worn next to the
skin, when the flannel nightgown should be discontinued. The patient
ought ever after to wear, in the day time, a flannel waistcoat.
[Footnote: On the importance--the vital importance--of the wearing of
flannel next to the skin, see "Flannel Waistcoats."] His drinks must
now be given with the chill off; he ought to have a warm cup of tea,
and gradually his diet should, as I have previously advised, be

There is one important caution I wish to impress upon you,--_do not
give opening medicine during the time the eruption is out_. In all
probability the bowels will be opened: if so, all well and good; but
do not, on any account, for the first ten days, use artificial means
to open them. It is my firm conviction that the administration of
purgatives in scarlet fever is a fruitful source of dropsy, of
disease, and death. When we take into consideration the sympathy there
is between the skin and the mucous membrane, I think that we should
pause before giving irritating medicines, such as purgatives. The
irritation of aperients on the mucous membrane may cause the poison of
the skin disease (for scarlet fever is a blood-poison) to be driven
internally to the kidneys, to the throat, to the pericardium (bag of
the heart), or to the brain. You may say, Do you not purge if the
bowels be not open for a week? I say emphatically, No!

I consider my great success in the treatment of scarlet fever to be
partly owing to my avoidance of aperients during the first ten days of
the child's illness.

If the bowels, after the ten days, be not properly opened, a dose or
two of syrup of senna should be given: that is to say, one or two
tea-spoonfuls should be administered early in the morning, and should,
if the first dose does not operate, be repeated in four hours.

In a subsequent Conversation, I shall strongly urge you not to allow
your child, when convalescent, to leave the house under at least a
month from the commencement of the illness; I, therefore, beg to refer
you to that Conversation, and hope that you will give it your best and
earnest consideration! During the last twenty years I have never had
dropsy from scarlet fever, and I attribute it entirely to the plan I
have just recommended, and in not allowing my patients to leave the
house under the month--until, in fact, the skin that had peeled off
has been renewed.

Let me now sum up the plan I adopt, and which I beg leave to designate
as--Pye Chavasse's Fresh Air Treatment of Scarlet Fever:--

1. Thorough ventilation, a cool room, and scant clothes on the bed,
for the first five or six days.

2. A change of temperature of the skin to be carefully regarded. As
soon as the skin is cool, closing the windows, and putting additional
clothing on the bed.

3. The Acidulated Infusion of Hoses with Syrup is _the_ medicine for
scarlet fever.

4. Purgatives to be religiously avoided for the first ten days at
least, and even afterwards, unless there be absolute necessity.

5. Leeches, blisters, emetics, cold and tepid spongings, and painting
the tonsils with caustic, inadmissible in scarlet fever.

6. A strict antiphlogistic (low) diet for the first few days, during
which time cold water to be given _ad libitum_.

7. The patient not to leave the house in the summer under the month;
in the winter, under six weeks.

_What NOT to do._--Do not, then, apply either leeches or blisters to
the throat; do not paint the tonsils with caustic; do not give
aperients; do not, on any account, give either calomel or emetic
tartar; do not, for the first few days of the illness, be afraid of
_cold air_ to the skin, and of cold water as a beverage; do not,
emphatically let me say, _do not_ let the child leave the house for at
least a month from the commencement of the illness.

My firm conviction is, that purgatives, emetics, and blisters, by
depressing the patient, sometimes cause ordinary scarlet fever to
degenerate into malignant scarlet fever.

I am aware that some of our first authorities advocate a different
plan to mine. They recommend purgatives, which I may say, in scarlet
fever, are my dread and abhorrence. They advise cold and tepid
spongings--a plan which I think dangerous, as it will probably drive
the disease internally. Blisters, too, have been prescribed; these I
consider weakening, injurious, and barbarous, and likely still more to
inflame the already inflamed skin. They recommend leeches to the
throat, which I am convinced, by depressing the patient, will lessen
the chance of his battling against the disease, and will increase the
ulceration of the tonsils. Again, the patient has not too much blood;
the blood is only poisoned. I look upon scarlet fever as a specific
poison of the blood, and one which will be eliminated from the system,
_not_ by bleeding, _not_ by purgatives, _not_ by emetics but by a
constant supply of fresh and cool air, by the acid treatment, by cold
water as a beverage, and for the first few days by a strict
antiphlogistic (low) diet. Sydenham says that scarlet fever is
oftentimes "fatal through the officiousness of the doctor." I
conscientiously believe that a truer remark was never made; and that,
under a different system to the usual one adopted, scarlet fever would
not be so much dreaded. [Footnote: If any of my medical brethren
should do me the honour to read these pages, let me entreat them to
try my plan of treating scarlet fever, as my success has been great. I
have given full and minute particulars, in order that they and mothers
(if mothers cannot obtain medical advice) may give my plan a fair and
impartial trial. My only stipulations are that they must _begin_ with
my treatment, and _not mix_ any other with it, and carry out my plan
to the very letter. I then, with God's blessing, provided the cases be
neither malignant nor complicated with diphtheria, shall not fear the
result. If any of my _confreres_ have tried my plan of treatment of
scarlet fever--and I have reason to know that many have--I should feel
grateful to them if they would favour me with their opinion as to its
efficacy. Address--"Pye Chavasse, 214 Hagley Road, Birmingham."]

Dr Budd, of Bristol, recommends, in the _British Medical Journal_,
that the body, including the scalp, of a scarlet fever patient,
should, after about the fourth day, be anointed, every night and
morning, with camphorated oil; this anointing to be continued until
the patient is able to take a warm bath and use disinfectant soap:
this application will not only be very agreeable to the patient's
feelings, as there is usually great irritation and itching of the
skin, but it will, likewise, be an important means of preventing the
dead skin, which is highly infectious, and which comes off partly in
flakes and partly floats about the air as dust, from infecting other
persons. The plan is an excellent one, and cannot be too strongly

If the case be a combination of scarlet fever and of diphtheria, as it
unfortunately now frequently is, let it be treated as a case of

224. _I have heard of a case of Scarlet Fever, where the child, before
the eruption showed itself, was suddenly struck prostrate, cold, and
almost pulseless: what, in such a case, are the symptoms, and what
immediate treatment do you advise_?

There is an _exceptional_ case of scarlet fever, which now and then
occurs, and which requires _exceptional_ and prompt treatment, or
death will quickly ensue. We will suppose a case: one of the number,
where nearly all the other children of a family are labouring under
scarlet fever, is quite well, when suddenly--in a few hours, or even,
in some cases, in an hour--utter prostration sets in, he is very cold,
and is almost pulseless, and is nearly insensible--comatose.

Having sent instantly for a judicious medical man, apply, until he
arrives, hot bottles, hot bricks, hot bags of salt to the patient's
feet and legs and back, wrap him in hot blankets, close the window,
and give him hot brandy and water--a tablespoonful of brandy to half a
tumblerful of hot water--give it him by teaspoonfuls, continuously--to
keep him alive; when he is warm and restored to consciousness, the
eruption will probably show itself, and he will become hot and
feverish; then your tactics must, at once, be changed, and my Fresh
Air Treatment, and the rest of the plan I have before advised must in
all its integrity, be carried out.

We sometimes hear of a child, before the eruption comes out and within
twenty-four hours of the attack, dying of scarlet fever. When such be
the case it is probably owing to low vitality of the system--to utter
prostration--he is struck down, as though for death, and if the plan
be not adopted of, for a few hours, keeping him alive by heat, and by
stimulants, until, indeed, the eruption comes out, he will never rally
again, but will die from scarlet fever poisoning and from utter
exhaustion. These cases are comparatively rare, but they do, from
time to time, occur, and, when they do, they demand exceptional and
prompt and energetic means to save them from ending in almost
immediate and certain death. "To be forewarned is to be forearmed."
[Footnote: I have been reminded of this _exceptional_ case of scarlet
fever by a most intelligent and valued patient of mine, who had a
child afflicted as above described, and whose child was saved from
almost certain death, by a somewhat similar plan of treatment as
advised in the text.]

225. _How soon ought a child to be allowed to leave the house after an
attack of Scarlet Fever_?

He must not be allowed to go out for at least a month from the
commencement of the attack, in the summer, and six weeks in the
winter; and not even then without the express permission of a medical
man. It might be said that this is an unreasonable recommendation: but
when it is considered that the whole of the skin generally
desquamates, or peels off, and consequently leaves the surface of the
body exposed to cold, which cold flies to the kidneys, producing a
peculiar and serious disease in them, ending in dropsy, this warning
will not be deemed unreasonable.

Scarlet fever dropsy, which is really a _formidable disease, generally
arises from, the carelessness, the ignorance, and the thoughtlessness
of parents in allowing a child to leave the house before the new skin
be properly formed and hardened._ Prevention is always better than

Thus far with regard to the danger to the child himself. Now, if you
please, let me show you the risk of contagion that you inflict upon
families, in allowing your child to mix with others before a month at
least has elapsed. Bear in mind, a case is quite as contagious, if not
more so, while the skin is peeling off, as it was before. Thus, in ten
days or a fortnight, there is as much risk of contagion as at the
_beginning_ of the disease, and when the fever is at its height. At
the conclusion of the month, the old skin has generally all peeled
off, and the new skin has taken its place; consequently there will
then be less fear of contagion to others. But the contagion of scarlet
fever is so subtle and so uncertain in its duration, that it is
impossible to fix the exact time when it ceases.

Let me most earnestly implore you to ponder well on the above
important facts. If these remarks should be the means of saving only
one child from death, or from broken health, my labour will not have
been in vain.

226. _What means do you advise to purify a house, clothes, and
furniture, from the contagion of Scarlet Fever_?

Let every room in the house, together with its contents, and clothing
and dresses that cannot be washed, be well fumigated with
sulphur--taking care the while to close both windows and door; let
every room be _lime-washed_ and then be white-washed; if the contagion
have been virulent, let every bedroom be freshly papered (the walls
having been previously stripped of the old paper and then
lime-washed); let the bed, the holsters, the pillows, and the
mattresses be cleansed and purified; let the blankets and coverlids be
thoroughly washed, and then let them be exposed to the open air--if
taken into a field so much the better; let the rooms be well scoured;
let the windows, top and bottom, be thrown wide open; let the drains
be carefully examined; let the pump water be scrutinised, to see that
it be not contaminated by faecal matter, either from the water-closet,
from the privy, from the pig-stye, or from the stable; let privies be
emptied of their contents--_remember this is most important
advice_--then put, into the empty places, either lime and powdered
charcoal or carbolic acid, for it is a well ascertained fact that it
is frequently impossible to rid a house of the infection of scarlet
fever without adopting such a course. "In St George's, Southwark, the
medical officer reports that scarlatina 'has raged fatally, almost
exclusively where privy or drain, smells are to be perceived in the
houses.'" [Footnote: _Quarterly Report of the Board of Health_ upon
Sickness in the Metropolis.] Let the children, who have not had, or
who do not appear to be sickening for scarlet fever, be sent away from
home--if to a farm house so much the better. Indeed, leave no stone
unturned, no means untried, to exterminate the disease from the house
and from the neighbourhood. Remember the young are more prone to catch
contagious diseases than adults; for

  "in the morn and liquid dew of youth
  Contagious blastments are most imminent."--_Shakspeare_.

227. _Have you any further observations to offer on the precautions to
be taken against the spread of Scarlet Fever_?

Great care should be taken to separate the healthy from the
infected. The nurses selected for attending scarlet fever patients
should be those who have previously had scarlet fever themselves.
Dirty linen should be removed at once, and be put into boiling
water. Very little furniture should be in the room of a scarlet fever
patient--the less the better--it only obstructs the circulation of the
air, and harbours the scarlet fever poison. The most scrupulous
attention to cleanliness should, in these cases, be observed. A
patient who has recovered from scarlet fever, and before he mixes with
healthy people, should, for three or four consecutive mornings, have a
warm bath, and well wash himself, while in the bath, with soap; he
will, by adopting this plan, get rid of the dead skin, and thus remove
the infected particles of the disease. If scarlet fever should appear
in a school, the school must for a time be broken up, in order that
the disease might be stamped out There must be no half measures where
such a fearful disease is in question. A house containing scarlet
fever patients should, by parents, be avoided as the plague; it is a
folly at any time to put one's head into the lion's mouth! Chloralum
and carbolic acid, and chloride of lime, and Condy's fluid, are each
and all good disinfectants; but not one is to be compared to perfect
cleanliness and to an abundance of fresh and pure air--the last of
which may truly _par excellence_ be called God's disinfectant! Either
a table-spoonful of chloralum, or two tea-spoonfuls of carbolic acid,
or two tea-spoonfuls of Condy's fluid, or a tea-spoonful of chloride
of lime in a pint of water, are useful to sprinkle the soiled
handkerchiefs as soon as they be done with, and before the be washed,
to put in the _pot-de-chambre_, and to keep in saucers about the room;
but, remember, as I have said before, and cannot repeat too often,
there is no preventative like the air of heaven, which should be
allowed to permeate and circulate freely through the apartment and
through the house: air, air, air is the best disinfectant, curative,
and preventative of scarlet fever in the world!

I could only wish that my _Treatment of Scarlet Fever_ were, in all
its integrity, more generally adopted; if it were, I am quite sure
that thousands of children would annually be saved from broken health
and from death. Time still further convinces me that my treatment is
based on truth as I have every year additional proofs of its value and
of its success; but error and prejudice are unfortunately ever at
work, striving all they can to defeat truth and common sense. One of
my principal remedies in the treatment of scarlet fever is an
abundance of fresh air; but many people prefer their own miserable
complicated inventions to God's grand and yet simple remedies--they
pretend that they know better than the Mighty Framer of the universe!

228. _Will you describe the symptoms of Chicken pox_?

It is occasionally, but not always, ushered in with a slight shivering
fit; the eruption shows itself in about twenty-four hours from the
child first appearing poorly. It is a vesicular [Footnote:
_Vesicles_. Small elevations of the cuticle, covering a fluid which
is generally clear and colourless at first, but afterwards whitish and
opaque, or pearly.--_Watson_.] disease. The eruption comes out in the
form of small pimples, and principally attacks the scalp, the neck,
the back, the chest, and the shoulders, but rarely the face; while in
small-pox the face is generally the part most affected. The next day
these pimples fill with water, and thus become vesicles; on the third
day they are at maturity. The vesicles are quite separate and distinct
from each other. There is a slight redness around each of them. Fresh
ones, whilst the others are dying away, make their appearance.
Chicken-pox is usually attended with a slight itching of the skin;
when the vesicles are scratched the fluid escapes, and leaves hard
pearl-like substances, which, in a few days, disappear. Chicken-pox
never leaves pit marks behind. It is a child's complaint; adults
scarcely, if ever, have it.

229. _Is there any danger in Chicken-pox; and what treatment do you

It is not at all a dangerous, but, on the contrary, a trivial
complaint. It lasts only a few days, and requires but little
medicine. The patient ought, for three or four days, to keep the
house, and should abstain from animal food. On the sixth day, but not
until then, a dose or two of a mild aperient is all that will be

230. _Is Chicken-pox infectious_?

There is a diversity of opinion on this head, but one thing is
certain--it cannot be communicated by inoculation.

231. _What are the symptoms of Modified Small-pox_?

The Modified Small-pox--that is to say, small-pox that has been robbed
of its virulence by the patient having been either already vaccinated,
or by his having had a previous attack of small-pox--is ushered in
with severe symptoms, with symptoms almost as severe as though the
patient had not been already somewhat protected either by vaccination
or by the previous attack of small-pox--that is to say, he has a
shivering fit, great depression of spirits and debility, _malaise_,
sickness, headache, and occasionally delirium. After the above
symptoms have lasted about three days, the eruption shows itself. The
immense value of the previous vaccination, or the previous attack of
small-pox, now comes into play. In a case of _unprotected_ small-pox,
the appearance of the eruption _aggravates_ all the above symptoms,
and the danger begins; while in the _modified_ small-pox, the moment
the eruption shows itself the patient feels better, and, as a rule,
rapidly recovers. The eruption, of _modified_ small-pox varies
materially from the eruption of the _unprotected_ small-pox. The
former eruption assumes a varied character, and is composed, first, of
vesicles (containing water); and, secondly, of pustules (containing
matter), each of which pustules has a depression in the centre; and,
thirdly, of several red pimples without either water or matter in
them, and which sometimes assume a livid appearance. These
"breakings-out" generally show themselves more upon the wrist, and
sometimes up one or both of the nostrils. While in the latter
disease--the _unprotected_ small-pox--the "breaking-out" is composed
entirely of pustules containing matter, and which pustules are more on
the face than on any other part of the body. There is generally a
peculiar smell in both diseases--an odour once smelt never to be

Now, there is one most important remark I have to make,--the _modified
small-pox is contagious_. This ought to be borne in mind, as a person
labouring under the disease must, if there be children in the house,
either be sent away himself, or else the children ought to be banished
both the house and the neighbourhood. Another important piece of
advice is,--let _all_ in the house--children and adults, one and
all--be vaccinated, even if any or all have been previously

_Treatment_.--Let the patient keep his room, and if he be very ill,
his bed. Let the chamber be well ventilated. If it be winter time, a
small fire in the grate will encourage ventilation. If it be summer, a
fire is out of the question; indeed, in such a case, the window-sash
ought to be opened, as thorough ventilation is an important requisite
of cure, both in small-pox and in _modified_ small-pox. While the
eruption is out, do not on any account give aperient medicine. In ten
days from the commencement of the illness a mild aperient may be
given. The best medicine in these cases is, the sweetened Acidulated
Infusion of Roses, [Footnote: See page 178] which ought to be given
from the commencement of the disease, and should be continued until
the fever be abated. For the first few days, as long as the fever
lasts, the patient ought not to be allowed either meat or broth, but
should be kept on a low diet, such as on gruel, arrow-root,
milk-puddings, &c. As soon as the fever is abated he ought gradually
to resume his usual diet. When he is convalescent, it is well, where
practicable, that he should have change of air for a month.

232. _How would you distinguish between Modified Small-pox and

Modified small-pox may readily be distinguished from chicken-pox, by
the former disease being, notwithstanding its modification, much more
severe and the fever much more intense before the eruption shows
itself than chicken-pox; indeed, in chicken-pox there is little or no
fever either before or after the eruption; by the former disease--the
modified small-pox--consisting _partly_ of pustules (containing
matter), each pustule having a depression in the centre, and the
favourite localities of the pustules being the wrists and the inside
of the nostrils; while, in the chicken-pox, the eruption consists of
vesicles (containing water), and _not_ pustules (containing matter),
and the vesicles having neither a depression in the centre, nor having
any particular partiality to attack either the wrists or the inside of
the nose. In modified small-pox each pustule is, as in unprotected
small-pox, inflamed at the base; while in chicken-pox there is only
very slight redness around each vesicle. The vesicles in chicken-pox
are small--much smaller than the pustules in modified small-pox.

233. _Is Hooping-cough an inflammatory disease_?

Hooping-cough in itself is not inflammatory, it is purely spasmodic;
but it is generally accompanied with more or less of bronchitis--
inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes--on which
account it is necessary, _in all cases_ of hooping-cough, to consult a
medical man, that he may watch the progress of the disease and nip
inflammation in the bud.

234. _Will you have the goodness to give the symptoms, and a brief
history of, Hooping-cough_?

Hooping-cough is emphatically a disease of the young; it is rare for
adults to have it; if they do, they usually suffer more severely than
children. A child seldom has it but once in his life. It is highly
contagious, and therefore frequently runs through a whole family of
children, giving much annoyance, anxiety, and trouble to the mother
and the nurses; hence hooping-cough is much dreaded by them. It is
amenable to treatment. Spring and summer are the best seasons of the
year for the disease to occur. This complaint usually lasts from six
to twelve weeks--sometimes for a much longer period, more especially
if proper means are not employed to relieve it.

Hooping-cough commences as a common cold and cough. The cough, for ten
days or a fortnight, increases in intensity; at about which time it
puts on the characteristic "hoop." The attack of cough comes on in
paroxysms. In a paroxysm, the child coughs so long and so violently,
and _expires_ so much air from the lungs without _inspiring_ any, that
at times he appears nearly suffocated and exhausted; the veins of his
neck swell; his face is nearly purple; his eyes, with the tremendous
exertion, almost seem to start from their sockets; at length there is
a sudden _inspiration_ of air through the contracted chink of the
upper part of the wind-pipe--the glottis--causing the peculiar "hoop;"
and after a little more coughing, he brings up some glairy mucus from
the chest; and sometimes, by vomiting, food from the stomach; he is at
once relieved, until the next paroxysm occur, when the same process is
repeated, the child during the intervals, in a favourable case,
appearing quite well, and after the cough is over, instantly returning
either to his play or to his food. Generally, after a paroxysm he is
hungry, unless, indeed, there be severe inflammation either of the
chest or of the lungs. Sickness, as I before remarked, frequently
accompanies hooping-cough; when it does, it might be looked upon as a
good sign. The child usually knows when an attack is coming on; he
dreads it, and therefore tries to prevent it; he sometimes partially
succeeds; but, if he does, it only makes the attack, when it does
come, more severe. All causes of irritation and excitement ought, as
much as possible, to be avoided, as passion is apt to bring on a
severe paroxysm.

A new-born babe--an infant of one or two months old--commonly escapes
the infection; but if, at that tender age, he unfortunately catch
hooping-cough, it is likely to fare harder with him than if he were
older--the younger the child, the greater the risk. But still, in such
a case, do not despair, as I have known numerous instances of new-born
infants, with judicious care, recover perfectly from the attack, and
thrive after it as though nothing of the kind had ever happened.

A new-born babe, labouring under hooping-cough, is liable to
convulsions, which is in this disease one, indeed the great, source of
danger. A child, too, who is teething, and labouring under the
disease, is also liable to convulsions. When the patient is
convalescing, care ought to be taken that he does not catch cold, or
the "hoop" might return. Hooping-cough may either precede, attend, or
follow an attack of measle.

235. _What is the treatment of Hooping-cough_?

We will divide the hooping-cough into three stages, and treat each
stage separately,

_What to do.--In the first stage_, the commencement of hooping-cough:
For the first ten days give the Ipecacuanha Wine Mixture, [Footnote:
For the prescription of the Ipecacuanha Wine Mixture, see page 161.] a
tea-spoonful three times a day. If the child be not weaned, keep him
entirely to the breast, if he be weaned, to a milk and farinaceous
diet. Confine him for the first ten days to the house, more especially
if the hooping-cough be attended, as it usually is, with more or less
bronchitis. But take care that the rooms be well ventilated; for good
air is essential to the cure.

If the bronchitis attending the hooping-cough be severe, confine him
to his bed, and treat him as though it were simply a case of
bronchitis. [Footnote: For the treatment of bronchitis, see answer to
207th question.]

_In the second stage_, discontinue the Ipecacuanha Mixture, and give
Dr Gibb's remedy--namely, Nitric Acid--which I have found to be an
efficacious and valuable one in hooping-cough:--

  Take of--Diluted Nitric Acid, two drachms;
           Compound Tincture of Cardamons, half a drachm;
           Simple Syrup, three ounces;
           Water, two ounces and a half:

Make a Mixture. One or two tea-spoonfuls, or a table-spoonful,
according to the age of the child--one tea-spoonful for an infant of
six months, and two tea-spoonfuls for a child of twelve months, and
one table-spoonful for a child of two years, every four hours, first
shaking the bottle.

Let the spine and the chest be well rubbed every night and morning
either with Roche's Embrocation, or with the following stimulating
liniment (first shaking the bottle):--

  Take of--Oil of Cloves, one drachm;
           Oil of Amber, two drachms;
           Camphorated Oil, nine drachms:

Make a Liniment.

Let him wear a broad band of new flannel, which should extend round
from his chest to his back, and which ought to be changed every night
and morning, in order that it may be dried before putting on again. To
keep it in its place it should be fastened by means of tapes and with

The diet ought now to be improved--he should gradually return to his
usual food; and, weather permitting, should almost live in the open
air--fresh air being, in such a case, one of the finest medicines.

_In the third stage_, that is to say, when the complaint has lasted a
month, if by that time the child is not well, there is nothing like
change of air to a high, dry, healthy, country place. Continue the
Nitric Acid Mixture, and either the Embrocation or the Liniment to the
back and the chest, and let him continue to almost live in the open
air, and be sure that he does not discontinue wearing the flannel
until he be quite cured, and then let it be left off by degrees.

If the hooping-cough have caused debility, give him Cod-liver Oil--a
tea-spoonful twice or three times a day, giving it him on a full
stomach, after his meals. But, remember, after the first three or four
weeks, change of air, and plenty of it, is for hooping-cough the grand

_What NOT to do_.--"Do not apply leeches to the chest, for I would
rather put blood into a child labouring under hooping-cough than take
it out of him--hooping-cough is quite weakening enough to the system
of itself without robbing him of his life's blood; do not, on any
account whatever, administer either emetic tartar or antimonial wine;
do not give either paregoric or syrup of white poppies; do not drug
him either with calomel or with grey-powder; do not dose him with
quack medicine; do not give him stimulants, but rather give him plenty
of nourishment, such as milk and farinaceous food, but _no_
stimulants; do not be afraid, after the first week or two, of his
having fresh air, and plenty of it--for fresh, pure air is the grand
remedy, after all that can be said and done, in hooping-cough.
Although occasionally we find that, if the child to labouring under
hooping-cough, and is breathing a pure country air, and is not getting
well so rapidly as we could wish, change of air to a smoky gas-laden
town will sometimes quickly effect a cure; indeed, some persons go so
far as to say that the _best_ remedy for an _obstinate_ case of
hooping-cough is, for the child to live, the great part of every day,
in gas-works!"

236. _What is to be done during a paroxysm of Hooping-cough_?

If the child be old enough, let him stand up; but if he be either too
young or too feeble, raise his head, and bend his body a little
forward; then support his back with one hand, and the forehead with
the other. Let the mucus, the moment it be within reach, be wiped with
a soft handkerchief out of his mouth.

237. _In an obstinate case of Hooping-cough, what is the best remedy_?

Change of air, provided there be no active inflammation, to any
healthy spot. A farm-house, in a high, dry, and salubrious
neighbourhood, is as good a place as can be chosen. If, in a short
time, he be not quite well, take him to the sea-side: the sea breezes
will often, as if by magic, drive away the disease.

238. _Suppose my child should have a shivering fit, is it to be looked
upon as an important symptom_?

Certainly. Nearly all _serious_ illnesses commence with a shivering
fit: severe colds, influenza, inflammations of different organs,
scarlet fever, measles, small-pox, and very many other diseases, begin
in this way. If, therefore, your child should ever have a shivering
fit, _instantly_ send for a medical man, as delay might be
dangerous. A few hours of judicious treatment, at the commencement of
an illness, is frequently of more avail than days and weeks, nay
months, of treatment, when disease has gained a firm footing. A
_serious_ disease often steals on insidiously, and we have perhaps
only the shivering fit, which might be but a _slight_ one, to tell us
of its approach.

A _trifling_ ailment, too, by neglecting the premonitory symptom,
which, at first might only be indicated by a _slight_ shivering fit,
will sometimes become a mortal disorder:--

  "The little rift within the lute,
  That by-and-by will make the music mute,
  And ever widening slowly silence all." [Footnote: The above extract
  from Tennyson is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful
  pieces of poetry in the English language. It is a perfect gem, and a
  volume in itself, so truthful, so exquisite, so full of the most
  valuable reflections; for instance--(1.) "The little rift within the
  lute,"--the little tubercle within the lung "that by-and-by will
  make the music mute, and ever widening slowly silence all," and the
  patient eventually dies of consumption. (2.) The little rent--the
  little rift of a very minute vessel in the brain, produces an attack
  of apoplexy, and the patient dies. (3.) Each and all of us, in one
  form or another, sooner or later, will have "the little rift within
  the lute." But why give more illustrations?--a little reflection
  will bring numerous examples to my fair reader's memory.]

239. _In case of a shivering fit, perhaps you will tell me what to

_Instantly_ have the bed warmed, and put the child to bed. Apply
either a hot bottle or a hot brick, wrapped in flannel, to the soles
of his feet. Put an extra blanket on his bed, and give him a cup of
hot tea. As soon as the shivering fit is over, and he has become hot,
gradually lessen the _extra_ quantity of clothes on his bed, and take
away the hot bottle or the hot brick from his feet.

_What NOT to do_.--Do not give either brandy or wine, as inflammation
of some organ might be about taking place. Do not administer opening
medicine, as there might be some "breaking out" cooling out on the
skin, and an aperient might check it.

240. _My child, apparently otherwise healthy, screams out in the night
violently in his sleep, and nothing for a time will pacify him: what
is likely to be the cause, and what is the treatment_?

The causes of these violent screamings in the night are various. At
one time, they proceed from teething; at another, from worms;
sometimes, from night-mare; occasionally, from either disordered
stomach or bowels. Each of the above causes will, of course, require
a different plan of procedure; it will, therefore, be necessary to
consult a medical man on the subject, who will soon, with appropriate
treatment, be able to relieve him.

241. _Have the goodness to describe the complaint of children called

The mumps, inflammation of the "parotid" gland, is commonly ushered in
with a slight feverish attack. After a short time, a swelling, of
stony hardness, is noticed before and under the ear, which swelling
extends along the neck towards the chin. This lump is exceedingly
painful, and continues painful and swollen for four or five days. At
the end of which time it gradually disappears, leaving not a trace
behind. The swelling of mumps never gathers. It may affect one or both
sides of the face. It seldom occurs but once in a lifetime. It is
contagious, and has been known to run through a whole family or
school; but it is not dangerous, unless, which is rarely the case, it
leaves the "parotid" gland, and migrates either to the head, to the
breast, or to the testicle.

242. _What is the treatment of Mumps_?

Foment the swelling, four or five times a day, with a flannel wrung
out of hot camomile and poppy-head decoction; [Footnote: Four
poppy-heads and four ounces of camomile blows to be boiled in four
pints of water for half an hour, and then strained to make the
decoction.] and apply, every night, a barm and oatmeal poultice to the
swollen gland or glands. Debar, for a few days, the little patient
from taking meat and broth, and let him live on bread and milk, light
puddings, and arrow-root. Keep him in a well-ventilated room, and shut
him out from the company of his brothers, his sisters, and young
companions. Give him a little mild, aperient medicine. Of course, if
there be the slightest symptom of migration to any other part or
parts, instantly call in a medical man.

243. _What is the treatment of a Boil_?

One of the best applications is a Burgundy-pitch plaster spread on a
soft piece of wash leather. Let a chemist spread a plaster, about the
size of the hand; and, from this piece, cut small plasters, the size
of a shilling or a florin (according to the dimensions of the boil),
which snip around and apply to the part. Put a fresh one on
daily. This plaster will soon cause the boil to break; when it does
break, squeeze out the contents--the core and the matter--and then
apply one of the plasters as before, which, until the boil be well,
renew every day.

The old-fashioned remedy for a boil--namely, common yellow soap and
brown-sugar, is a capital one for the purpose. It is made with equal
parts of brown sugar and of shredded yellow soap, and mixed by means
of a table-knife on a plate, with a few drops of water, until it be
all well blended together, and of the consistence of thick paste; it
should then be spread either on a piece of wash-leather, or on thick
linen, and applied to the boil, and kept in its place by means either
of a bandage or of a folded handkerchief; and should he removed once
or twice a day. This is an excellent application for a boil--soothing,
comforting, and drawing--and will soon effect a cure. A paste of honey
and flour, spread on linen rag, is another popular and good
application for a boil.

_If the boils should arise from the child being in a delicate state of
health_, give him cod-liver oil, meat once a day, and an abundance of
milk and farinaceous food. Let him have plenty of fresh air,
exercise, and play.

_If the boil should arise from gross and improper feeding_, then keep
him for a time from meat, and let him live principally on a milk and
farinaceous diet.

_If the child be fat and gross_, cod-liver oil would he improper; a
mild aperient, such as rhubarb and magnesia, would then be the best

244. _What are the symptoms of Ear-ache_?

A young child screaming shrilly, violently, and continuously, is
oftentimes owing to ear-ache; carefully, therefore, examine each ear,
and ascertain if there be any discharge; if there be, the mystery is

Screaming from ear-ache may be distinguished from the screaming from
bowel-ache by the former (ear-ache) being more continuous--indeed,
being one continued scream, and from the child putting his hand to his
head; while, in the latter (bowel-ache), the pain is more of a coming
and of a going character, and he draws up his legs to his
bowels. Again, in the former (ear-ache), the secretions from the
bowels are natural; while, in the latter (bowel-ache), the secretions
from the bowels are usually depraved, and probably offensive. But a
careful examination of the ear will generally at once decide the
nature of the case.

213. _What is the best remedy for Ear-ache_?

Apply to the ear a small flannel bag, filled with hot salt--as hot as
can be comfortably borne, or foment the ear with a flannel wrung out
of hot camomile and poppy head decoction. A roasted onion, inclosed in
muslin applied to the ear, is an old-fashioned and favourite remedy,
and may, if the bag of hot salt, or if the hot fomentation do not
relieve, be tried. Put into the ear, but not very far, a small piece
of cotton wool, moistened with warm olive oil. Taking care that the
wool is always removed before a fresh piece be substituted, as if it
be allowed to remain in any length of time, it may produce a discharge
from the ear. Avoid all _cold_ applications. If the ear-ache be
severe, keep the little fellow at home, in a room of equal
temperature, but well-ventilated, and give him, for a day or two, no

If a discharge from the ear should either accompany or follow the
ear-ache, _more especially if the discharge be offensive_, instantly
call in a medical man, or deafness for life may be the result.

A knitted or crotcheted hat, with woollen rosettes over the ears, is,
in the winter time, an excellent hat for a child subject to
ear-ache. The hat may be procured at any baby-linen warehouse.

246. _What are the causes and the treatment of discharges from the

Cold, measles, scarlet fever, healing up of "breakings out" behind the
ear; pellets of cotton wool, which had been put in the ear, and had
been forgotten to be removed, are the usual causes of discharges from
the ear. It generally commences with ear-ache.

The _treatment_ consists in keeping the parts clean, by syringing the
ear every morning with warm water, by attention to food--keeping the
child principally upon a milk and a farmaceous diet, and by change of
air--more especially to the coast. If change of air be not
practicable, great attention should be paid to ventilation. As I have
before advised, in all cases of discharge from the ear call in a
medical man, as a little judicious medicine is advisable--indeed,
essential; and it may be necessary to syringe the ear with lotions,
instead of with warm water; and, of course, it is only a doctor who
has actually seen the patient who can decide these matters, and what
is best to be done in each case.

247. _What is the treatment of a "stye" on the eye-lid_?

Bathe the eye frequently with warm milk and water, and apply, every
night at bedtime, a warm white-bread poultice.

No medicine is required; but, if the child be gross, keep him for a
few days from meat, and let him live on bread and milk and farinaceous

248. _If a child have large bowels, what would you recommend as likely
to reduce their size_?

It ought to be borne in mind, that the bowels of a child are larger in
proportion than those of an adult. But, if they be actually larger
than they ought to be, let them be well rubbed for a quarter of an
hour at a time night and morning, with soap liniment, and then apply a
broad flannel belt. "A broad flannel belt worn night and day, firm but
not tight, is very serviceable." [Footnote: Sir Charles Locock, in a
_Letter_ to the Author.] The child ought to be prevented from drinking
as much as he has been in the habit of doing; let him be encouraged to
exercise himself well in the open air; and let strict regard be paid
to his diet.

249. _What are the best aperients for a child_?

If it be _actually_ necessary to give him opening medicine, one or two
tea-spoonfuls of Syrup of Senna, repeated, if necessary, in four
hours, will generally answer the purpose; or, for a change, one or two
tea-spoonfuls of Castor Oil may be substituted. Lenitive Electuary
(Compound Confection of Senna) is another excellent aperient for the
young, it being mild in its operation, and pleasant to take; a child
fancying it is nothing more than jam, and which it much resembles both
in appearance and in taste. The dose is half or one tea-spoonful
early in the morning occasionally. Senna is an admirable aperient for
a child, and is a safe one, which is more than can be said of many
others. It is worthy of note that "the taste of Senna may be concealed
by sweeting the infusion, [Footnote: Infusion of Senna may be procured
of any respectable druggist. It will take about one or two
table-spoonfuls, or even more, of the infusion (according to the age
of the child, and the obstinacy of the bowels), to act as an
aperient. Of course, you yourself will be able, from time to time, as
the need arises, to add the milk and the sugar, and thus to make it
palatable. It ought to be given warm, so as the more to resemble tea.]
adding milk, and drinking as ordinary tea, which, when thus prepared,
it much resembles" [Footnote: _Waring's Manual of Practical
Therapeutics._] Honey, too, is a nice aperient for a child--a
tea-spoonful ought to be given either by itself, or spread on a slice
of bread.

Some mothers are in the habit of giving their children jalap
gingerbread. I do not approve of it, as jalap is a drastic, griping
purgative; besides, jalap is very nasty to take--nothing will make it

Fluid Magnesia--Solution of Carbonate of Magnesia--is a good aperient
for a child; and, as it has very little taste, is readily given, more
especially if made palatable by the addition either of a little syrup
or of brown sugar. The advantages which it has over the old solid form
are, that it is colourless and nearly tasteless, and never forms
concretions in the bowels, as the _solid_ magnesia, if persevered in
for any length of time, sometimes does. A child of two or three years
old may take one or two table-spoonfuls of the fluid; either by itself
or in his food, repeating it every four hours until the bowels be
open. When the child is old enough to drink the draught off
_immediately_, the addition of one or two tea-spoonfuls of Lemon Juice
to each dose of the Fluid Magnesia, makes a pleasant effervescing
draught, and increases its efficacy as an aperient.

Bran-bread [Footnote: One-part of bran to three parts of flour, mixed
together and made into bread.] and _treacle_ will frequently open the
bowels; and as treacle is wholesome, it may be substituted for butter
when the bowels are inclined to be costive. A roasted apple, eaten
with _raw_ sugar, is another excellent mild aperient for a child. Milk
gruel--that is to say, milk thickened with oatmeal--forms an excellent
food for him, and often keeps his bowels regular, and thus (_which is
a very important consideration_) supersedes the necessity of giving
him an aperient. An orange (taking care he does not eat the peel or
the pulp), or a fig after dinner, or a few Muscatel raisins, will
frequently regulate the bowels.

Stewed prunes is another admirable remedy for the costiveness of a
child. The manner of stewing them is as follows:--Put a pound of
prunes in a brown jar, add two table-spoonfuls of _raw_ sugar, then
cover the prunes and the sugar with cold water; place them in the
oven, and let them stew for four hours. A child should every morning
eat half a dozen or a dozen of them, until the bowels be relieved,
taking care that he does not swallow the stones. Stewed prunes may be
given in treacle--treacle increasing the aperient properties of the

A suppository is a mild and ready way of opening the bowels of a
child. When he is two or three years old and upwards, a _Candle_
suppository is better than a _Soap_ suppository. The way of preparing
it is as follows:--Cut a piece of dip-tallow candle--the length of
three inches--and insert it as you would a clyster pipe, about two
inches up the fundament, allowing the remaining inch to be in sight,
and there let the suppository remain until the bowels be opened.

Another excellent method of opening a child's bowels is by means of an
enema of warm water,--from half a tea-cupful to a tea-cupful, or even
more, according to the age of the child. I cannot speak too highly of
this plan as a remedy for costiveness, as it entirely, in the
generality of cases, prevents the necessity of administering a
particle of aperient medicine by the mouth. The fact of its doing so
stamps it as a most valuable remedy--opening physic being, as a rule,
most objectionable, and injurious to a child's bowels. Bear this
fact--for it is a fact--in mind and let it be always remembered.

450. _What are the most frequent causes of Protrusion of the

The too common and reprehensible practice of a parent administering
frequent aperients, especially calomel and jalap, to her
child. Another cause, is allowing him to remain for a quarter of an
hour or more at a time on his chair; this induces him to strain, and
to force the gut down.

251. _What are the remedies_?

If the protrusion of the bowel have been brought on by the abase of
aperients, abstain, for the future from giving them; but if medicine
be absolutely required, give the mildest--such as either Syrup of
Senna or Castor Oil--_and the less of those the better._

If the _external_ application of a purgative will have the desired
effects it will in such cases, be better than the _internal_
administration of aperients. Castor Oil used as a Liniment is a good
one for the purpose. Let the bowels be well rubbed, every night and
morning, for five minutes at a time with the oil.

A wet compress to the bowels will frequently open them, and will thus
do away with the necessity of giving an aperient--_a most important
consideration_. Fold a napkin in six thicknesses, soak it in _cold_
water, and apply it to the bowels; over which put either a thin
covering or sheet of gutta-percha, or a piece of oiled-silk; keep it
in its place with a broad flannel roller; and let it remain on the
bowels for three or four hours, or until they be opened.

Try what diet will do, as opening the bowels by a regulated diet is
far preferable to the giving of aperients. Let him have either
bran-bread or Robinson's Patent Groats, or Robinson's Pure Scotch
Oatmeal made into gruel with new milk, or Du Barry's Arabica
Revalenta, or a slice of Huntly and Palmer's lump gingerbread. Let him
eat stewed prunes, stewed rhubarb, roasted apples, strawberries,
raspberries, the inside of grapes and gooseberries, figs, &c. Give him
early every morning a draught of _cold_ water.

Let me, again, urge you _not_ to give aperients in these cases, or in
any case, unless you are absolutely compelled. By following my advice
you will save yourself an immense deal of trouble, and your child a
long catalogue of misery. Again, I say, look well into the matter, and
whenever it be practicable avoid purgatives.

Now, with regard to the best manner of returning the bowel, lay the
child upon the bed on his face and bowels, with his hips a little
raised; then smear lard on the forefinger of your right hand (taking
care that the nail be cut close), and gently with, your fore-finger
press the bowel into its proper place. Remember, if the above methods
be observed, you cannot do the slightest injury to the bowel; and the
sooner it be returned, the better it will be for the child; for if the
bowel be allowed to remain long down, it may slough or mortify, and
death may ensue. The nurse, every time he has a motion, must see that
the bowel does not come down, and if it does, she ought instantly to
return it. Moreover, the nurse should be careful _not_ to allow the
child to remain on his chair more than two or three minutes at a time.

Another excellent remedy for the protrusion of the lower bowel, is to
use every morning a cold salt and water sitz bath. There need not be
more than a depth of three inches of water in the bath; a small
handful of table salt should be dissolved in the water; a dash of warm
water in the winter time must be added, to take off the extreme chill;
and the child ought not to be allowed to sit in the bath for more than
one minute, or whilst the mother can count a hundred; taking care, the
while, to throw either a square of flannel or a small shawl over his
shoulders. The sitz bath ought to be continued for months, or until
the complaint be removed. I cannot speak in too high praise of these

252. _Do you advise me, every spring and fall, to give my child
brimstone to purify and sweeten his blood, and as a preventive

Certainly not; if you wish to take away his appetite, and to weaken
and depress him, give brimstone! Brimstone is not a remedy fit for a
child's stomach. The principal use and value of brimstone is as an
external application in itch, and as an internal remedy, mixed with
other laxatives, in piles--piles being a complaint of adults. In olden
times poor unfortunate children were dosed, every spring and fall,
with brimstone and treacle to sweeten their blood! Fortunately for the
present race, there is not so much of that folly practised, but still
there is room for improvement. To dose a _healthy_ child with physic
is the grossest absurdity. No, the less physic a delicate child has
the better it will be for him, but physic to a healthy child is
downright poison! And brimstone of all medicines! It is both weakening
and depressing to the system, and by opening the pores of the skin and
by relaxing the bowels, is likely to give cold, and thus to make a
healthy, a sickly child. Sweeten his blood! It is more likely to
weaken his blood, and thus to make his blood impure! Blood is not made
pure by drugs, but by Nature's medicine; by exercise, by pure air, by
wholesome diet, by sleep in a well-ventilated apartment, by regular
and thorough ablution. Brimstone a preventive medicine! Preventive
medicine--and brimstone especially in the guise of a preventive
medicine--is "a mockery, a delusion, and a snare."

253. _When a child is delicate, and his body, without any assignable
cause, is gradually wasting away, and the stomach rejects all food
that is taken, what plan can be adopted likely to support his
strength, and thus probably be the means of saving his life_?

I have seen, in such a case, great benefit to arise from half a
tea-cupful of either strong mutton-broth or of strong beef-tea, used
as an enema every four hours. [Footnote: An enema apparatus is an
important requisite in every nursery; it may be procured of any
respectable surgical instrument maker. The India-rubber Enema Bottle
is, for a child's use, a great improvement on the old syringe, as it
is not so likely to get out of order, and, moreover, is more easily
used.] It should be administered slowly, in order that it may remain
in the bowel. If the child be sinking, either a dessert-spoonful of
brandy, or half a wine-glassful of port wine, ought to be added to
each enema.

The above plan ought only to be adopted if there be _no_ diarrhoea. If
there be diarrhoea, an enema must _not_ be used. Then, provided there
be great wasting away, and extreme exhaustion, and other remedies
having failed, it would be advisable to give, by the mouth, _raw_ beef
of the finest quality, which ought to be taken from the hip bone, and
should be shredded very fine. All fat and skin must be carefully
removed. One or two tea-spoonfuls (according to the age of the child)
ought to be given every four hours. The giving of _raw_ meat to
children in exhaustive diseases, such as excessive long-standing
diarrhoea, was introduced into practice by a Russian physician, a
Professor Wiesse of St Petersburg. It certainly is, in these cases, a
most valuable remedy, and has frequently been the means of snatching
such patients from the jaws of death. Children usually take raw meat
with avidity and with a relish.

254. _If a child be naturally delicate, what plan would you recommend
to strengthen him_?

I should advise strict attention to the rules above mentioned, and
_change of air_--more especially, if it be possible, to the
coast. Change of air, sometimes, upon a delicate child, acts like
magic, and may restore him to health when all other means have
failed. If a girl be delicate, "carry her off to the farm, there to
undergo the discipline of new milk, brown bread, early hours, no
lessons, and romps in the hay-field."--_Blackwood_. This advice is, of
course, equally applicable for a delicate boy, as delicate boys and
delicate girls ought to be treated alike. Unfortunately in these very
enlightened days there is too great a distinction made in the
respective management and treatment of boys and girls.

The best medicines for a delicate child will be the wine of iron and
cod-liver oil. Give them combined in the manner I shall advise when
speaking of the treatment of Rickets.

In diseases of long standing, and that resist the usual remedies,
there is nothing like _change of air_. Hippocrates, the father of
medicine, says--

  "In longis morbis solum mutare."
  (In tedious diseases to change the place of residence.)

A child who, in the winter, is always catching cold, whose life during
half of the year is one continued catarrh, who is in consequence,
likely, if he grow up at all, to grow up a confirmed invalid, ought,
during the winter months, to seek another clime; and if the parents
can afford the expense, they should at the beginning of October, cause
him to bend his steps to the south of Europe--Mentone being as good a
place as they could probably fix upon.

255. _Do you approve of sea bathing for a delicate young child_?

No: he is frequently so frightened by it that the alarm would do him
more harm than the bathing would do him good. The better plan would be
to have him every morning well sponged, especially his back and loins,
with sea water; and to have him as much as possible carried on the
beach, in order that he may inhale the sea breezes. When he be older,
and is not frightened at being dipped, sea bathing will be very
beneficial to him. If bathing is to do good, either to an adult or to
a child, it must be anticipated with pleasure, and neither with dread
nor with distaste.

256. _What is the best method for administering medicine to a child_?

If he be old enough, appeal to his reason; for, if a mother endeavour
to deceive her child, and he detect her, he will for the future
suspect her. If he be too young to be reasoned with, then, if he will
not take his medicine, he must be compelled. Lay him across your
knees, let both his hands and his nose be tightly held, and then, by
means of the patent medicine-spoon, or, if that be not at hand, by
either a tea or a dessert-spoon, pour the medicine down his throat,
and he will be obliged to swallow it.

It may be said that this is a cruel procedure; but it is the only way
to compel an unruly child to take physic, and is much less cruel than
running the risk of his dying from the medicine not having been
administered. [Footnote: If any of my medical brethren should
perchance read these Conversations, I respectfully and earnestly
recommend them to take more pains in making medicines for children
pleasant and palatable. I am convinced that, in the generality of
instances, provided a little more care and thought were bestowed on
the subject, it may be done; and what an amount of both trouble and
annoyance it would save! It is really painful to witness the struggles
and cries of a child when _nauseous_ medicine is to be given; the
passion and excitement often do more harm than the medicine does

257. _Ought a sick child to be roused from his sleep to give him
physic, when it is time for him to take it_?

On no account, as sleep, being a natural restorative, must not be
interfered with. A mother cannot be too particular in administering
the medicine, at stated periods, whilst he is awake.

258. _Have you any remarks to make on the management of a sick-room,
and have you any directions to give on the nursing of a child_?

In sickness select a large and lofty room; if in the town, the back of
the house will be preferable--in order to keep the patient free from
noise and bustle--as a sick-chamber cannot be kept too quiet. Be sure
that there be a chimney in the room--as there ought to be in _every_
room in the house--and that it be not stopped, as it will help to
carry off the impure air of the apartment. Keep the chamber _well
ventilated_, by, from time to time, opening the window. The air of the
apartment cannot be too pure; therefore, let the evacuations from the
bowels be instantly removed, either to a distant part of the house, or
to an out-house or to the cellar, as it might be necessary to keep
them for the medical man's inspection.

Before using either the night-commode, or the _pot-de-chambre_, let a
little water, to the depth of one or two inches, be put in the pan, or
_pot_; in order to sweeten the motion, and to prevent the faecal
matter from adhering to the vessel.

Let there be frequent change of linen, as in sickness it is even more
necessary than in health, more especially if the complaint be
fever. In an attack of fever, clean sheets ought, every other day, to
be put on the bed; clean body-linen every day. A frequent change of
linen in sickness is most refreshing.

If the complaint be fever, a fire in the grate will not be
necessary. Should it be a case either of inflammation of the lungs or
of the chest, a small fire in the winter time is desirable, keeping
the temperature of the room as nearly as possible at 60 degrees
Fahrenheit. Bear in mind that a large fire in a sick-room cannot be
too strongly condemned; for if there be fever--and there are scarcely
any complaints without--a large fire only increases it. Small fires,
in cases either of inflammation of the lungs or of the chest, in the
winter time, encourage ventilation of the apartment, and thus carry
off impure air. If it be summer time, of course fires would be
improper. A thermometer is an indispensable requisite in a sick-room.

In fever, free and thorough ventilation is of vital importance, more
especially in scarlet fever; then a patient cannot have too much air;
in scarlet fever, for the first few days the windows, be it winter or
summer, must to the widest extent be opened. The fear of the patient
catching cold by doing so is one of the numerous prejudices and
baseless fears that haunt the nursery, and the sooner it is exploded
the better it will he for human life. The valances and bed-curtains
ought to be removed, and there should be as little furniture in the
room as possible.

If it be a case of measles, it will be necessary to adopt a different
course; then the windows ought not to be opened, but the door must
from time to time be left ajar. In a case of measles, if it be winter
time, a _small_ fire in the room will be necessary. In inflammation of
the lungs or of the chest, the windows should not be opened, but the
door ought occasionally to be left unfastened, in order to change the
air and to make it pure. Remember, then, that ventilation, either by
open window or by open door, is in all diseases most necessary.
Ventilation is one of the best friends a doctor has.

In fever, do not load the bed with clothes; in the summer a sheet is
sufficient, in winter a sheet and a blanket.

In fever, do not be afraid of allowing the patient plenty either of
cold water or of cold toast and water; Nature will tell him when he
has had enough. In measles, let the chill be taken off the toast and

In _croup_, have always ready a plentiful supply of hot water, in case
a warm bath might he required.

In _child-crowing_, have always in the sick-room a supply of cold
water, ready at a moment's notice to dash upon the face.

In fever, do not let the little patient lie on the lap; he will rest
more comfortably on a horse-hair mattress in his crib or cot. If he
have pain in the bowels, the lap is most agreeable to him; the warmth
of the body, either of the mother or of the nurse, soothes him;
besides, if he be on the lap, he can be turned on his stomach and on
his bowels, which, often affords him great relief and comfort. If he
be much emaciated, when he is nursed, place a pillow upon the lap and
let him lie upon it.

In _head affections_, darken the room with a _green_ calico blind;
keep the chamber more than usually quiet; let what little talking is
necessary be carried on in whispers, but the less of that the better;
and in _head affections_, never allow smelling salts to be applied to
the nose, as they only increase the flow of blood to the head, and
consequently do harm.

It is often a good sign for a child, who is seriously ill, to suddenly
become cross. It is then he begins to feel his weakness and to give
vent to his feelings. "Children are almost always cross when
recovering from an illness, however patient they may have been during
its severest moments, and the phenomenon is not by any means confined
to children."--Geo. McDonald.

A sick child must _not_ be stuffed with _much_ food at a time. He will
take either a table-spoonful of new milk or a table-spoonful of
chicken broth every half hour with greater advantage than a tea-cupful
of either the one or the other every four hours, which large quantity
would very probably be rejected from his stomach, and may cause the
unfortunately treated child to die of starvation!

If a sick child be peevish, attract his attention either by a toy or
by an ornament; if he be cross, win him over to good humour by love,
affection, and caresses, but let it be done gently and without
noise. Do not let visitors see him; they will only excite, distract,
and irritate him, and help to consume the oxygen of the atmosphere,
and thus rob the air of its exhilarating health-giving qualities and
purity; a sick-room, therefore, is not a proper place, either for
visitors or for gossips.

In selecting a sick-nurse, let her be gentle, patient, cheerful,
quiet, and kind, but firm withal; she ought to be neither old nor
young: if she be old she is often garrulous and prejudiced, and thinks
too much of her trouble; if she he young, she is frequently
thoughtless and noisy; therefore choose a middle-aged woman. Do not
let there be in the sick-room more than, besides the mother, one
efficient nurse; a greater number can he of no service--they will only
be in each other's way, and will distract the patient.

Let stillness, especially if the head be the part affected, reign in a
sick-room. Creaking shoes [Footnote: Nurses at these times ought to
wear slippers, and not shoes. The best slippers in sick-rooms are
those manufactured by the North British Rubber Company, Edinburgh;
they enable nurses to walk in them about the room without causing the
slightest noise; indeed, they might truly be called "the noiseless
slipper," a great desideratum in such cases, more especially in all
head affections of children. If the above slippers cannot readily be
obtained, then list slippers--soles and all bring made of list--will
answer the purpose equally as well.] and rustling silk dresses ought
not to be worn in sick-chambers--they are quite out of place there. If
the child be asleep, or if he be dozing, perfect stillness must he
enjoined, not even a whisper should be heard:--

  "In the sick-room be calm,
    More gently and with care.
  Lest any jar or sudden noise,
    Come sharply unaware.

  You cannot tell the harm.
    The mischief it may bring,
  To wake the sick one suddenly,
    Besides the suffering.

  The broken sleep excites
    Fresh pain, increased distress;
  The quiet slumber undisturb'd
    Soothes pain and restlessness.

  Sleep is the gift of God:
   Oh! bear these words at heart,
  'He giveth His beloved sleep,'
    And gently do thy part."

[Footnote: _Household verses on Health and Happiness._ London: Jarrold
and Sons. A most delightful little volume.]

If there be other children, let them be removed to a distant part of
the house; or, if the disease be of an infectious nature, let them be
sent away from home altogether.

In all illnesses--and bear in mind the following is most important
advice--a child must be encouraged to try and make water, whether he
ask or not, at least four times during the twenty-four hours; and at
any other time, if he express the slightest inclination to do so. I
have known a little fellow to hold his water, to his great detriment,
for twelve hours, because either the mother bad in her trouble
forgotten to inquire, or the child himself was either too ill or too
indolent to make the attempt.

See that the medical man's directions are, to the very letter, carried
out. Do not fancy that you know better than he does, otherwise you
have no business to employ him. Let him, then, have your implicit
confidence and your exact obedience. What _you_ may consider to be a
trifling matter, may frequently be of the utmost importance, and may
sometimes decide whether the case shall end either in life or death!

_Lice_.--It is not very poetical, as many of the grim facts of
every-day life are not, but, unlike a great deal of poetry, it is
unfortunately too true that after a severe and dangerous illness,
especially after a bad attack of fever, a child's head frequently
becomes infested with vermin--with lice. It therefore behoves a mother
herself to thoroughly examine, by means of a fine-tooth comb,
[Footnote: Which fine-tooth comb ought not to be used at any other
time except for the purpose of examination, as the constant use of a
fine-tooth comb would scratch the scalp, and would encourage a
quantity of scurf to accumulate.] her child's head, in order to
satisfy her mind that there be no vermin there. As soon as he be well
enough, he ought to resume his regular ablutions--that is to say, that
he must go again regularly into his tub, and have his head every
morning thoroughly washed with soap and water. A mother ought to be
particular in seeing that the nurse washes the hair-brush at least
once every week; if she does not do so, the dirty brush which had
during the illness been used, might contain the "nits"--the eggs of
the lice--and would thus propagate the vermin, as they will, when on
the head of the child, soon hatch. If there be already lice on the
head, in addition to the regular washing every morning with the soap
and water, and after the head has been thoroughly dried, let the hair
be well and plentifully dressed with camphorated oil--the oil being
allowed to remain on until the next washing on the following
morning. Lice cannot live in oil (more especially if, as in
camphorated oil, camphor be dissolved in it), and as the camphorated
oil will not, in the slightest degree, injure the hair, it is the best
application that can be used. But as soon as the vermin have
disappeared, let the oil be discontinued, as the _natural oil_ of the
hair is, at other times, the only oil that is required on the head.

The "nit"--the egg of the louse--might be distinguished from scurf
(although to the _naked_ eye it is very much like it in appearance) by
the former fastening firmly on one of the hairs as a barnacle would on
a rock, and by it not being readily brushed off as scurf would, which
latter (scurf) is always loose.

259. _My child, in the summer time, is much tormented with fleas: what
are the best remedies_?

A small muslin bag, filled with camphor, placed in the cot or bed,
will drive fleas away. Each flea-bite should, from time to time, be
dressed by means of a camel's hair brush, with a drop or two of Spirit
of Camphor; an ounce bottle of which ought, for the purpose, to be
procured from a chemist. Camphor is also an excellent remedy to
prevent bugs from biting. Bugs and fleas have a horror of camphor; and
well they might, for it is death to them!

There is a famous remedy for the destruction of fleas manufactured in
France, entitled "_La Poudre Insecticide,_" which, although perfectly
harmless to the human economy, is utterly destructive to fleas. Bugs
are best destroyed either by Creosote or by oil of Turpentine: the
places they do love to congregate in should be well saturated by means
of a brush, with the creosote or with the oil of turpentine. A few
dressings will effectually destroy both them and their young ones.

260. _Is not the pulse a great sign either of health or of disease_?

It is, and every mother should have a general idea of what the pulse
of children of different ages should be both in health and in
disease. "Every person should know how to ascertain the state of the
pulse in health; then, by comparing it with what it is when he is
ailing, he may have some idea of the urgency of his case. Parents
should know the healthy pulse of each child, since now and then a
person is born with a peculiarly slow or fast pulse, and the very case
in hand may be of such peculiarity. An infant's pulse is 140, a child
of seven about 80, and from 20 to 60 years it is 70 beats a minute,
declining to 60 at fourscore. A healthful grown person beats 70 times
in a minute, declining to 60 at fourscore. At 60, if the pulse always
exceeds 70, there is a disease; the machine working itself out, there
is a fever or inflammation somewhere, and the body is feeding on
itself, as in consumption, when the pulse is quick."

261. _Suppose a child to have had an attack either of inflammation of
the lungs or of bronchitis, and to be much predisposed to a return:
what precautions would you take to prevent either the one or the other
for the future_?

I would recommend him to wear fine flannel instead of lawn shirts; to
wear good lamb's-wool stockings _above the knees_, and good, strong,
dry shoes to his feet; to live, weather permitting, a great part of
every day in the open air; to strengthen his system by good nourishing
food--by an abundance of both milk and meat (the former especially);
to send him, in the autumn, for a couple of months, to the sea-side;
to administer to him, from time to time, cod-liver oil; in short, to
think only of his health, and to let learning, until he be stronger,
be left alone. I also advise either table salt or bay salt, or
Tidman's Sea Salt, to be added to the water in which the child is
washed with in the morning, in a similar manner as recommended in
answer to a previous question.

262. _Then do you not advise such a child to be confined within

If any inflammation be present, or if he have but just recovered from
one, it would be improper to send him into the open air, but not
otherwise, as the fresh air would be a likely means of strengthening
the lungs, and thereby of preventing an attack of inflammation for the
future. Besides, the more a child is coddled within doors, the more
likely will he be to catch cold, and to renew the inflammation. If the
weather be cold, yet neither wet nor damp, he ought to be sent out,
but let him be well clothed; and the nurse should have strict
injunctions _not_ to stand about entries or in any draughts--indeed,
not to stand about at all, but to keep walking about all the time she
is in the open air. Unless you have a trustworthy nurse, it will be
well for you either to accompany her in her walk with your child, or
merely to allow her to walk with him in the garden, as you can then
keep your eye upon both of them.

263. _If a child be either chicken-breasted, or if he be
narrow-chested, are there any means of expanding and of strengthening
his chest_?

Learning ought to be put out of the question, attention must be paid
to his health alone, or consumption will probably mark him as its own!
Let him live as much as possible in the open air; if it be country, so
much the better. Let him rise early in the morning, and let him go to
bed betimes; and if he be old enough to use the dumb-bells, or what is
better, an India-rubber chest-expander, he should do so daily. He
ought also to be encouraged to use two short sticks, similar to, but
heavier than, a policeman's staff, and to go, every morning, through
regular exercises with them. As soon as he is old enough, let him have
lessons from a drill-sergeant and from a dancing master. Let him be
made both to walk and to sit upright, and let him be kept as much as
possible upon a milk diet, [Footnote: Where milk does not agree, it may
generally be made to do so by the addition of one part of lime water
to seven parts of new milk. Moreover, the lime will be of service in
hardening his bones, and, in these cases, the bones require
hardening.] and give him as much as he can eat of fresh meat every
day. Cod liver oil, a tea-spoonful or a dessert-spoonful, according to
his age, twice a day, is serviceable in these cases. Stimulants ought
to be carefully avoided. In short, let every means be used to nourish,
to strengthen, and invigorate the system, without, at the same time,
creating fever. Such a child should be a child of nature, he ought
almost to live in the open air, and throw his books to the winds. Of
what use is learning without health? In such a case as this you
cannot have both.

264. _If a child be round-shouldered, or if either of his
shoulder-blades have "grown out," what had better be done_?

Many children have either round shoulders, or have their shoulder
blades grown out, or have their spines twisted, from growing too fast,
from being allowed to slouch in their gait, and from not having
sufficient nourishing food, such as meat and milk, to support them
while the rapid growth of childhood is going on.

If your child be affected as above described, nourish him well on milk
and on farinaceous food, and on meat once a day, but let milk be his
staple diet; he ought, during the twenty four hours, to take two or
three pints of new milk. He should almost live in the open air, and
must have plenty of play. If you can so contrive it, let him live in
the country. When tired, let him lie, for half an hour, two or three
times daily, flat on his back on the carpet. Let him rest at night on
a horse-hair mattress, and not on a feather bed.

Let him have every morning, if it be summer, a thorough cold water
ablution, if it be winter, let the water be made tepid. Let either two
handfuls of table salt or a handful of bay salt be dissolved in the
water. Let the salt and water stream well over his shoulders and down
his back and loins. Let him be well dried with a moderately coarse
towel, and then let his back be well rubbed, and his shoulders be
thrown back-exercising them much in the same manner as in skipping,
for five or ten minutes at a time. Skipping, by-the-by, is of great
use in these cases, whether the child be either a boy or a girl-using,
of course, the rope backwards, and not forwards.

Let books be utterly discarded until his shoulders have become strong,
and thus no longer round, and his shoulder-blades have become
straight. It is a painful sight to see a child stoop like an old man.

Let him have, twice daily, a tea-spoonful or a dessert-spoonful
(according to his age) of cod-liver oil, giving it him on a full and
not on an empty stomach.

When he is old enough, let the drill-sergeant give him regular
lessons, and let the dancing-master be put in requisition. Let him go
through regular gymnastic exercises, provided they are not of a
violent character.

But, bear in mind, let there be in these cases no mechanical
restraints--no shoulder-straps, no abominable stays. Make him straight
by natural means--by making him strong. Mechanical means would only,
by weakening and wasting the muscles, increase the mischief, and thus
the deformity. In this world of ours there is too much reliance placed
on artificial, and too little on natural means of cure.

265. _What are the causes of Bow Legs in a child; and what is the

Weakness of constitution, poor and insufficient nourishment, and
putting a child, more especially a fat and heavy one, on his legs too

_Treatment._--Nourishing food, such as an abundance of milk, and, if
he be old enough, of meat; iron medicines; cod-liver-oil; thorough
ablution, every morning of the whole body; an abundance of exercise,
either on pony, or on donkey, or in carriage, but not, until his legs
be stronger, on foot. If they are much bowed, it will be necessary to
consult an experienced surgeon.

266. _If a child, while asleep, "wet his bed" is there any method of
preventing him from doing so_?

Let him be held out just before he himself goes to bed, and again when
the family retires to rest. If, at the time, he be asleep, he will
become so accustomed to it, that he will, without awaking, make water.
He ought to be made to lie on his side; for, if he be put on his back,
the urine will rest upon an irritable part of the bladder, and, if he
be inclined to wet his bed, he will not be able to avoid doing so. He
must not be allowed to drink much with his meals, especially with his
supper. Wetting the bed is an infirmity with some children--they
cannot help it. It is, therefore, cruel to scold and chastise them for
it. Occasionally, however, wetting the bed arises from idleness; in
which case, of course, a little wholesome correction might be

Water-proof Bed-sheeting--one yard by three-quarters of a yard--will
effectually preserve the bed from being wetted, and ought always, on
these occasions, to be used.

A mother ought, every morning, to ascertain for herself, whether a
child have wet his bed; if he have, and if, unfortunately, the
water-proof cloth have not been used, the mattress, sheets, and
blankets must be instantly taken to the kitchen fire and be properly
dried. Inattention to the above has frequently caused a child to
suffer either from cold, from a fever, or from an inflammation; not
only so, but, if they be not dried, he is wallowing in filth and in an
offensive effluvium. If both mother and nurse were more attentive to
their duties--in frequently holding a child out, whether he ask or
not--a child wetting his bed would be the exception, and not, as it
frequently is, the rule. If a child be dirty, you may depend upon it,
the right persons to blame are the mother and the nurse, and not the

267. _If a child should catch Small-pox, what are the best means to
prevent pitting_?

He ought to be desired neither to pick nor to rub the pustules. If he
be too young to attend to these directions, his hands must be secured
in bags (just large enough to hold them), which bags should he
fastened round the wrists. The nails must be cut very close.

Cream smeared, by means of a feather, frequently in the day, on the
pustules, affords great comfort and benefit. Tripe liquor (without
salt) has, for the same purpose, been strongly recommended. I myself,
in several cases, have tried it, and with the happiest results. It is
most soothing, comforting, and healing to the skin.

268. _Can you, tell me of any plan to prevent Chilblaine, or, if a
child be suffering from them, to cure them_?

_First, then, the way to prevent them._--Let a child, who is subject
to them, wear, in the winter time, a square piece of wash-leather over
the toes, a pair of warm lamb's-wool stockings, and good shoes; but,
above all, let him be encouraged to run about the house as much as
possible, especially before going to bed; and on no account allow him
either to warm has feet before the fire, or to bathe them in hot
water. If the feet be cold, and the child be too young to take
exercise, then let them be well rubbed with the warm hand. If adults
suffer from chilblains, I have found friction, night and morning, with
horse-hail flesh-gloves, the best means of preventing them.

_Secondly, the way to cure them._--If they be unbroken: the
old-fashioned remedy of onion and salt is one of the best of
remedies. Cut an onion in two; take one-half of it, dip it in table
salt and well rub, for two or three minutes, the chilblain with
it. The onion and salt is a famous remedy to relieve that intolerable
itching which sometimes accompanies chilblains: then let them be
covered with a piece of lint, over which a piece of wash-leather
should be placed.

_If they be broken_, let a piece of lint be spread with
spermaceti-cerate, and be applied, every morning, to the part, and let
a white-bread poultice be used every night.

269. _During the winter time my child's hands, legs, &c., chap very
much; what ought I to do_?

Let a tea-cupful of bran be tied up in a muslin bag, and be put, over
the night, into either a large water-can or jug of _rain_ water;
[Footnote: _Rain_ water ought _always_ to be used in the washing of a
child; pump water is likely to chap the skin, and to make it both
rough and irritable.] and let this water from the can or jug be the
water he is to be washed with on the following morning, and every
morning until the chaps be cured. As often as water is withdrawn,
either from the water-can or from the jog, let fresh rain water take
its place, in order that the bran may be constantly soaking in it. The
bran in the bag should be renewed about twice a week.

Take particular care to dry the skin well every time he be washed;
then, after each ablution, as well as every night at bed-time, rub a
piece of deer's suet over the parts affected: a few dressings will
perform a cure. The deer's suet may be bought at any of the shops
where venison is sold. Another excellent remedy is glycerine,
[Footnote: Glycerine prepared by Price's Patent Candle Company is by
far the best. Sometimes, if the child's skin be very irritable, the
glycerine requires diluting with water--say, two ounces of glycerine
to be mixed in a bottle with four ounces of rain water--the bottle to
be well shaken just before using it.] which should be smeared, by
means of the finger or by a camel's hair brush, on the parts affected,
two or three times a day. If the child be very young, it might be
necessary to dilute the glycerine with rose-water; fill a small bottle
one-third with glycerine, and fill up the remaining two-thuds of the
bottle with rose-water--shaking the bottle every time just before
using it. The best soap to use for chapped hands is the glycerine
soap: no other being required.

270. _What is the best remedy for Chapped Lips_?

Cold-cream (which may be procured of any respectable chemist) is an
excellent application for _chapped lips_. It ought, by means of the
finger, to be frequently smeared on the parts affected.

271. _Have the goodness to inform me of the different varieties of
Worms that infest a child's bowels_?

Principally three--1, The tape-worm; 2, the long round-worm; and 3,
the most frequent of all, the common thread or maw-worm. The tape-worm
infests the whole course of the bowels, both small and large: the long
round-worm, principally the small bowels, occasionally the stomach; it
sometimes crawls out of the child's mouth, causing alarm to the
mother; there is, of course, no danger in its doing so: the common
thread-worm or maw-worm infests the rectum or fundament.

272. _What are the causes of Worms_?

The causes of worms are: weak bowels; bad and improper food, such as
unripe, unsound, or uncooked fruit, and much green vegetables; pork,
especially underdone pork; [Footnote: One frequent, if not the most
frequent, cause of tape-worm is the eating of pork, more especially if
it be underdone. _Underdone_ pork is the most unwholesome food that
can he eaten, and is the most frequent cause of tape-worm
known. _Underdone_ beef also gives tape-worm; let the meat, therefore,
be well and properly cooked. These facts ought to be borne in mind, as
prevention is always better than cure.] an abundance of sweets; the
neglecting of giving salt in the food.

273. _What are the symptoms and the treatment of Worms_?

_The symptoms_ of worms are--emaciation; itching and picking of the
nose; a dark mark under the eyes; grating, during sleep, of the teeth;
starting in the sleep; foul breath; furred tongue; uncertain
appetite--sometimes voracious, at other times bad, the little patient
sitting down very hungry to his dinner, and before scarcely tasting a
mouthful, the appetite vanishing; large bowels; colicky pains of the
bowels; slimy motions; itching of the fundament. Tape-worm and
round-worm, more especially the former, are apt, in children, to
produce convulsions. Tape-worm is very weakening to the constitution,
and usually causes great emaciation and general ill-health; the
sooner, therefore, it is expelled from the bowels the better it will
be for the patient.

Many of the obscure diseases of children arise from worms. In all
doubtful cases, therefore, this fact should be borne in mind, in order
that a thorough investigation may be instituted.

With regard to _treatment_, a medical man ought, of course, to be
consulted. He will soon use means both to dislodge them, and to
prevent a future recurrence of them.

Let me caution a mother never to give her child patent medicines for
the destruction of worms. There is one favourite quack powder, which
is composed principally of large doses of calomel, and which is quite
as likely to destroy the patient as the worms! No, if your child have
worms, put him under the care of a judicious medical man, who will
soon expel them, without, at the same tune, injuring health or

274. _How may worms be prevented from infesting a child's bowels_?

Worms generally infest _weak_ bowels; hence, the moment a child
becomes strong worms cease to exist. The reason why a child is so
subject to them is owing to the improper food which is usually given
to him. When he be stuffed with unsound and with unripe fruits, with
much sweets, with rich puddings, and with pastry, and when he is
oftentimes allowed to eat his meat _without_ salt, and to _bolt_ his
food without chewing it, is there any wonder that he should suffer
from worms? The way to prevent them is to avoid such things, and, at
the same time, to give him plenty of salt to his _fresh_ and
well-cooked meat. Salt strengthens and assists digestion, and is
absolutely necessary to the human economy. Salt is emphatically a worm
destroyer. The truth of this statement may be readily tested by
sprinkling a little salt on the common earth-worm. "What a comfort
and real requisite to human life is salt! It enters into the
constituents of the human blood, and to do without it is wholly
impossible."--_The Grocer_. To do without it is wholly impossible!
These are true words. Look well to it, therefore, ye mothers, and
beware of the consequences of neglecting such advice, and see for
yourselves that your children regularly eat salt with their food. If
they neglect eating salt with their food, they _must of necessity have
worms_, and worms that will eventually injure them, and make them
miserable. All food, then, should be "flavoured with salt;"
_flavoured_, that is to say, salt should be used in each and every
kind of food--_not in excess, but in moderation_.

275. _You have a great objection to the frequent administration of
aperient medicines to a child: can you advise any method to prevent
their use_?

Although we can scarcely call constipation a disease, yet it sometimes
leads to disease. The frequent giving of aperients only adds to the
stubbornness of the bowels.

I have generally found a draught, early every morning, of _cold_ pump
water, the eating either of Huntley and Palmer's loaf ginger-bread, or
of oatmeal gingerbread, a variety of animal and vegetable food, ripe
sound fruit, Muscatel raisins, a fig, or an orange after dinner, and,
when he be old enough, _coffee_ and milk instead of _tea_ and milk, to
have the desired effect, more especially if, for a time, aperients be
studiously avoided.

276. _Have you any remarks to make on Rickets_?

Rickets is owing to a want of a sufficient quantity of earthy matter
in the bones; hence the bones bend and twist, and lose their shape,
causing deformity. Rickets generally begins to show itself between the
first and second years of a child's life. Such children are generally
late in cutting their teeth, and when the teeth do come they are bad,
deficient of enamel, discoloured, and readily decay. A rickety child
is generally stunted in stature; he has a large head, with overhanging
forehead, or what nurses call a watery-head-shaped forehead. The
fontanelles, or openings of the head, as they are called, are a long
time in closing. A rickety child is usually talented; his brain seems
to thrive at the expense of his general health. His breast-bone
projects out, and the sides of his chest are flattened; hence he
becomes what is called chicken-breasted or pigeon-breasted; his spine
is usually twisted, so that he is quite awry, and, in a bad case, he
is hump-backed; the ribs, from the twisted spine, on one side bulge
out; he is round-shouldered; the long bones of his body, being soft,
bend; he is bow-legged, knock-kneed, and weak-ankled.

Rickets are of various degrees of intensity, the humpbacked being
among the worst There are many mild forms of rickets; weak ankles,
knocked-knees, bowed-legs, chicken-breasts, being among the latter
number. Many a child, who is not exactly hump-backed, is very
round-shouldered, which latter is also a mild species of rickets.

Show me a child that is rickety, and I can generally prove that it is
owing to poor living, more especially to poor milk. If milk were
always genuine, and if a child had an abundance of it, my belief is
that rickets would be a very rare disease. The importance of genuine
milk is of national importance. We cannot have a race of strong men
and women unless, as children, they have had a good and plentiful
supply of milk. It is utterly impossible. Milk might well be
considered one of the necessaries of a child's existence. Genuine,
fresh milk, then, is one of the grand preventatives, as well as one of
the best remedies, for rickets. Many a child would not now have to
swallow quantities Of cod-liver oil if previously he had imbibed
quantities of good genuine milk. An insufficient and a poor supply of
milk in childhood sows the seeds of many diseases, and death often
gathers the fruit. Can it be wondered at, when there is so much poor
and nasty milk in England, that rickets in one shape or another is so

When will mothers arouse from their slumbers, rub their eyes, and see
clearly the importance of the subject? When will they know that all
the symptoms of rickets I have just enumerated _usually_ proceed from
the want of nourishment, more especially from the want of genuine, and
of an abundance of, milk? There are, of, course, other means of
warding off rickets besides an abundance of nourishing food, such as
thorough ablution, plenty of air, exercise, play, and sunshine; but of
all these splendid remedies, nourishment stands at the top of the

I do not mean to say that rickets _always_ proceeds from poorness of
living--from poor milk. It sometimes arises from scrofula, and is an
inheritance of one or of both the parents.

Rickety children, if not both carefully watched and managed,
frequently, when they become youths, die of consumption.

A mother, who has for some time neglected the advice I have just
given, will often find, to her grievous cost, that the mischief has,
past remedy, been done, and that it is now "too late!--too late!"

277. _How may a child be prevented from becoming rickety? or, if he be
rickety, how ought he to be treated_?

If a child be predisposed to be rickety, or if he be actually rickety,
attend to the following rules:--

Let him live well, on good nourishing diet, such as on tender
rump-steaks, cut very fine, and mixed with mashed potatoes, crumb of
bread, and with the gravy of the meat. Let him have, as I have before
advised, an abundance of good new milk--a quart or three pints during
every twenty-four hours. Let him have milk in every form--as milk
gruel, Du Barry's Arabica Revalenta made with milk, batter and rice
puddings, suet puddings, bread and milk, etc.

_To harden the bones_, let lime water be added to the milk (a
table-spoonful to each tea-cupful of milk.)

Let him have a good supply of fresh, pure, dry air. He must almost
live in the open air--the country, if practicable, in preference to
the town, and the coast in summer and autumn. Sea bathing and sea
breezes are often, in these cases, of inestimable value.

He ought not, at an early age, to be allowed to bear his weight upon
his legs. He must sleep on a horse-hair mattress, and not on a feather
bed. He should use every morning cold baths in the summer and tepid
baths in the winter, with bay salt (a handful) dissolved in the water.

Friction with the hand must, for half an hour at a time, every night
and morning, be sedulously applied to the back and to the limbs. It is
wonderful how much good in these cases friction does.

Strict attention ought to be paid to the rules of health as laid down
in these Conversations. Whatever is conducive to the general health is
preventive and curative of rickets.

Books, if he be old enough to read them, should be thrown aside;
health, and health alone, must be the one grand object.

The best medicines in these cases are a combination of cod-liver oil
and the wine of iron, given in the following manner:--Put a
tea-spoonful of wine of iron into a wine-glass, half fill the glass
with water, sweeten it with a lump or two of sugar, then let a
tea-spoonful of cod-liver oil swim on the top; let the child drink it
all down together, twice or three times a day. An hour after a meal is
the _best_ time to give the medicine, as both iron and cod-liver oil
sit better on a _full_ than on an _empty_ stomach. The child in a
short time will become fond of the above medicine, and will be sorry
when it is discontinued.

A case of rickets requires great patience and steady perseverance;
let, therefore, the above plan have a fair and long-continued trial,
and I can then promise that there will be every probability that great
benefit will be derived from it.

278. _If a child be subject to a scabby eruption about the mouth, what
is the best local application_?

Leave it to nature. Do not, on any account, apply any local
application to heal it; if you do, you may produce injury; you may
either bring on an attack of inflammation, or you may throw him into
convulsions. No! This "breaking-out" is frequently a safety-valve,
and must not therefore be needlessly interfered with. Should the
eruption be severe, reduce the child's diet; keep him from butter,
from gravy, and from fat meat, or, indeed, for a few days from meat
altogether; and give him mild aperient medicine; but, above all
things, do not quack him either with calomel or with grey-powder.

279. _Will you have the goodness to describe the eruption on the face
and on the head of a young child, called Milk-Crust or Running Scall_?

Milk-crust is a complaint of very young children--of those who are
cutting their teeth--and, as it is a nasty looking complaint, and
frequently gives a mother a great deal of trouble, of anxiety, and
annoyance, it will be well that you should know its symptoms, its
causes, and its probable duration.

_Symptoms_.--When a child is about nine months or a year old, small
pimples are apt to break out around the ears, on the forehead, and on
the head. These pimples at length become vesicles (that is to say,
they contain water), which run into one large one, break, and form a
nasty dirty-looking yellowish, and sometimes greenish, scab, which
scab is moist, indeed, sometimes quite wet, and gives out a
disagreeable odour, and which is sometimes so large on the head as
actually to form a skullcap, and so extensive on the face as to form a
mask. These, I am happy to say, are rare cases. The child's beauty
is, of, course, for a time completely destroyed, and not only his
beauty, but his good temper; for as the eruption causes great
irritation and itching, he is constantly clawing himself, and crying
with annoyance the great part of the day, and sometimes also of the
night--the eruption preventing him from sleeping. It is not
contagious, and soon after he has cut the whole of his first set of
teeth it will get well, provided it has not been improperly interfered

_Causes_.--Irritation from teething; stuffing him with overmuch meat,
thus producing a humour, which Nature tries to get rid of by throwing
it out on the surface of the body; the safest place she could fix on
for the purpose; hence the folly and danger of giving medicines and
applying _external_ applications to drive the eruption in. "Diseased
nature oftentimes breaks forth in strange eruptions," and cures
herself in this way, if she be not too much interfered with, and if
the eruption be not driven in by injudicious treatment. I have known
in such cases disastrous consequences to follow over-officiousness and
meddlesomeness. Nature is trying all she can to drive the humour out,
while some wiseacres are doing all they can to drive the humour in.

_Duration_.--As milk-crust is a tedious affair, and will require a
variety of treatment, it will be necessary to consult an experienced
medical man; and although he will be able to afford great relief, the
child will not, in all probability, be quite free from the eruption
until he have cut the whole of his first set of teeth--until he be
upwards of two years and a half old--when, with judicious and careful
treatment, it will gradually disappear, and eventually leave not a
trace behind.

It will be far better to leave the case alone--to get well of
itself--rather than to try to cure the complaint either by outward
applications or by strong internal medicines; "the remedy is often
worse than the disease," of this I am quite convinced.

280. _Have you any advice to give me as to my conduct towards my
medical man_?

Give him your entire confidence. Be truthful and be candid with
him. Tell him the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth. Have no reservations; give him, as near as you can, a plain,
unvarnished statement of the symptoms of the disease. Do not magnify,
and do not make too light of any of them. Be prepared to state the
exact time the child first showed symptoms of illness. If he have had
a shivering fit, however slight, do not fail to tell your medical man
of it. Note the state of the skin; if there be a "breaking-out"--be it
ever so trifling--let it be pointed out to him. Make yourself
acquainted with the quantity and with the appearance of the urine,
taking care to have a little of it saved, in case the doctor may wish
to see and examine it. Take notice of the state of the motions--their
number during the twenty-four hours, their colour, their smell, and
their consistence, keeping one for his inspection. Never leave any of
these questions to be answered by a servant; a mother is the proper
person to give the necessary and truthful answers, which answers
frequently decide the fate of the patient. Bear in mind, then, a
mother's untiring care and love, attention and truthfulness,
frequently decide whether, in a serious illness, the little fellow
shall live or die! Fearful responsibility!

A medical man has arduous duties to perform; smooth, therefore, his
path as much as you can, and you will be amply repaid by the increased
good he will be able to do your child. Strictly obey a doctor's
orders--in diet, in medicine, in everything. Never throw obstacles in
his way. Never omit any of his suggestions; for, depend upon it that
if he be a sensible man, directions, however slight, ought never to be
neglected; bear in mind, with a judicious medical man,

  "That nothing walks with aimless feet."--_Tennyson_.

If the case be severe, requiring a second opinion, never of your own
accord call in a physician, without first consulting and advising with
your own medical man. It would be an act of great discourtesy to do
so. Inattention to the foregoing advice has frequently caused injury
to the patient, and heart-burnings and ill-will among doctors.

Speak, in the presence of your child, with respect and kindness of
your medical man, so that the former may look upon the latter as a
friend--as one who will strive, with God's blessing, to relieve his
pain and suffering. Remember the increased power of doing good the
doctor will have if the child be induced to like, instead of dislike,
him. Not only be careful that you yourself speak before your child,
respectfully and kindly of the medical man, but see that your
domestics do so likewise; and take care that they are never allowed to
frighten your child, as many silly servants do, by saying that they
will send for the doctor, who will either give him nasty medicine, or
will perform some cruel operation upon him. A nurse-maid should, then,
never for one moment be permitted to make a doctor an object of terror
or of dislike to a child.

Send, whenever it be practicable, for your doctor _early_ in the
morning, as he will then make his arrangements accordingly, and can by
daylight better ascertain the nature of the complaint, more especially
if it be a skin disease. It is utterly impossible for him to form a
correct opinion of the nature of a "breaking-out" either by gas or by
candle light. If the illness come on at night, particularly if it be
ushered in either with a severe shivering, or with any other urgent
symptom, no time should be lost, be it night or day, in sending for

  "A little fire is quietly trodden out,
  Which, being sufier'd, rivers cannot quench."



281. _Have the goodness to mention the complaints of a child for which
warm baths are useful_.

1. Convulsions; 2. Pains in the bowels, known by, the child drawing up
his legs, screaming violently, etc.; 3. Restlessness from teething;
4. Flatulence. The warm bath acts as a fomentation to the stomach and
the bowels, and gives ease where the usual remedies do not rapidly

282. _Will you mention the precautions, and the rules to be observed
in gutting a child info a warm bath_?

Carefully ascertain before he be immersed in the bath that the water
be neither too hot nor too cold. Carelessness, or over-anxiety to put
him in the water as quickly as possible, has frequently, from his
being immersed in the bath when the water was too hot, caused him
great pain and suffering. From 96 to 98 degrees of Fahrenheit is the
proper temperature of a warm bath. If it be necessary to add fresh
warm water, let him be either removed the while, or let it not be put
in when very hot; for if boiling water be added to increase the heat
of the bath, it naturally ascends, and may scald him. Again, let the
fresh water be put in at as great a distance from him as possible. The
usual time for him to remain in a bath is a quarter of an hour or
twenty minutes. Let the chest and the bowels be rubbed with the hand
while he is in the bath. Let him be immersed in the bath as high up as
the neck, taking care that he be the while supported under the
armpits, and that his head be also rested. As soon as he comes out of
the bath, he ought to be carefully but quickly rubbed dry; and if it
be necessary to keep up the action on the skin, he should be put to
bed, between the blankets; or if the desired relief has been obtained,
between the sheets, which ought to have been previously warmed, where,
most likely, he will fall into a sweet refreshing sleep.


283. _In case of a child suffering pain either in his stomach or in
his bowels, or in case he has a feverish cold, can you tell me of the
best way of applying heat to them_?

In pain either of the stomach or of the bowels, there is nothing
usually affords greater or speedier relief than the _external_
application of heat The following are four different methods of
applying heat:--1. A bag of hot salt--that is to say, powdered
table-salt--put either into the oven or into a frying-pan over the
fire, and thus made hot, and placed in a flannel bag, and then
applied, as the case may be, either to the stomach or to the
bowels. Hot salt is an excellent remedy for these pains. 2. An
india-robber hot-water bottle, [Footnote: Every house where there are
children ought to have one of these India-rubber hot-water bottles. It
may be procured at any respectable Vulcanised India-rubber warehouse.]
half filled with hot water--it need not be boiling--applied to the
stomach or to the bowels, will afford great comfort 3. Another and an
excellent remedy for these cases is a hot bran poultice. The way to
make it is as follows:--Stir bran into a Vessel containing either a
pint or a quart (according to size of poultice required) of boiling
water, until it be the consistence of a nice soft poultice, then put
into a flannel bag and apply it to the part affected. When cool, dip
it from time to time in _hot_ water. 4. In case a child has a feverish
cold, especially if it be attended, as it sometimes is, with pains in
the bowels, the following is a good external application.--Take a yard
of flannel, fold it in three widths, then dip it in very hot water,
wring it out tolerably dry, and apply it evenly and neatly round and
round the bowels; over this, and to keep it in its place, and to keep
in the moisture, put on a _dry_ flannel bandage, four yards long and
four inches wide. If it be put on at bed-time, it ought to remain on
all night. Where there are children, it is desirable to have the yard
of flannel and the flannel bandage in readiness, and then a mother
will be prepared for emergencies. Either the one or the other, then,
of the above applications will usually, in pains of the stomach and
bowels, afford great relief. There is one great advantage of the
_external_ application of heat--it can never do harm; if there be
inflammation, it will do good; if there be either cramps or spasms of
the stomach, it will be serviceable; if there be colic, it will be one
of the best remedies that can be used; if it be a feverish cold, by
throwing the child into a perspiration, it will be beneficial.

It is well for a mother to know how to make a white bread poultice;
and as the celebrated Abernethy was noted for his poultices, I will
give you his directions, and in his very words:--"Scald out a basin,
for you can never make a good poultice unless you have perfectly
boiling water, then, having put in some hot water, throw in coarsely
crumbled bread, and cover it with a plate. When the bread has soaked
up as much water as it will imbibe, drain off the remaining water, and
there will be left a light pulp. Spread it a third of an inch thick on
folded linen, and apply it when of the temperature of a warm bath. It
may be said that this poultice will be very inconvenient if there be
no lard in it, for it will soon get dry; but this is the very thing
you want, and it can easily be moistened by dropping warm water on it,
whilst a greasy poultice will be moist, but not wet."--_South's
Household Surgery_.


284. _Supposing a child to cut his finger, what is the best

There is nothing better than tying it up with rag in its blood, as
nothing is more healing than blood. Do not wash the blood away, but
apply the rag at once, taking care that no foreign substance be left
in the wound. If there be either glass or dirt in it, it will of
course be necessary to bathe the cut in warm water, to get rid of it
before the rag be applied. Some mothers use either salt or Fryar's
Balsam, or turpentine, to a fresh wound; these plans are cruel and
unnecessary, and frequently make the cut difficult to heal. If it
bleed immoderately, sponge the wound freely with cold water. If it be
a severe cut, surgical aid, of course, will be required.

285. _If a child receive a blow, causing a bruise, what had better be

Immediately smear a small lump of _fresh_ butter on the part affected,
and renew it every few minutes for two or three hours; this is an
old-fashioned, but a very good remedy. Olive oil may--if _fresh_
butter be not at hand--be used, or soak a piece of brown-paper in one
third of French brandy and two-thirds of water, and immediately apply
it to the part; when dry renew it. Either of these simple plans--the
butter plan is the best--will generally prevent both swelling and

A "_Black Eye_."--If a child, or indeed any one else, receive a blow
over the eye, which is likely to cause a "black eye," there is no
remedy superior to, nor more likely to prevent one, than well
buttering the parts for two or three inches around the eye with fresh
butter, renewing it every few minutes for the space of an hour or two;
if such be well and perseveringly done, the disagreeable appearance of
a "black eye" will in all probability be prevented. A capital remedy
for a "black eye" is the Arnica Lotion,--

   Take of--Tincture of Arnica, one ounce;
            Water, seven ounces;

To make a Lotion. The eye to be bathed by means of a soft piece of
linen rag, with this lotion frequently; and, between times, let a
piece of linen rag, wetted in the lotion, be applied: to the eye, and
be fastened in its place by means of a bandage.

The white lily leaf, soaked in brandy, is another excellent remedy for
the bruises of a child. Gather the white lily blossoms when in full
bloom, and put them in a wide-mouthed bottle of brandy, cork the
bottle, and it will then always be ready for use. Apply a leaf to the
part affected, and bind it on either with a bandage or with a
handkerchief. The white lily root sliced is another valuable external
application for bruises.

286. _If a child fall upon his head and be stunned, what ought to be

If he fall upon his head and be stunned, he will look deadly pale,
very much as if he had fainted. He will in a few minutes, in all
probability, regain his consciousness. Sickness frequently
supervenes, which makes the case more serious, it being a proof that
injury, more or less severe, has been done to the brain; send,
therefore, instantly for a medical man.

In the meantime, loosen both his collar and neckerchief, lay him flat
on his back, sprinkle cold water upon his face, open the windows so as
to admit plenty of fresh air, and do not let people crowd round him,
nor shout at him, as some do, to make him speak.

While he is in an unconscious state, do not on any account whatever
allow a drop of blood to be taken from him, either by leeches or from
the arm-venesection; if you do, he will probably never rally, but will
most likely "sleep the sleep that knows not breaking."

287. _A nurse sometimes drops an infant and injures his back; what
ought to be done_?

Instantly send for a surgeon; omitting to have proper advice in such a
case has frequently made a child a cripple for life. A nurse
frequently, when she has dropped her little charge, is afraid to tell
her mistress; the consequences might then be deplorable. If ever a
child scream violently without any assignable cause, and the mother is
not able for some time to pacify him, the safer plan is that she send
for a doctor, in order that he might strip and carefully examine him;
much after misery might often be averted if this plan were more
frequently followed.

288. _Have you any remarks to make and directions to give on
accidental poisoning by lotions, by liniments, etc_?

It is a culpable practice of either a mother or nurse to leave
_external_ applications within the reach of a child. It is also
highly improper to put a mixture and an _external_ application (such
as a lotion or a liniment) on the same tray or on the same
mantel-piece. Many liniments contain large quantities of opium, a
tea-spoonful of which would be likely to cause the death of a
child. "Hartshorn and oil," too, has frequently been swallowed by
children, and in several instances has caused death. Many lotions
contain sugar of lead, which is also poisonous. There is not,
fortunately, generally sufficient lead in the lotion to cause death;
but if there be not enough to cause death, there may be more than
enough to make the child very poorly. All these accidents occur from
disgraceful carelessness.

A mother or a nurse ought _always_, before administering a dose of
medicine to a child, to read the label on the bottle; by adopting this
simple plan many serious accidents and much after misery might be
averted. Again, I say, let every lotion, every liniment, and indeed
everything for external use, be either locked up or be put out of the
way, and far away from all medicine that is given by the mouth. This
advice admits of no exception.

If your child have swallowed a portion of a liniment containing opium,
instantly send for a medical man. In the meantime force a strong
mustard emetic (composed of two tea-spoonfuls of flour of mustard,
mixed in half a tea-cupful of warm water) down his throat. Encourage
the vomiting by afterwards forcing him to swallow warm water. Tickle
the throat either with your finger or with a feather. Souse him
alternately in hot and then in a cold bath. Dash cold water on his
head and face. Throw open the windows. Walk him about in the open
air. Rouse him by slapping him, by pinching him, and by shouting to
him; rouse him, indeed, by every means in your power, for if you allow
him to go to sleep, it will, in all probability, be the sleep that
knows no waking!

If a child have swallowed "hartshorn and oil," force him to drink
vinegar and water, lemon-juice and water sweetened with sugar, barley
water, and thin gruel.

If he have swallowed a lead lotion, give him a mustard emetic, and
then vinegar and water, sweetened either with honey or with sugar, to

289. _Are not lucifer matches poisonous_?

Certainly, they are very poisonous; it is, therefore, desirable that
they should be put out of the reach of children. A mother ought to be
very strict with servants on this head. Moreover, lucifer matches are
not only poisonous but dangerous, as a child might set himself on fire
with them. A case bearing on the subject has just come under my own
observation. A little boy three years old, was left alone for two or
three minutes, during which time he obtained possession of a lucifer
match, and struck a light by striking the match against the
wall. Instantly there was a blaze. Fortunately for him, in his fright,
he threw the match on the floor. His mother at this moment entered the
room. If his clothes had taken fire, which they might have done, had
he not have thrown the match away, or if his mother had not been so
near at hand, he would, in all probability, have either been severely
burned or have been burned to death.

290. _If a child's clothes take fire, what ought to be done to
extinguished them_?

Lay him on the floor, then roll him either in the rug, or in the
carpet, or in the door-mat, or in any thick article of dress you may
either have on, or have at hand--if it be woollen, so much the better;
or, throw him down, and roll him over and over on the floor, as, by
excluding the atmospheric air, the flame will go out:--hence the
importance of a mother cultivating presence of mind. If parents were
better prepared for such emergencies, such horrid disfigurations and
frightful deaths would be less frequent.

You ought to have a proper fire-guard before the nursery grate, and
should be strict in not allowing your child to play with fire. If he
still persevere in playing with it, when he has been repeatedly
cautioned not to do so, he should be punished for his temerity. If
anything would justify corporal chastisement, it would surely be such
an act of disobedience. There are only two acts of disobedience that I
would flog a child for--namely, the playing with fire and the telling
of a lie! If after various warnings and wholesome corrections he still
persist, it would be well to let him slightly taste the pain of his
doing so, either by holding his hand for a moment very near the fire,
or by allowing him to slightly touch either the hot bar of the grate
or the flame of the candle. Take my word for it the above plan, will
effectually cure him--he will never do it again. It would be well for
the children of the poor to have pinafores made either of woollen or
of stuff materials. The dreadful deaths from burning, which so often
occur in winter, too frequently arise from _cotton_ pinafores first
taking fire. [Footnote: It has been computed that upwards of 1000
children are annually burned to death by accident in England.]

If all dresses after being washed, and just before being dried, were,
for a short time, soaked in a solution of tungstate of soda, such
clothes, when dried, would, be perfectly fire-proof.

Tangstate of soda may be used either with or without starch; but full
directions for the using of it will, at the time of purchase, be given
by the chemist.

291. _Is a burn more dangerous than a scald_?

A burn is generally more serious than a scald. Burns and scalds are
more dangerous on the body, especially on the chest, than either on
the face or on the extremities. The younger the child, the greater
the danger.

Scalds both of the mouth and the throat, from a child drinking boiling
water from the spout of a tea-kettle, are most dangerous. A poor
person's child is, from the unavoidable absence of the mother,
sometimes shut up in the kitchen by himself, and being very thirsty,
and no other water being at hand, he is tempted, in his ignorance, to
drink from the tea-kettle: If the water be unfortunately boiling, it
will most likely prove to him to be a fatal draught!

292. _What are the best immediate applications to a scald or to a

There is nothing more efficacious than flour. It ought to be thickly
applied over the part affected, and should be kept in its place either
with a rag and a bandage, or with, strips of old linen. If this be
done, almost instantaneous relief will be experienced, and the burn or
the scald, if superficial, will soon be well. The advantage of flour
as a remedy, is this, that it is always at hand. I have seen some
extensive bums and scalds cured by the above simple plan. Another
excellent remedy is, cottonwool of superior quality, purposely made
for surgeons. The burn or the scald ought to be enveloped in it;
layer after layer should be applied until it be several inches
thick. The cotton-wool must not be removed for several days. These two
remedies, flour and cotton-wool, may be used in conjunction; that is
to say, the flour may be thickly applied to the scald or to the burn,
and the cotton wool over all.

Prepared lard--that is to say, lard without salt [Footnote: If there
be no other lard in the house but lard _with_ salt, the salt may be
readily removed by washing the lard in cold water. Prepared
lard--that is to say, lard _without_ salt--can, at any moment, be
procured from the nearest druggist in the neighbourhood]--is an
admirable remedy for burns and for scalds. The advantages of lard
are,--(1.) It is almost always at hand; (2.) It is very cooling,
soothing, and unirritating to the part, and it gives almost immediate
freedom from pain; (3.) It effectually protects and sheathes the burn
or the scald from the air; (4.) It is readily and easily applied: all
that has to be done is to spread the lard either on pieces of old
linen rag, or on lint, and then to apply them smoothly to the parts
affected, keeping them in their places by means of bandages--which
bandages may be readily made from either old linen or calico shirts.
Dr John Packard, of Philadelphia, was the first to bring this remedy
for burns and scalds before the public--he having tried it in numerous
instances, and with the happiest results. I myself have, for many
years been in the habit of prescribing lard as a dressing for
blisters, and with the best effects. I generally advise equal parts of
prepared lard and of spermaceti-cerate to be blended together to make
an ointment. The spermaceti-cerate gives a little more consistence to
the lard, which, in warm weather especially, is a great advantage.

Another valuable remedy for burns is "carron-oil;" which is made by
mixing equal parts of linseed-oil and lime-water in a bottle, and
shaking it up before using it.

Cold applications, such as cold water, cold vinegar and water, and
cold lotions, are most injurious, and, in many cases, even
dangerous. Scraped potatoes, sliced cucumber, salt, and spirits of
turpentine, have all been recommended; but, in my practice, nothing
has been so efficacious as the remedies above enumerated.

Do not wash the wound, and do not dress it more frequently than every
_other_ day. If there be much discharge, let it be gently sopped up
with soft old linen rag; but do not, _on any_ account, let the burn be
rubbed or roughly handled. I am convinced that, in the majority of
cases, wounds are too frequently dressed, and that the washing of
wounds prevents the healing of them. "It is a great mistake," said
Ambrose Pare, "to dress ulcers too often, and to wipe their surfaces
clean, for thereby we not only remove the useless excrement, which is
the mud or sanies of ulcers, but also the matter which forms the
flesh. Consequently, for these reasons, ulcers should not be dressed
too often."

It is nature, and not the surgeon, that really cures the wound, and it
is done, like all Nature's works, principally in secret, by degrees,
and by patience, and resents much interference. The seldom-dressing of
a wound and patience are, then, two of the best remedies for effecting
a cure. Shakspeare, who seemed to know surgery, as he did almost
everything else beside was quite cognisant of the fact:--

   "How poor are they, that have not patience
   What wound did ever heal, but by degrees"

The burn or the scald may, after the first two days, if severe,
require different dressings; but, if it be severe, the child ought of
course to be immediately placed under the care of a surgeon.

If the scald be either on the leg or on the foot, a common practice is
to take the shoe and the stocking off; in this operation the skin is
also at the same time very apt to be removed. Now, both the shoe and
the stocking ought to be slit up, and thus be taken off, so that
neither unnecessary pain nor mischief may be caused.

293. _If a bit of quick-lime should accidentally enter the eye of my
child, what ought to be done_?

Instantly, but tenderly remove, either by means of a camel's hair
brush, or by a small spill of paper, any bit of lime that may adhere
to the ball of the eye, or that may be within the eye or on the
eye-lashes; then well bathe the eye (allowing a portion to enter it)
with vinegar and water-one part of vinegar to three parts of water,
that is to say, a quarter fill a clean half-pint medicine bottle with
vinegar, and then fill it up with spring water, and it will be ready
for use. Let the eye be bathed for at least a quarter of an hour with,
it The vinegar will neutralise the lime, and will rob it of its
burning properties.

Having bathed the eye with vinegar and water for a quarter of an hour,
bathe it for another quarter of an hour simply with a little warm
water, after which, drop into the eye two or three drops of the best
sweet-oil, put on an eye-shade made of three thicknesses of linen rag,
covered with green silk, and then do nothing more until the doctor

If the above rules be not _promptly_ and _properly_ followed out, the
child may irreparably lose his eyesight; hence the necessity of
conversations of this kind, to tell a mother, provided _immediate_
assistance cannot be obtained, what ought _instantly_ to be done; for
moments, in such a case, are precious.

While doing all that I have just recommended, let a surgeon be sent
for, as a smart attack of inflammation, of the eye is very apt to
follow the burn of lime; but which inflammation will, provided the
_previous_ directions have been _promptly_ and _efficiently_ followed
out, with appropriate treatment, soon subside.

The above accident is apt to occur to a child who is standing near a
building when the slacking of quicklime is going on, and where
portions of lime in the form of powder are flying about the air. It
would be well not to allow a child to stand about such places, as
prevention is always better than cure. _Quicklime_ is sometimes called
_caustic-lime_--it well deserves its name, for it is a _burning-lime_,
and if proper means be not promptly used, will soon burn away the

294. _If any other foreign substance should enter the eye, what is the
best method of removing it_?

If there be grit, or sand, or dust, or particle of coal, or gnat, or a
hair, or an eye-lash in the eye, it ought to be tenderly removed by a
small tightly-folded paper spill, holding down the lower lid with the
fore-finger of the left hand the while; and the eye, if inflamed,
should be frequently bathed with warm milk and water; but generally as
soon as the cause is removed the effect will cease, and after
treatment will be unnecessary.

If a particle of metal be sticking on the cornea of the eye, as it
sometimes does, it will require the skilled hand of a surgeon to
remove it.

Any foreign substance, however minute, in the eye, is very painful;
but a piece of burning lime is excruciating. Shakspeare gives a
graphic description of the pain from the presence of any foreign
substance, however small, in the eye:--

  "Oh heaven!--that there were but a mote in yours,
  A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair,
  Any annoyance in that precious sense!
  Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous there,
  Your vile intent must needs seem horrible."

295. _What ought to be done in a case of choking_?

How often does a hungry little child, if not carefully watched, fill
his mouth so full, and swallow lumps of food in such hot haste, as to
choke himself--

  "With eager feeding, food doth choke the feeder"


_Treatment_.-Instantly put your finger into the throat and feel if the
substance be within reach; if it be food, force it down, and thus
liberate the breathing; should it be a hard substance, endeavour to
hook it out; if you cannot reach it, give a good smart blow or two
with the flat of the hand on the back; or, as recommended by
contributor to the _Lancet_, on the chest, taking care to "seize the
little patient, and place him between your knees side ways, and in
this or some other manner to _compress the abdomen_ [the belly],
otherwise the power of the blow will be lost by the yielding of the
abdominal parieties [walls of the belly], and the respiratory effort
will not be produced." If that does not have the desired effect,
tickle the throat with your finger, so as to ensure immediate
vomiting, and the subsequent ejection of the offending substance.

296. _Should my child be bitten by a dog supposed to be mad, what
ought to be done_?

Instantly well rub for the space of five or ten _seconds_--seconds,
_not_ minutes--a stick of nitrate of silver (lunar-caustic) into the
wound. The stick of lunar-caustic should be pointed, like a cedar
pencil for writing, in order the more thoroughly to enter the
wound. [Footnote: A stick of pointed nitrate of silver, in a case,
ready for use, may be procured of any respectable chemist.] This, if
properly done directly after the bite, will effectually prevent
hydrophobia. The nitrate of silver acts not only as a caustic to the
part, but it appears effectually to neutralise the poison, and thus,
by making the virus perfectly innocuous, is a complete antidote. If it
be either the lip, or the parts near the eye, or the wrist, that have
been bitten, it is far preferable to apply the caustic than to cut the
part out; as the former is neither so formidable, nor so dangerous,
nor so disfiguring as the latter, and yet it is equally as
efficacious. I am indebted to the late Mr Youatt, the celebrated
veterinary surgeon, for this valuable antidote or remedy for the
_prevention_ of the most horrible, heart-rending, and incurable
disease known. Mr Youatt had an immense practice among, dogs as well
as among horses. He was a keen observer of disease, and a dear lover
of his profession, and he had paid great attention to rabies--
dog-madness. He and his assistants had been repeatedly bitten by
rabid dogs; but knowing that he was in possession of an infallible
preventive remedy, he never dreaded the wounds inflicted either upon
himself or upon his assistants. Mr Youatt never knew lunar-caustic, if
properly and _immediately_ applied, to fail. It is, of course, only a
preventive. If hydrophobia be once developed in the human system, no
antidote has ever yet, for this fell and intractable disease, been

While walking the London Hospitals, upwards of forty years ago, I
received an invitation from Mr Youatt to attend a lecture on
rabies--dog-madness. He had, during the lecture, a dog present
labouring under _incipient_ madness. In a day or two after the
lecture, he requested me and other students to call at his infirmary
and see the dog, as the disease was at that time fully developed. We
did so, and found the poor animal raving mad--frothing at the mouth,
and snapping at the iron bars of his prison. I was particularly struck
with a peculiar brilliancy and wildness of the dog's eyes. He seemed
as though, with affright and consternation, he beheld objects unseen
by all around. It was pitiful to witness his frightened and anxious
countenance. Death soon closed the scene!

I have thought it my duty to bring the value of lunar-caustic as a
preventive of hydrophobia prominently before your notice, and to pay a
tribute of respect to the memory of Mr Youatt--a man of talent and of

Never kill a dog supposed to be mad who has bitten either a child, or
any one else, until it has, past all doubt, been ascertained whether
he be really mad or not. He ought, of course, to be tied up; and be
carefully watched, and be prevented the while from biting any one
else. The dog by all means should be allowed to live at least for some
weeks, as the fact of his remaining well will be the best guarantee
that there is no fear of the bitten child having caught hydrophobia.

There is a foolish prejudice abroad, that a dog, be he mad or not, who
has bitten a person ought to be _immediately_ destroyed; that although
the dog be not at the time mad, but should at a future period become
so, the person who had been bitten when the dog was _not_ mad, would,
when the dog became mad, have hydrophobia! It seems almost absurd to
bring the subject forward; but the opinion is so very general and
deep-rooted, that I think it well to declare that there is not the
slightest foundation of truth in it, but that it is a ridiculous

A cat sometimes goes mad, and its bite may cause hydrophobia; indeed,
the bite of a mad cat is more dangerous than the bite of a mad dog. A
bite from a mad cat ought to be treated precisely in the same
manner-namely, with the lunar-caustic--as for a mad dog.

Hydrophobia was by our forefathers graphically called _water-fright_:
it was well named, for the horror of swallowing water is, by an
hydrophobic patient, most intense, and is _the_ leading symptom of
this fell and incurable disease.

A bite either from a dog or from a cat _who is not mad_, from a cat
especially, is often venomous and difficult to heal. The best
application is, _immediately_ to apply a large hot white bread
poultice to the part, and to renew it every four hours; and, if there
be much pain in the wound, to well foment the part, every time before
applying the poultice, with a hot camomile and poppy-head fomentation.

Scratches of a cat are best treated by smearing, and that freely and
continuously for an hour, and then afterwards at longer intervals,
fresh butter on the part affected. If fresh butter Be not at hand,
fresh lard--that is to say, lard _without_ salt--will answer the
purpose. If the pain of the scratch be very intense, foment the part
affected with hot water, and then apply a hot white bread poultice,
which should be frequently renewed.

297. _What are the best remedies in ease of a sting from either a bee
or a wasp_?

Extract the sting, if it have been left behind, either by means of the
pair of dressing forceps, or by the pressure of the hollow of a small
key--a watch-key will answer the purpose; then, the blue-bag (which is
used in washing) moistened with water, should be applied to the part;
or a few drops of solution of potash, [Footnote: Which may be
instantly procured of a druggist.] or "apply moist snuff or tobacco,
rubbing it well in," [Footnote: A Bee-master. _The Times_, July
28,1864.] and renew from time to time either of them: if either of
these be not at hand, either honey, or treacle, or fresh butter, will
answer the purpose. Should there be much swelling or inflammation,
foment the part with hot water, and then apply hot bread poultice, and
renew it frequently. In eating apricots, or peaches, or other fruit,
they ought beforehand to be carefully examined, in order to ascertain
that no wasp is lurking in them; otherwise, it may sting the throat,
and serious consequences will ensue.

298. _If a child receive a fall, causing the skin to be grazed, can
you tell me of a good application_?

You will find gummed paper an excellent remedy: the way of preparing
it is as follows:--Apply evenly, by means of a small brush, thick
mucilage of gum-arabic to cap-paper; hang it up to dry, and keep it
ready for use. When wanted, cut a portion as large as may be
requisite, then moisten it with your tongue, in the same manner you
would a postage stamp, and apply it to the grazed part. It may be
removed when necessary by simply wetting it with water. The part in
two or three days will be well. There is usually a margin of gummed
paper sold with postage stamps; this will answer the purpose equally
well. If the gummed paper be not at hand, then frequently, for the
space of an hour or two, smear the part affected with fresh butter.

299. _In case of a child swallowing by mistake either laudanum, or
paregoric, or Godfrey's Cordial, or any other preparation of opium,
what ought to be done_?

Give, as _quickly as possible_, a strong mustard emetic; that is to
say, mix two tea-spoonfuls of flour of mustard in half a tea-cupful
of water, and force it down his throat. If free vomiting be not
induced, tickle the upper part of the swallow with a feather, drench
the little patient's stomach with large quantities of warm water. As
soon as it can be obtained from the druggist, give him the following
emetic draught--

  Take of--Sulphate of Zinc, one scruple;
           Simple Syrup, one drachm.
           Distilled Water, seven drachms;

To make a Draught.

Smack his buttocks and his back, walk him, or lead him, or carry him
about in the fresh air, shake him by the shoulders, pat his hair,
tickle his nostrils, shout and holler in his ears, plunge him into a
warm bath and then into a cold bath alternately. Well sponge his head
and face with cold water, dash cold water on his head, face, and neck,
and do not, on any account, until the effects of the opiate are gone
off, allow him to go to sleep, if you do, he will never wake again!
While doing all those things, of course, you ought to lose no time in
sending for a medical man.

300. _Have you any observation to make on parent's allowing the Deadly
Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna) to grow in their gardens_?

I wish to caution you not on any account to allow the Belladonna--the
Deadly Nightshade--to grow in your garden. The whole plant--root,
leaves, and berries--is poisonous and the berries, being attractive to
the eye, are very alluring to children.

301. _What is the treatment of poisoning by Belladonna_?

Instantly send for a medical man, but, in the mean time, give an
emetic-a mustard emetic--mix two teaspoonfuls of flour of mustard in
half a tea-cupful of warm water, and force it down the child's throat
then drench him with warm water, and tickle the upper part of his
swallow either with a feather or with the finger, to make him sick as
the grand remedy is an emetic to bring up the offending cause. If the
emetic has not acted sufficiently, the medical man when he arrives may
deem it necessary to use the stomach pump, but remember not a moment
must be lost, for moments are precious in a case of belladonna
poisoning, in giving a mustard emetic, and repeating it again and
again until the enemy be dislodged. Dash cold water upon his head and
face; the best way of doing which is by means of a large sponge,
holding his head and his face over a wash-hand basin, half filled with
cold water, and filling the sponge from the basin, and squeezing it
over his head and face, allowing the water to continuously stream over
them for an hour or two, or until the effects of the poison have
passed away. This sponging of the head and face is very useful in
poisoning by opium, as well as in poisoning by belladonna; indeed, the
treatment of poisoning by the one is very similar to the treatment of
poisoning by the other. I, therefore, for the further treatment of
poisoning by belladonna, beg to refer you to a previous Conversation,
on the treatment of poisoning by opium.

302. _Should a child put either a pea or a bead, or any other foreign
substance, up the nose, what ought to be done_?

Do not attempt to extract it yourself, or you might push it further
in, but send instantly for a surgeon, who will readily remove it,
either with a pair of forceps, or by means of a bent probe, or with a
director. If it be a pea, and it be allowed for any length of time to
remain in, it will swell, and will thus become difficult to extract,
and may produce great irritation and inflammation. A child ought not
to be allowed to play with peas or with beads (unless the beads are on
a string), as he is apt, for amusement, to push them up his nose.

303. _If a child have put either a pea, a bean, a bead, a
cherry-stone, or any other smooth substance, into his ear, what ought
to be done to remove it_?

Turn his head on one side, in order to let the ear with the pea or the
bead in it be undermost, then give with the flat of your hand two or
three sharp, sudden slaps or boxes on the other, or _upper_most ear,
and most likely the offending substance will drop out. Poking at the
ear will, in the majority of cases, only send the substance further
in, and will make it more difficult (if the above simple plan does not
succeed) for the medical man to remove. The surgeon will, in all
probability, syringe the ear; therefore have a supply of warm water in
readiness for him, in order that no time may be lost.

304. _If an earwig or any other living thing, should get into the ear
of a child, what ought to be done_?

Lay the child on his side, the affected ear being uppermost, and fill
the ear, from a tea-spoon, with either water or sweet oil. The water
or oil will carry the living thing, whatever it be, out of the ear,
and the child is at once relieved.

305. _If a child swallow a piece of broken glass, what ought to be

Avoid purgatives, as the free action on the bowels would be likely to
force the spiculae of glass into the mucous membrane of the bowels, and
thus would wound them, and might cause ulceration, and even death.
"The object of treatment will be to allow them to pass through the
intestines well enveloped by the other contents of the tube, and for
this purpose a solid, farinaceous diet should be ordered, and
purgatives scrupulously avoided."--_Shaw's Medical Remembrancer_, by

306. _If a child swallow a pin, what should be done_?

Treat him as for broken glass. Give him no aperients, or it might, in
action, force the pin into the bowel. I have known more than one
instance where a child, after swallowing a pin, to have, voided it in
his motion.

307. _If a child swallow a coin of any kind, is danger likely, to
ensue, and what ought to be done_?

There is, as a rule, no danger. A dose or two of castor oil will be
all that is usually necessary. The evacuations ought to be carefully
examined until the coin be discovered. I once knew a child swallow a
pennypiece, and pass it in his stool.

308. _If a child, while playing with a small coin (such as either a
threepenny or a fourpenny piece), or any other substance, should toss
it into his mouth, and inadvertently allow it to enter the windpipe,
what ought to be done_?

Take hold of him by the legs, allowing his head to hang downwards;
then give him with the palm of your hand several sharp blows on his
back, and you may have the good fortune to see the coin coughed out of
his mouth. Of course, if this plan does not succeed, send instantly,
for a medical man.

309. _How can a mother prevent her child from having an accident_?

By strict supervision over frim on her own part, and by not permitting
her child to be left to the tender mercies of servants; by not
allowing him to play with fire, to swing over banisters, and to have
knives and playthings of a dangerous character; to keep all poisonous
articles and cutting instruments out of his reach; and, above all and
before all, insisting, lovingly, affectionately, but firmly, upon
implicit obedience.

Accidents generally arise from one of three causes, namely, either
from wilful disobedience, or from gross carelessness, or from
downright folly. I quite agree with Davenant, that they do not arise
from chance--

  "If we consider accident,
    And how, repugnant unto sense,
  It pays desert with bad event,
    We shall disparage Providence."



  _Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth
  When thought is speech and speech is truth_--SCOTT

  _'Tis with him e'en standing water.
  Between man and boy_--SHAKESPEARE

  _Standing with reluctant feet,
  Where the brook and river meet,
  Womanhood and childhood fleet_--LONGFELLOW


310. _Have you any remarks to make on the ablution of boys and girls_?

How is it that a mother thinks it absolutely necessary (which it
really is) that her babe's _whole_ body should, every morning, be
washed; and yet who does not deem it needful that her girl or boy, of
twelve years old, should go through the process of daily and
_thorough_ ablution? If the one case be necessary, sure I am that the
other is equally if not more needful.

Thorough ablution of the body every morning at least is essential to
health. I maintain that no one can be in the enjoyment of perfect
health who does not keep his skin--the whole of his skin--clean. In
the absence of cleanliness, a pellicle forms on the skin which
engenders disease. Moreover, a person who does not keep his skin clean
is more susceptible of contracting contagious disease, such as
small-pox, typhus fever, cholera, diphtheria, scarlet fever, etc.

Thorough ablution of the body is a grand requisite of I maintain that
no one can be perfectly healthy unless he thoroughly wash his
body--the whole of his body; if filth accumulate which, if not washed
off, it is sure to do, disease must, as a matter of course, follow.
Besides, ablution is a delightful process; it makes one feel fresh and
sweet, and young and healthy; it makes the young look handsome, and
the old look young! Thorough ablution might truly be said both to
renovate and to rejuvenise! A scrupulously clean skin is one of the
grand distinctive characteristics both of a lady and of a gentleman,

Dirty people are not only a nuisance to themselves, but to all around;
they are not only a nuisance but a danger, as their dirty bodies are
apt to carry from place to place contagious diseases.

It is important that parts that are covered should be kept cleaner
than parts exposed to the air, as dirt is more apt to fester in dark
places; besides, parts exposed to the air have the advantage of the
air's sweetening properties; air acts as a bath, and purifies the skin

It is desirable to commence a complete system of washing early in
life, as it then becomes a second nature, and cannot afterwards be
dispensed with. One accustomed to the luxury of his morning ablution,
if anything prevented him from taking it, would feel most
uncomfortable; he would as soon think of dispensing with his breakfast
as with his bath.

Every boy, every girl, and every adult, ought each to have either a
room or a dressing-room to himself or to herself, in order that he or
she might strip to the skin and thoroughly wash themselves; no one can
wash properly and effectually without doing so.

Now, for the paraphernalia required for the process--(1.) A large
nursery basin, one that will hold six or eight quarts of water
(Wedgwood's make being considered the best); (2.) A piece of coarse
flannel, a yard long and half a yard wide; (3.) A large sponge; (4.) A
tablet either of the best yellow or of curd soap; (5.) Two towels-one
being a diaper, and the other a Turkish rubber. Now, as to the manner
of performing ablution. You ought to fill the basin three parts full
with _rain_ water, then, having well-soaped and cleansed your hands,
re-soap them, dip your head and face into the water, then with the
soaped hands well rub and wash your head, face, neck, chest, and
armpits; having done which, take the wetted sponge, and go over all
the parts previously travelled over by the soaped hands; then fold the
flannel, as you would a neck-kerchief, and dip it in the water, then
throw it, as you would a skipping-rope, over your shoulders and move
it a few times from right to left and from left to right, and up and
down, and then across the back and loins; having done which, dip the
sponge in the water, and holding your head over the water, let the
water stream from the sponge a time or two over your head, neck, and
face. Dip your head and face in the water, then put your hands and
arms (as far as they will go) into the water, holding them there while
you can count thirty. Having reduced the quantity of water to a third
of a basinful, place the basin on the floor, and sit (while you can
count fifty) in the water; then put one foot at a time in the water,
and quickly rub, with soaped hands, up and down your leg, over the
foot, and pass your thumb between each toe (this latter procedure
tends to keep away soft corns); then take the sponge, filled with
water, and squeeze it over your leg and foot, from the knee
downwards,--then serve your other leg and foot in the same way. By
adopting the above plan, the whole of the body will, every morning, be
thoroughly washed.

A little warm water might at first, and during the winter time, be
added, to take off the chill; but the sooner quite cold water is used
the better. The body ought to be quickly dried (taking care to wipe
between each toe), first with the diaper, and then with the Turkish
rubber. In drying your back and loins, you ought to throw as you would
a skipping-rope, the Turkish rubber over your shoulders, and move it a
few times front side to side, until the parts be dry.

Although the above description is necessarily prolix, the washing
itself ought to be very expeditiously performed; there should be no
dawdling over it, otherwise the body will become chilled, and harm
instead of good will be the result. If due dispatch be used, the whole
of the body might, according to the above method, be thoroughly washed
and dried in the space of ten minutes.

A boy ought to wash his head, as above directed, every morning, a
girl, who has much hair, once a week, with soap and water, with
flannel and sponge. The hair, if not frequently washed, is very dirty,
and nothing is more repulsive than a dirty head!

It might be said, "Why do you go into particulars? why dwell so much
upon minutiae? Every one, without being told, knows how to wash
himself!" I reply, "That very few people do know how to wash
themselves properly; it is a misfortune that they do not--they would
be healthier and happier and sweeter if they did!"

311. _Have you any remarks to make on boys and girls learning to

Let me strongly urge you to let your sons and daughters be _early_
taught to swim. Swimming is a glorious exercise--one of the best that
can be taken; it expands the chest; it promotes digestion; it develops
the muscles, and brings into action some muscles that in any other
form of exercise are but seldom brought into play; it strengthens and
braces the whole frame, and thus makes the swimmer resist the
liability of catching cold; it gives both boys and girls courage,
energy, and self-reliance,--splendid qualities in this rough world of
ours. Swimming is oftentimes the means of saving human life; this of
itself would be a great recommendation of its value. It is a
delightful amusement; to breast the waves is as exhilarating to the
spirits as clearing on horse-back a five-barred gate.

The art of learning to swim is quite as necessary to be learned by a
girl as by a boy; the former has similar muscles, lungs, and other
organs to develop as the latter.

It is very desirable that in large towns swimming-baths for ladies
should be instituted. Swimming ought, then, to be a part and parcel of
the education of every boy and of every girl.

Swimming does not always agree. This sometimes arises from a person
being quite cold before he plunges into the water. Many people have an
idea that they ought to go into the water while their bodies are in a
cool state. Now this is a mistaken notion, and is likely to produce
dangerous consequences. The skin ought to be comfortably warm, neither
very hot nor very cold, and then the bather will receive every
advantage that cold bathing can produce, If he go into the bath whilst
the body is cold, the blood becomes chilled, and is driven to internal
parts, and thus mischief is frequently produced.

A boy, after using cold bathing, ought, if it _agree_ with him, to
experience a pleasing glow over the whole surface of his body, his
spirits and appetite should be increased, and he ought to feel
stronger; but if it _disagree_ with him, a chilliness and coldness, a
lassitude and a depression of spirits, will be the result; the face
will be pale and the features will be pinched, and, in some instances,
the lips and the nails will become blue; all these are signs that
_cold_ bathing is injurious, and, therefore, that it ought on no
account to be persevered in, unless these symptoms have hitherto
proceeded from his going into the bath whilst he was quite cold. He
may, previously to entering the bath, warm himself by walking briskly
for a few minutes. Where cold, sea water bathing does not agree,
_warm_ sea bathing should be substituted.

312. _Which do you prefer--sea bathing or fresh water bathing_?

Sea bathing. Sea bathing is incomparably superior to fresh water
bathing; the salt water is far more refreshing and invigorating; the
battling with the waves is more exciting; the sea breezes, blowing on
the nude body, breathes (for the skin is a breathing apparatus) health
and strength into the frame, and comeliness into the face; the sea
water and the sea breezes are splendid cosmetics; the salt water is
one of the finest applications, both for strengthening the roots and
brightening the colour of the hair, provided grease and pomatum have
not been previously used.

313. _Have you any directions to give as to the time and the seasons,
and the best mode of sea bathing_?

Summer and autumn are the best seasons of the year for cold sea
bathing--August and September being the best months. To prepare the
skin for the cold sea bathing, it would be well, before taking a dip
in the sea, to have on the previous day a warm salt water bath. It is
injurious, and even dangerous, to bathe _immediately_ after a _full_
meal; the best time to bathe is about two hours after breakfast-that
is to say, at about eleven or twelve o'clock in the forenoon. The
bather as soon as he enters the water, ought _instantly_ to wet his
head; this may be done either by his jumping at once from the machine
into the water, or, if he have not the courage to do so, by plunging
his head without loss of time _completely_ under the water. He should
remain in the water about a quarter of an hour, but never longer than
half an hour. Many bathers by remaining a long time in the water do
themselves great injury. If sea bathing be found to be invigorating--
and how often to the delicate it has proved to be truly magical--a
patient may bathe once every day, but on no account oftener. If he be
not strong, he had better, at first, bathe only every other day, or
even only twice a week. The bather, after leaving the machine, ought
for half an hour to take a brisk walk in order to promote a reaction,
and thus to cause a free circulation of the blood.

314. _Do you think a tepid bath [Footnote: A tepid bath from 62 to 96
degrees of, Fahrenheit.] may be more safely used_?

A tepid bath may be taken at almost any time, and a bather may remain
longer in one, with safety, than in a cold bath.

315. _Do you approve of warm bathing_?

A warm, bath [Footnote: A warm bath from 97 to 100 degrees of
Fahrenheit] may with advantage be occasionally used--say, once a
week. A warm bath cleanses the skin more effectually than either a
cold or a tepid bath; but, as it is more relaxing, ought not to be
employed so often as either of them. A person should not continue
longer than ten minutes in a warm bath. Once a week, as a rule is
quite often enough for a warm bath; and it would be an excellent plan
if every boy and girl and adult would make a practice of having one
regularly every week, unless any special reason should arise to forbid
its use.

316. _But does not warm bathing, by relaxing the pores of the skin,
cause a person to catch cold if he expose himself to the air
immediately afterwards_?

There is, on this point, a great deal of misconception and unnecessary
fear. A person, _immediately_ after using a warm bath, should take
proper precautions--that is to say, he must not expose himself to
draughts, neither ought he to wash himself in _cold_ water, nor should
he, _immediately_ after taking one, drink _cold_ water. But he may
follow his usual exercise or employment, provided the weather be fine,
and the wind be neither in the east nor the north-east.

Every house of any pretension ought to have a bathroom. Nothing would
be more conducive to health than regular systematic bathing. A hot and
cold bath, a sitz bath, and a shower bath--each and all in their
turn--are grand requisites to preserve and procure health. If the
house cannot boast of a bath-room, then the Corporation Baths (which
nearly every large town possesses) ought to be liberally patronised.


317. _What is the best application for the hair_?

A sponge and _cold_ water, and two good hair-brushes. Avoid grease,
pomatum, bandoline, and all abominations of that kind. There is a
natural oil of the hair, which is far superior to either Rowland's
Macassar Oil or any other oil! The best scent for the hair is an
occasional dressing of soap and water; the best beautifier of the hair
is a downright thorough good brushing with two good hair brushes!
Again, I say, _avoid grease of all kinds to the hair_. "And as for
woman's hair, don't plaster it with scented and sour grease, or with
any grease; it has an oil of its own. And don't tie up your hair
tight, and make it like a cap of iron over your skull. And why are
your ears covered? You hear all the worse, and they are not the
cleaner. Besides, the ear is beautiful in itself, and plays its own
part in the concert of the features." [Footnote: _Health._ By John
Brown, M.D.]

If the hair cannot, without some application, be kept tidy, then a
little castor oil, scented, might, by means of an old tooth-brush, be
used to smooth it; castor oil is, for the purpose, one of the most
simple and harmless of dressings; but, as I said before, the hair's
own natural oil cannot be equalled, far less surpassed!

If the hair fall off, the castor oil, scented with a few drops either
of otto of roses or of essence of bergamot, is a good remedy to
prevent its doing so; a little of it ought, night and morning, to be
well rubbed into the roots of the hair. Cocoa-nut oil is another
excellent application for the falling off of the hair, and can never
do harm, which is more than can be said of many vaunted remedies for
the Hair!


318. _Do you approve of a boy wearing flannel next to the skin?_

England is so variable a climate, and the changes from heat to cold,
and from dryness to moisture of the atmosphere, are so sudden, that
some means are required to guard against their effects. Flannel, as it
is a bad conductor of heat, prevents the sudden changes from affecting
the body, and thus is a great preservative against cold.

Flannel is as necessary in the summer as in the winter time; indeed,
we are more likely both to sit and to stand in draughts in the summer
than in the winter; and thus we are more liable to become chilled and
to catch cold.

Woollen shirts are now much worn; they are very comfortable and
beneficial to health. Moreover, they simplify the dress, as they
supersede the necessity of wearing either both flannel and linen, or
flannel and calico shirts.

319. _Flannel sometimes produces great irritation of the skin: what
ought to be done to prevent it_?

Have a moderately fine flannel, and persevere in its use; the skin in
a few days will bear it comfortably. The Angola and wove-silk
waistcoats have been recommended as substitutes, but there is nothing
equal to the old-fashioned Welsh flannel.

320. _If a boy have delicate lungs, do you approve of his wearing a
prepared hare-skin over the chest_?

I do not: the chest may be kept too warm as well as too cold. The
hare-skin heats the chest too much, and thereby promotes a violent
perspiration; which, by his going into the cold air, may become
suddenly checked, and may thus produce mischief. If the chest be
delicate, there is nothing like flannel to ward off colds.

321. _After an attack of Rheumatic Fever, what extra clothing do you

In the case of a boy, or a girl, just recovering from a severe attack
of Rheumatic Fever, flannel next the skin ought always, winter and
summer, to be worn--flannel drawers as well as a flannel vest.

322. _Have you any remarks to make on boys' waistcoats_?

Fashion in this, as in most other instances, is at direct variance
with common sense. It would seem that fashion was intended to make
work for the doctor, and to swell the bills of mortality! It might be
asked, What part of the chest, in particular, ought to be kept warm?
The upper part needs it most. It is in the _upper_ part of the lungs
that tubercles (consumption) usually first make their appearance; and
is it not preposterous to have such parts, in particular, kept cool?

Double-breasted waistcoats cannot be too strongly recommended for
_delicate_ youths, and for all men who have _weak_ chests.

323. _Have you any directions to give respecting the shoes and the

The shoes for winter should be moderately thick and waterproof. If
boys and girls be delicate, they ought to have double soles to their
shoes, with a piece of bladder between each sole, or the inner sole
may be made of cork; either of the above plans will make the soles of
boots and shoes completely water-proof. In wet or dirty weather
India-rubber over-shoes are useful, as they keep the _upper_ as well
as the _under_ leathers perfectly dry.

The socks, or stockings, for winter, ought to be either lambs-wool or
worsted; it is absurd to wear _cotton_ socks or stockings all the year
round. I should advise a boy to wear socks not stockings, as he will
then be able to dispense with garters. Garters, as I have remarked in
a previous Conversation, are injurious--they not only interfere with
the circulation of the blood, but also, by pressure, injure the bones,
and thus the shape of the legs.

Boys and girls cannot be too particular in keeping their feet warm and
dry, as cold wet feet are one of the most frequent exciting causes of
bronchitis, of sore throats, and of consumption.

324. _When should a girl begin to wear stays_?

She ought never to wear them.

325. _Do not stays strengthen the body_?

No; on the contrary, they weaken it (1.) _They, weaken the
muscles_. The pressure upon them causes them to waste; so that, in the
end, a girl cannot do without them, as the stays are then obliged to
perform the duty of the wasted muscles. (2.) _They weaken the lungs_
by interfering with their functions. Every inspiration is accompanied
by a movement of the ribs. If this movement be impeded, the functions
of the lungs are impeded likewise, and, consequently, disease is
likely to follow, and either difficulty of breathing, or cough, or
consumption, may ensue. (3) _They weaken the heart's action_, and thus
frequently produce palpitation, and, perhaps, eventually, organic or
incurable disease of the heart (4) _They weaken the digestion_, by
pushing down the stomach and the liver, and by compressing the latter,
and thus induce indigestion, flatulence, and liver-disease. [Footnote:
Several years ago, while prosecuting my anatomical studies in London
University College Dissecting rooms, on opening a young women, I
discovered an immense indentation of the liver large enough to admit a
rolling pin, produced by tight lacing!] (5) _They weaken the bowels_,
by impeding their proper peristaltic (spiral) motion, and thus might
produce either constipation or a rupture. Is it not presumptuous to
imagine that man can improve upon God's works, and that if more
support had been required, the Almighty would not have given it?--

  "God never made his work for man to mend"--_Dryden._

326. _Have you any remarks to make on female dress_?

There is a perfect disregard of health in everything appertaining to
fashion. Parts that ought to be kept warm, remain unclothed, the
_upper_ portion of the chest, most prone to tubercles (consumption),
is completely exposed, the feet, great inlets to cold, are covered
with thin stockings, and with shoes as thin as paper. Parts that
should have full play are cramped and hampered, the chest is cribbed
in with stays, the feet with _tight_ shoes,--hence causing deformity,
and preventing a free circulation of blood. The mind, that ought to be
calm and unruffled, is kept in a constant state of excitement by
balls, and concerts, and plays. Mind and body sympathise with each
other, and disease is the consequence. Night is turned into day, and
a delicate girl leaves the heated ball room, decked out in her airy
finery, to breathe the damp and cold air of night. She goes to bed,
but, for the first few hours, she is too much excited to sleep,
towards morning, when the air is pure and invigorating, and, when to
breathe it, would be to inhale health and life, she falls into a
feverish slumber, and wakes not until noon-day. Oh, that a mother
should be so blinded and so infatuated!

327. _Have you any observations to make on a girl wearing a green

It is injurious to wear a green dress, if the colour have been
imparted to it by means of _Scheele's green_, which is arsenite of
copper--a deadly poison. I have known the arsenic to fly off from a
_green_ dress in the form of powder, and to produce, in consequence,
ill-health. Gas-light green is a lovely green, and free from all
danger, and is fortunately superseding the Scheele's green both in
dresses and in worsted work. I should advise my fair reader, when she
selects green as her colour, always to choose the gas-light green, and
to wear and to use for worsted work no other green besides, unless it
be imperial green.


328. _Which is the more wholesome, coffee or tea, where milk does not
agree, for a youth's breakfast_?

Coffee, provided it be made properly, and provided the boy or the girl
take a great deal of out-door exercise; if a youth be much confined
within doors, black tea is preferable to coffee. The usual practice of
making coffee is to boil it, to get out the strength! But the fact is,
the process of boiling boils the strength away; it drives off that
aromatic, grateful principle, so wholesome to the stomach, and so
exhilarating to the spirits; and, in lieu of which, extracts its dregs
and impurities, which are both heavy and difficult of digestion. The
coffee ought, if practicable, to be _freshly_ ground every morning, in
order that you may be quite sure that it be perfectly genuine, and
that none of the aroma of the coffee has flown off from long exposure
to the atmosphere. If a youth's bowels be inclined to be costive,
coffee is preferable to tea for breakfast, as coffee tends to keep the
bowels regular. Fresh milk ought always to be added to the coffee in
the proportion of half coffee and half new milk. If coffee does not
agree, then _black_ tea should be substituted, which ought to be taken
with plenty of fresh milk in it. Milk may be frequently given in tea,
when it otherwise would disagree.

When a youth is delicate, it is an excellent plan to give him, every
morning before he leaves his bed, a tumblerful of _new_ milk. The
draught of milk, of course, is not in any way to interfere with his
regular breakfast.

329. _Do you approve of a boy eating meat with his breakfast_?

This will depend upon the exercise he uses. If he have had a good walk
or run before breakfast, or if he intend, after breakfast, to take
plenty of athletic out-door exercise, meat, or a rasher or two of
bacon, may, with advantage, be eaten; but not otherwise.

330. _What is the best dinner for a youth_?

Fresh mutton or beef, a variety of vegetables, and a farinaceous
pudding. It is a bad practice to allow him to dine, exclusively,
either on a fruit pudding, or on any other pudding, or on
pastry. Unless he be ill, he must, if he is to be healthy, strong, and
courageous, eat meat every day of his life. "All courageous animals
are carnivorous, and greater courage is to be expected in a people,
such as the English, whose food is strong and hearty, than in the
half-starved commonalty of other countries."--Sir W. Temple.

Let him be debarred from rich soups and from high-seasoned dishes,
which only disorder the stomach and inflame the blood. It is a mistake
to give a boy or a girl broth or soup, in lieu of meat for dinner; the
stomach takes such slops in a discontented way, and is not at all
satisfied. It may be well, occasionally, to give a youth with his
dinner, _in addition to his meat_, either good soup or good broth not
highly seasoned, made of good _meat_ stock. But after all that can be
said on the subject, a plain joint of meat, either roast or boiled, is
far superior for health and strength than either soup or broth, let it
be ever so good or so well made.

He should be desired to take plenty of time over his dinner, so that
he may be able to chew his food well, and thus that it may be reduced
to an impalpable mass, and be well mixed with the saliva,--which the
action of the jaws will cause to be secreted--before it passes into
the stomach. If such were usually the case, the stomach would not have
double duty to perform, and a boy would not so frequently lay the
foundation of indigestion, etc., which may embitter, and even make
miserable, his after-life. Meat, plain pudding, vegetables, bread, and
hunger for sauce (which exercise will readily give), is the best, and,
indeed, should be, as a rule, the only dinner he should have. A youth
ought not to dine later than two o'clock.

331. _Do you consider broths and soups wholesome_?

The stomach can digest solid much more readily than it can liquid
food; on which account the dinner, specified above, is far preferable
to one either of broth or of soup. Fluids in large quantities too
much dilute the gastric juice, and over-distend the stomach, and hence
weaken it, and thus produce indigestion: indeed, it might truly be
said that the stomach often takes broths and soups in a grumbling way!

332. _Do you approve of a boy drinking beer with his dinner_?

There is no objection to a little good, mild table-beer, but _strong_
ale ought never to be allowed. It is, indeed, questionable whether a
boy, unless he take unusual exercise, requires anything but water with
his meals.

333. _Do you approve of a youth, more especially if he be weakly,
having a glass or two of wine after dinner_?

I disapprove of it: his young blood does not require to be inflamed,
and his sensitive nerves excited, with wine; and, if he he delicate, I
should be sorry to endeavour to strengthen him by giving him such an
inflammable fluid. If he be weakly, he is more predisposed to put on
either fever or inflammation of some organ; and, being thus
predisposed, wine would be likely to excite either the one or the
other of them into action.

  "Wine and youth are fire upon fire."--_Fielding._

A parent ought on no account to allow a boy to touch spirits, however
much diluted; they are, to the young, still more deadly in their
effects than wine.

334. _Have you any objection to a youth drinking tea_?

Not at all, provided it be not _green_ tea, that it be not made
strong, and that it have plenty of milk in it. Green tea is apt to
make people nervous, and boys and girls ought not even to know what it
is to be nervous.

335. _Do you object to supper for a youth_?

Meat suppers are highly prejudicial. If he be hungry (and if he have
been much in the open air, he is almost sure to be), a piece of bread
and cheese, or of bread and butter, with a draught either of new milk
or of table beer, will form the best supper he can have. He ought not
to sup later than eight o'clock.

336. _Do you approve of a boy having anything between meals_?

I do not; let him have four meals a day, and he will require nothing
in the intervals. It is a mistaken notion that "little and often is
best," The stomach requires rest as much as, or perhaps more than (for
it is frequently sadly over-worked) any other part of the body. I do
not mean that he is to have "_much_ and seldom:" moderation, in
everything, is to be observed. Give him as much as a growing boy
requires (_and that is a great deal_), but do not let him eat
gluttonously, as many indulgent parents encourage their children to
do. Intemperance in eating cannot be too strongly condemned.

337. _Have you any objection to a boy having pocket money_?

It is a bad practice to allow a boy _much_ pocket money; if he be so
allowed, he will be loading his stomach with sweets, fruit, and
pastry, and thus his stomach will become cloyed and disordered, and
the keen appetite, so characteristic of youth, will be blunted, and
ill-health will ensue. "In a public education, boys early learn
intemperance, and if the parents and friends would give them less
money upon their usual visits, it would be much to their advantage,
since it may justly be said that a great part of their disorders arise
from surfeit, '_plus occidit gula quam gladius_' (gluttony kills more
than the sword)."--_Goldsmith._

How true is the saying that "many people dig their graves with their
teeth." You may depend upon it that more die from stuffing than from
starvation! There would be little for doctors to do if there were not
so much stuffing and imbibing of strong drinks going on in the world!


338. _Have you any remarks to make on fresh air and exercise for boys
and girls_?

Girls and boys, especially the former, are too much confined within
doors. It is imperatively necessary, if you wish them to be strong and
healthy, that they should have plenty of fresh air and exercise;
remember, I mean fresh air--country air, not the close air of a town.
By exercise, I mean the free unrestrained use of their limbs. Girls,
in this respect, are unfortunately worse off than boys, although they
have similar muscles to develop, similar lungs that require fresh air,
and similar nerves to be braced and strengthened. It is not considered
lady-like to be natural--all then: movements must be measured by rule
and compass!

The reason why so many young girls of the present day are so sallow,
under-sized, and ill-shaped, is for the want of air and
exercise. After a time the want of air and exercise, by causing ill
health, makes them slothful and indolent-it is a trouble for them to
move from their chairs!

Respiration, digestion, and a proper action of the bowels,
imperatively demand fresh air and exercise. Ill health will inevitably
ensue if boys and girls are cooped up a great part of the day in a
close room. A distinguished writer of the present day says: "The
children of the very poor are always out and about. In this respect
they are an example to those careful mammas who keep their children,
the whole day long, in their chairs, reading, writing, ciphering,
drawing, practising music lessons, doing crotchet work, or anything,
in fact, except running about in spite of the sunshine always peeping
in and inviting them out of doors; and who, in the due course of time,
are surprised to find their children growing up with incurable heart,
head, lung, or stomach complaints."

339. _What is the lest exercise for a youth_?

Walking or running: provided either of them be not carried to
fatigue,--the slightest approach to it should warn a youth to desist
from carrying it further. Walking exercise is not sufficiently
insisted upon. A boy or a girl, to be in the enjoyment of good health,
ought to walk at least ten miles every day. I do not mean ten miles at
a stretch, but at different times of the day. Some young ladies think
it an awfully long walk if they manage a couple of miles! How can
they, with such exercise, expect to be well? How can their muscles be
developed? How can their nerves be braced? How can their spines be
strengthened and be straight? How can their blood course merrily
through their blood-vessels? How can their chests expand and be
strong? Why, it is impossible! Ill health must be the penalty of such
indolence, for Nature will not be trifled with! Walking exercise,
then, is the finest exercise that can be taken, and must be taken, and
that without stint, if boys and girls are to be strong and well! The
advantage of our climate is, that there is not a day in the whole year
that walking exercise cannot be enjoyed. I use the term enjoyed
advisedly. The roads may, of course, be dirty; but what of that A good
thick pair of boots will be the remedy.

Do then, let me entreat you, insist upon your--girls and boys taking
plenty of exercise; let them almost live in the open air! Do not
coddle them; this is a rough; world of ours, and they must rough it;
they must be knocked about a great deal, and the knocks will do them,
good. Poor youths who are, as it were, tied to their mother's apron
strings, are much to be pitied; they are usually puny and delicate,
and effeminate, and utterly deficient of self-reliance.

340. _Do you approve of--horse or pony exercise for boys and girls_?

Most certainly I do; but still it ought not to supersede
walking. Horse or pony exercise is very beneficial, and cannot be too
strongly recommended. One great advantage for those living in towns,
which it has over walking, is, that a person may go further into the
country, and thus be enabled to breathe a purer and more healthy
atmosphere. Again, it is a much more amusing exercise than walking,
and this, for the young, is a great consideration indeed.

Horse exercise is for both boys and girls a splendid exercise; it
improves the figure, it gives grace to the movements, it strengthens
the chest, it braces the muscles, and gives to the character energy
and courage. Both boys and girls ought to be early taught to ride.
There is nothing that gives more pleasure to the young than riding
either on a pony or on a horse, and for younger children, even on that
despised, although useful animal, a donkey. Exercise, taken with
pleasure, is doubly beneficial.

If girls were to ride more on horseback than they now do, we should
hear less of crooked spines and of round shoulders, of chlorosis and
of hysteria, and of other numerous diseases of that class, owing,
generally, to debility and to mismanagement.

Those ladies who "affect the saddle" are usually much healthier,
stronger, and straighter than those who either never or but seldom
ride on horseback.

Siding on horseback is both an exercise and an amusement, and is
peculiarly suitable for the fair sex, more especially as their modes
of exercise are somewhat limited, ladies being excluded from following
many games, such as cricket, and foot-ball, both of which are
practised, with such zest and benefit, by the rougher sex.

341. _Do you approve of carriage exercise_?

There is no muscular exertion in carriage exercise; its principal
advantage is, that it enables a person to have a change of air, which
may be purer than the one he is in the habit of breathing. But,
whether it be so or not, change of air frequently does good, even, if
the air be not so pure. Carriage exercise, therefore, does only
partial good, and ought never to supersede either walking or horse

342. _What is the best time of the day, for the taking of exercise_?

In the summer time, early in the morning and before breakfast, as
"cool morning air exhilarates young blood like wine." If a boy cannot
take exercise upon an empty stomach, let him have a slice of bread and
a draught of milk. When he returns home he will be able to do justice
to his breakfast. In fine weather he cannot take too much exercise,
provided it be not carried to fatigue.

343. _What is the best time for him to keep quiet_?

He ought not to take exercise immediately after--say for half an hour
after--a hearty meal, or it will be likely to interfere with his


344. _What amusements do you recommend for a boy as being most
beneficial to health_?

Manly games--such as rowing, skating, cricket, quoits, foot-ball,
rackets, single-stick, bandy, bowls, skittles, and all gymnastic
exercises. Such games bring the muscles into proper action, and thus
cause them to be fully developed. They expand and strengthen the
chest; they cause a due circulation of the blood, making it to bound
merrily through the blood-vessels, and thus to diffuse health and
happiness in its course. Another excellent amusement for boys, is the
brandishing of clubs. They ought to be made in the form of a
constable's staff, but should be much larger and heavier. The manner
of handling them is so graphically described by Addison that I cannot
do better than transcribe it--"When I was some years younger than I am
at present, I used to employ myself in a more laborious diversion,
which I learned from a Latin treatise of exercises that is written
with great erudition; it is there called the [Greek: skiomachia] or
the fighting with a man's own shadow, and consists in the brandishing
of two short sticks grasped in each hand, and loaded with plugs of
lead at either end. This opens the chest, exercises the limbs, and
gives a man all the pleasure of boxing without the blows. I could wish
that several learned men would lay out that time which they employ in
controversies and disputes about nothing, in this method of fighting
with their own shadows. It might conduce very much to evaporate the
spleen which makes them uneasy to the public as well as to

Another capital, healthful game is single-stick, which makes a boy "to
gain an upright and elastic carriage, and to learn the use of his
limbs."--_H. Kingsley_. Single-stick may be taught by any
drill-sergeant in the neighbourhood. Do everything to make a boy
strong. Remember, "the glory of young men is their strength."

If games were more patronised in youth, so many miserable, nervous,
useless creatures would not abound. Let a boy or girl, then, have
plenty of play; let half of his or her time be spent in play.

There ought to be a gymnasium established in every town of the
kingdom. The gymnasium, the cricket ground, and the swimming bath, are
among our finest establishments, and should be patronised accordingly.

First of all, by an abundance of exercise and fresh air make your boys
and girls strong, and then, in due time, they will be ready and be
able to have their minds properly cultivated. Unfortunately, in this
enlightened age, we commence at the wrong end--we put the cart before
the horse--we begin by cultivating the mind, and we leave the body to
be taken care of afterwards; the results are, broken health,
precocious, stunted, crooked, and deformed youths, and premature

One great advantage of gymnastic exercise is, it makes the chest
expand, it fills the lungs with air, and by doing so strengthens them
amazingly, and wards off many diseases. The lungs are not sufficiently
exercised and expanded; boys and girls, girls especially, do not as a
rule half fill their lungs with air; now air to the lungs is food to
the lungs, and portions of the lungs have not half their proper food,
and in consequence suffer.

It is very desirable that every boy and girl should, every day of his
or her life, and for a quarter of an hour at least each time, go
through a regular _breathing exercise_--that is to say, should be made
to stand upright, throw back the shoulders, and the while alternately
and regularly fully fill and fully empty the lungs of air. If this
plan were daily followed, the chest and lungs would be wonderfully
invigorated, and the whole body benefited.

345. _Is playing the flute, blowing the bugle, or any other wind
instrument, injurious to health_?

Decidedly so: the lungs and the windpipe are brought into unnatural
action by them. If a boy be of a consumptive habit, this will, of
course, hold good with tenfold force. If a youth must be musical let
him be taught singing, as that, provided the lungs be not diseased,
will be beneficial.

346. _What amusements do you recommend for a girl_?

Archery, skipping, horse exercise, croquet, the hand-swing, the
fly-pole, skating, and dancing, are among the best. Archery expands
the chest, throws back the shoulders, thus improving the figure, and
develops the muscles. Skipping is exceedingly good exercise for a
girl, every part of the body being put into action by it Horse
exercise is splendid for a girl; it improves the figure amazingly--it
is most exhilarating and amusing; moreover, it gives her courage and
makes her self-reliant Croquet develops and improves the muscles of
the arms, beautifies the complexion, strengthens the back, and throws
out the chest. Croquet is for girls and women what cricket is for boys
and men--a glorious game. Croquet has improved both the health and
the happiness of womankind more than any game ever before invented.
Croquet, in the bright sunshine, with the winds of heaven blowing
about the players, is not like a ball in a stifling hot ball-room,
with gas-lights poisoning the air. Croquet is a more sensible
amusement than dancing; it brings the intellect as well as the muscles
into play. The man who invented croquet has deserved greater glory,
and has done more good to his species, than many philosophers whose
names are emblazoned in story. Hand-swing is a capital exercise for a
girl, the whole of the body is thrown into action by it, and the
spine, the shoulders, and the shoulder-blades, are especially
benefited. The fly-pole, too, is good exercise for the whole of the
muscles of the body, especially of the legs and the arms. Skating is
for a girl excellent exercise, and is as exhilarating as a glass of
champagne, but will do her far more good! Skating improves the figure,
and makes a girl balance and carry herself upright and well; it is a
most becoming exercise for her, and is much in every way to be
commended. Moreover, skating gives a girl courage and self-reliance.
Dancing, followed as a rational amusement, causes a free circulation
of the blood, and provided it does not induce her to sit up late at
night, is most beneficial.

347. _If dancing be so beneficial why are balls such fruitful sources
of coughs, of cold, and consumptions_?

On many accounts. They induce young ladies to sit up late at night;
they cause them to dress more lightly than they are accustomed to do;
and thus thinly clad, they leave their homes while the weather is
perhaps piercingly cold, to plunge into a suffocating, hot ballroom,
made doubly injurious by the immense number of lights, which consume
the oxygen intended for the due performance of the healthy functions
of the lungs. Their partners, the brilliancy of the scene, and the
music, excite their nerves to undue and thus to unnatural, action, and
what is the consequence? Fatigue, weakness, hysterics, and extreme
depression follow. They leave the heated ball-room when the morning
has far advanced, to breathe the bitterly cold and frequently damp air
of a winter's night, and what is the result? Hundreds die of
consumption, who might otherwise have lived. Ought there not, then, to
be a distinction between a ball at midnight and a dance in the

348. _But still, would you have a girl brought up to forego the
pleasure of a ball_?

If a parent prefer her so-called pleasures to her health, certainly
not; to such a mother I do not address myself.

349. _Have you any remarks to make on singing, or on reading aloud_?

Before a mother allows her daughter to take lessons in singing, she
should ascertain that there be no actual disease of the lungs, for if
there be, it will probably excite it into action; but if no disease
exist, singing or reading aloud is very conducive to health. Public
singers are seldom known to die of consumption. Singing expands the
chest, improves the pronunciation, enriches the voice for
conversation, strengthens the lungs, and wards off many of their

350. _Do you approve of corporal punishments in schools_?

I do not. I consider it to be decidedly injurious both to body and
mind. Is it not painful to witness the pale cheeks and the dejected
looks of those boys who are often flogged? If their tempers are mild,
their spirits are broken; if their dispositions are at all obstinate,
they become hardened and wilful, and are made little better than
brutes. [Footnote: "I would have given him, Captain Fleming, had he
been my son," quoth old Pearson the elder, "such's good sound drubbing
as he never would have forgotten--never!"

"Pooh! pooh! my good sir. Don't tell me. Never saw flogging in the
navy do good. Kept down brutes; never made a man yet."--Dr Norman
Macleod in _Good Words_, May 1861.] A boy who is often flogged loses
that noble ingenuousness and fine sensibility so characteristic of
youth. He looks upon his school as his prison, and his master as his
gaoler, and as he grows up to manhood, hates and despises the man who
has flogged him. Corporal punishment is revolting, disgusting, and
demoralising to the boy; and is degrading to the schoolmaster as a man
and as a Christian,

If schoolmasters must flog, let them flog their own sons. If they must
ruin the tempers, the dispositions, and the constitution of boys, they
have more right to practise upon their own than on other people's
children! Oh! that parents would raise--and that without any
uncertain sound--their voices against such abominations, and the
detestable cane would soon be banished the school-room! "I am
confident that no boy," says Addison, "who will not be allured by
letters without blows, will never be brought to anything with them. A
great or good mind must necessarily be the worse for such indignities;
and it is a sad change to lose of its virtue for the improvement of
its knowledge. No one has gone through what they call a great school,
but must have remembered to have seen children of excellent and
ingenuous natures (as have afterwards appeared in their manhood). I
say, no man has passed through this way of education but must have
seen an ingenuous creature expiring with shame, with pale looks,
beseeching sorrow, and silent tears, throw up its honest sighs, and
kneel on its tender knees to an inexorable blockhead, to be forgiven
the false quantity of a word in making a Latin verse. The child is
punished, and the next day he commits a like crime, and so a third,
with the same consequence. I would fain ask any reasonable man whether
this lad, in the simplicity of his native innocence, full of shame,
and capable of any impression from that grace of soul, was not fitter
for any purpose in this life than after that spark of virtue is
extinguished in him, though he is able to write twenty verses in an

How often is corporal punishment resorted to at school because the
master is in a passion, and he vents his rage upon the poor
school-boy's unfortunate back!

Oh! the mistaken notion that flogging will make a bad-behaved boy a
good boy; it has the contrary effect. "'I dunno how 'tis, sir,' said
an old farm labourer, in reply to a question from his clergyman
respecting the bad behaviour of his children, 'I dunno how 'tis; I
beats 'em till they're black and blue, and when they won't kneel down
to pray I knocks 'em down, and yet they ain't good.'"--_The Birmingham

In an excellent article in _Temple Bar_(November 1864) on flogging in
the army, the following sensible remarks occur:--"In nearly a quarter
of a century's experience with soldiers, the writer has always, and
without a single exception, found flogging makes a good man bad, and a
bad man worse." With equal truth it may be said that, without a single
exception, flogging makes a good boy bad, and a bad boy worse. How
many men owe their ferocity to the canings they received when
school-boys! The early floggings hardened and soured them, and blunted
their sensibility.

Dr Arnold of Rugby, one of the best schoolmasters that England ever
produced, seldom caned a boy--not more than once or twice during the
half year; but when he did cane him, he charged for the use of the
cane each time in the bill, in order that the parents might know how
many times their son had been punished. At some of our public schools
now-a-days, a boy is caned as many times in a morning as the worthy
doctor would have caned him during the whole half year; but then, the
doctor treated the boys as gentlemen, and trusted much to their
honour; but now many schoolmasters trust much to fear, little to
honour, and treat them as brute beasts.

It might be said that the discipline of a school cannot be maintained
unless the boys be frequently caned, that it must be either caning or
expulsion. I deny these assertions. Dr Arnold was able to conduct his
school with honour to himself, and with immense benefit to the rising
generation, without either frequent canings or expulsions. The humane
plan, however, requires at first both trouble and patience; and
trouble some schoolmasters do not like, and patience they do not
possess; the use of the cane is quick, sharp, decisive, and at the
time effective.

If caning be ever necessary, which it might occasionally be, for the
telling of lies for instance, or for gross immorality, let the head
master himself be the only one to perform the operation, but let him
not be allowed to delegate it to others. A law ought in all public
schools to be in force to that effect. High time that something were
done to abate such disgraceful practices.

Never should a schoolmaster, or any one else, be allowed, _on any
pretence whatever_, to strike a boy upon his head. Boxing of the ears
has sometimes caused laceration of the drum of the ear, and consequent
partial deafness for life. Boxing of the ears injures the brain, and
therefore the intellect.

It might be said, that I am travelling out of my province in making
remarks on corporal chastisement in schools? But, with deference, I
reply that I am strictly in the path of duty. My office is to inform
you of everything that is detrimental to your children's health and
happiness; and corporal punishment is assuredly most injurious both to
their health and happiness. It is the bounden duty of every man, and
especially of every medical man, to lift up his voice against the
abominable, disgusting, and degrading system of flogging, and to warn
parents of the danger and the mischief of sending boys to those
schools where flogging is, except in rare and flagrant cases,

351. _Have you any observations to make on the selection, of a female

Home education, where it be practicable, is far preferable to sending
a girl to school; as _at_ home, her health, her morals, and her
household duties, can be attended to much more effectually than _from_
home. Moreover, it is a serious injury to a girl, in more ways than
one, to separate her from her own brothers: they very much lose their
affection for each other, and mutual companionship (so delightful and
beneficial between brothers and sisters) is severed.

If home education be not practicable, great care must be taken in
making choice of a school. Boarding school education requires great
reformation. Accomplishments, superficial acquirements, and
brain-work, are the order of the day; health is very little
studied. You ought, in the education of your daughters, to remember
that they, in a few years, will be the wives and the mothers of
England; and, if they have not health and strength, and a proper
knowledge of household duties to sustain their characters, what
useless, listless wives and mothers they will make!

Remember, then, the body, and not the mind, ought, in early life, to
be principally cultivated and strengthened, and that the growing brain
will not bear, with impunity, much book learning. The brain of a
school-girl is frequently injured by getting up voluminous questions
by rote, that are not of the slightest use or benefit to her, or to
any one else. Instead of this ridiculous system, educate a girl to be
useful and self-reliant. "From babyhood they are given to understand
that helplessness is feminine and beautiful; helpfulness, except in
certain received forms of manifestation, unwomanly and ugly. The boys
may do a thousand things which are 'not proper for little girls.'"--_A
Woman's Thoughts about Women_.

From her twelfth to her seventeenth year, is the most important epoch
of a girl's existence, as regards her future health, and consequently,
in a great measure, her future happiness; and one, in which, more than
at any other period of her life, she requires a plentiful supply of
fresh air, exercise, recreation, a variety of innocent amusements, and
an abundance of good nourishment--more especially of fresh meat; if
therefore you have determined on sending your girl to school, you must
ascertain that the pupils have as much plain wholesome nourishing food
as they can eat, [Footnote: If a girl have an _abundance_ of good
nourishment, the schoolmistress must, of coarse, be remunerated for
the necessary and costly expense; and how can this be done on the
paltry sum charged at _cheap_ boarding schools? It is utterly
impossible! And what are we to expect from poor and insufficient
nourishment to a fast-growing girl, and at the time of life, remember,
when she requires an _extra_ quantity of good sustaining, supporting
food? A poor girl, from such treatment, becomes either consumptive or
broken down in constitution, and from which she never recovers, but
drags on a miserable existence.] that the school be situated in a
healthy spot, that it be well-drained, that there be a large
play-ground attached to it, that the young people are allowed plenty
of exercise in the open air--indeed, that at least one-third of the
day is spent there in croquet, skipping, archery, battle-dore and
shuttlecock, gardening, walking, running, &c.

Take care that the school-rooms are well-ventilated, that they are not
over-crowded, and that the pupils are allowed chairs to sit upon, and
not those abominations--forms and stools. If you wish to try the
effect of them upon yourselves, sit for a couple of hours without
stirring upon a form or upon a stool, and, take my word for it, you
will insist that forms and stools be banished for ever from the

Assure yourself that the pupils are compelled to rise early in the
morning, and that they retire early to rest; that each young lady has
a separate bed [Footnote: A horse-hair mattress should always be
preferred to a feather-bed. It is not only better for the health, but
it improves the figure] and that many are not allowed to sleep in the
same room, and that the apartments are large and well-ventilated. In
fine, their health and their morals ought to be preferred far above
all their accomplishments.

352. _They use, in some schools, straight-backed chairs to make a girl
sit upright, and to give strength to her back: do you approve of

Certainly not: the natural and the graceful curve of the back is not
the curve of a straight-backed chair. Straight-backed chairs are
instruments of torture, and are more likely to make a girl crooked
than to make her straight. Sir Astley Cooper ridiculed straight-backed
chairs, and well he might. It is always well for a mother to try, for
some considerable time, such ridiculous inventions upon herself before
she experiments upon her unfortunate daughter. The position is most
unnatural. I do not approve of a girl lounging and lolling on a sofa;
but, if she be tired and wants to rest herself, let her, like any
other reasonable being, sit upon a comfortable ordinary chair.

If you want her to be straight, let her be made strong; and if she is
to be strong, she must use plenty of exercise and exertion, such as
drilling, dancing, skipping, archery, croquet, hand-swinging,
horse-exercise, swimming, bowls, etc. This is the plan to make her
back straight and her muscles strong. Why should we bring up a girl
differently from a boy? Muscular exercises, gymnastic performances,
and health-giving exertion, are unladylike, forsooth!


353. _Do you recommend household work as a means of health for my

Decidedly: whatever you do, do not make a fine lady of her, or she
will become puny and delicate, listless, and miserable. A girl, let
her station be what it might, ought, as soon as she be old enough, to
make her own bed. There is no better exercise to expand the figure and
to beautify the shape than is bed-making. Let her make tidy her own
room. Let her use her hands and her arms. Let her, to a great extent,
be self-reliant, and let her wait upon herself. There is nothing
vulgar in her being useful. Let me ask, of what use are many girls of
the present day? They are utterly useless. Are they happy? No, for
the want of employment, they are miserable--I mean bodily employment,
household work. Many girls, now-a-days, unfortunately, are made to
look upon a pretty face, dress, and accomplishments, as the only
things needed! And, when they do become women and wives--if ever they
do become women and wives--what miserable lackadaisical wives, and
what senseless, useless mothers they will make!


354. _What profession or trade would you recommend a boy of a delicate
or of a consumptive habit to follow_?

If a youth be delicate, it is a common practice among parents either
to put him to some light in-door trade, or, if they can afford it, to
one of the learned professions. Such a practice is absurd, and
fraught with danger. The close confinement of an in-door trade is
highly prejudicial to health. The hard reading requisite to fit a man
to fill, for instance, the sacred office, only increases delicacy of
constitution. The stooping at a desk, in an attorney's office, is most
trying to the chest. The harass, the anxiety, the disturbed nights,
the interrupted meals, and the intense study necessary to fit a man
for the medical profession, is still more dangerous to health than
either law, divinity, or any in-door trade. "Sir Walter Scott says of
the country surgeon, that he is worse fed and harder wrought than any
one else in the parish, except it be his fiorse."--_Brown's Horoe

A modern writer, speaking of the life of a medical man, observes,
"There is no career which so rapidly wears away the powers of life,
because there is no other which requires a greater activity of mind
and body. He has to bear the changes of weather, continued fatigue,
irregularity in his meals, and broken rest; to live in the midst of
miasma and contagion. If in the country, he has to traverse
considerable distances on horseback, exposed to wind and storm; to
brave all dangers to go to the relief of suffering humanity. A fearful
truth for medical men has been established by the table of mortality
of Dr. Caspar, published in the _British Review_. Of 1000 members of
the medical profession, 600 died before their sixty-second year;
whilst of persons leading a quiet life--such as agriculturists or
theologians--the mortality is only 347. If we take 100 individuals of
each of these classes, 43 theologians, 40 agriculturists, 35 clerks,
32 soldiers, will reach their seventieth year; of 100 professors of
the healing art, 24 only will reach that age. They are the sign-posts
to health; they can show the road to old age, but rarely tread it

If a boy, therefore, be of a delicate or of a consumptive habit, an
out-door calling should be advised, such as that of a farmer, of a
tanner, or a land-surveyor; but, if he be of an inferior station of
society, the trade of a butcher may be recommended. Tanners and
butchers are seldom known to die of consumption.

I cannot refrain from reprobating the too common practice among
parents of bringing up their boys to the professions. The anxieties
and the heartaches which they undergo if they do not succeed (and how
can many of them succeed when there is such a superabundance of
candidates?) materially injure their health. "I very much wonder,"
says Addison, "at the humour of parents, who will not rather choose to
place their sons in a way of life where an honest industry cannot but
thrive, than in stations where the greatest probity, learning, and
good sense, may miscarry. How many men are country curates, that might
have made themselves aldermen of London by a right improvement of a
smaller sum of money than what is usually laid out upon a learned
education? A sober, frugal person, of slender parts and a slow
apprehension, might have thrived in trade, though he starves upon
physic; as a man would be well enough pleased to buy silks of one whom
he could not venture to feel his pulse. Vagellius is careful,
studious, and obliging, but withal a little thick-skulled; he has not
a single client, but might have had abundance of customers. The
misfortune is that parents take a liking to a particular profession,
and therefore desire their sons may be of it; whereas, in so great an
affair of life, they should consider the genius and abilities of their
children more than their own inclinations. It is the great advantage
of a trading nation, that there are very few in it so dull and heavy
who may not be placed in stations of life which may give them an
opportunity of making their fortunes. A well-regulated commerce is
not, like law, physic, or divinity, to be overstocked with hands; but,
on the contrary, flourishes by multitudes, and gives employment to all
its professors. Fleets of merchantmen are so many squadrons of
floating shops, that vend our wares and manufactures in all the
markets of the world, and find out chapmen under both the tropics."

355. _Then, do you recommend a delicate youth to be brought up either
to a profession or to a trade_?

Decidedly; there is nothing so injurious for a delicate boy, or for
anyone else, as idleness. Work, in moderation, enlivens the spirits,
braces the nerves, and gives tone to the muscles, and thus strengthens
the constitution. Of all miserable people, the idle boy, or the idle
man, is the most miserable! If you be poor, of course you will bring
him up to some calling; but if you be rich, and your boy be delicate
(if he be not actually in a consumption), you will, if you are wise,
still bring him up to some trade or profession. You will, otherwise,
be making a rod for your own as well as for your son's back. Oh, what
a blessed thing is work!

356. _Have you any remarks to make on the sleep of boys and girls_?

Sleeping-rooms, are, generally, the smallest in the house, whereas,
for health's sake, they ought to be the largest If it be impossible to
have a _large_ bedroom, I should advise a parent to have a dozen or
twenty holes (each about the size of a florin) bored with a centre-bit
in the upper part of the chamber door, and the same number of holes in
the lower part of the door, so as constantly to admit a free current
of air from the passages. If this cannot readily be done, then let the
bedroom door be left ajar all night, a door chain being on the door to
prevent intrusion; and, in the summer time, during the night, let the
window-sash, to the extent of about two or three inches, be left open.

If there be a dressing-room next to the bedroom, it will be well to
have the dressing-room window, instead of the bedroom window, open at
night. The dressing-room door will regulate the quantity of air to be
admitted into the bedroom, opening it either little or much, as the
weather might be cold or otherwise.

_Fresh air during deep is indispensable to health._--If a bedroom be
close, the sleep, instead of being calm and refreshing, is broken and
disturbed; and the boy, when he awakes in the morning, feels more
fatigued than when he retired to rest.

If sleep is to be refreshing, the air, then, must be pure, and free
from carbonic acid gas, which, is constantly being evolved from the
lungs. If sleep is to be health-giving, the lungs ought to have their
proper food--oxygen, and not to be cheated by giving them instead a
poison--carbonic acid gas.

It would be well for each boy to have a separate room to himself, and
each girl a separate room to herself. If two boys are obliged, from
the smallness of the house, to sleep in one room, and if two girls,
from the same cause, are compelled to occupy the same chamber, by all
means let each one have a _separate_ bed to himself and to herself, as
it is so much more healthy and expedient for both boy and girl to
sleep alone.

The roof of the bed should be left open--that is to say, the top of
the bedstead ought not to be covered with bed furniture, but should be
open to the ceiling, in order to encourage a free ventilation of
air. A bed-curtain may be allowed on the side of the bed where there
are windy currents of air; otherwise bed-curtains and valances ought
on no account to be allowed. They prevent a free circulation of the
air. A youth should sleep on a horse-hair mattress. Such mattresses
greatly improve the figure and strengthen the frame. During the day
time, provided it does not rain, the windows must be thrown wide open,
and, directly after he has risen from bed, the clothes ought to be
thrown entirely back, in order that they may become, before the bed be
made, well ventilated and purified by the air--

  "Do yon wish to be healthy?--
    Then keep the home sweet,
  As soon as you're up
    Shake each blanket and sheet.

  Leave the beds to get fresh
    On the close crowded floor
  Let the wind sweep right through--
    Open window and door

  The bad air will rush out
    As the good air comes in,
  Just as goodness is stronger
    And better than sin.

  Do this, it's soon done,
    In the fresh morning air,
  It will lighten your labour
    And lessen your care

  You are weary--no wonder,
    There's weight and there's gloom
  Hanging heavily round
    In each over full room.

  Be sure all the trouble
    Is profit and gain
  For there's head ache and heart-ache,
    And fever and pain

  Hovering round, settling down
    In the closeness and heat
  Let the wind sweep right through
    Till the air's fresh and sweet,

  And more cheerful you'll feel
    Through the toil of the day,
  More refreshed you'll awake
    When the night's paved away" [Footnote: _Household Verses on
    Health and Happiness_ London. Jarrold and Sons. Every mother
    should read these _Verses_.]

Plants and flowers ought not to be allowed to remain in a chamber at
night. Experiments have proved that plants and flowers take up, in
the day-time, carbonic acid gas (the refuse of respiration), and give
off oxygen (a gas so necessary and beneficial to health), but give
out, in the night season, a poisonous exhalation.

Early rising cannot be too strongly insisted upon; nothing is more
conducive to health and thus to long life. A youth is frequently
allowed to spend the early part of the morning in bed, breathing the
impure atmosphere of a bedroom, when he should be up and about,
inhaling the balmy and health-giving breezes of the morning:--

  "Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed: The breath of night's
  destructive to the hue Of ev'ry flower that blows. Go to the field,
  And ask the humble daisy why it sleeps Soon as the sun departs?  Why
  close the eyes Of blossoms infinite long ere the moon Her oriental
  veil puts off? Think why, Nor let the sweetest blossom Nature
  boasts Be thus exposed to night's unkindly damp. Well may it droop,
  and all its freshness lose, Compell'd to taste the rank and
  pois'nous steam Of midnight theatre and morning ball Gire to repose
  the solemn hour she claims; And from the forehead of the morning
  steal The sweet occasion. Oh! there is a charm Which morning has,
  that gives the brow of age, a smack of youth, and makes the lip of
  youth Shed perfume exquisite. Expect it not Ye who till noon upon a
  down-bed lie, Indulging feverish sleep."--_Hurdis_.

If early rising be commenced in childhood it becomes a habit, and will
then probably be continued through life. A boy ought on no account to
be roused from his sleep; but, as soon as he be awake in the morning,
he should be encouraged to rise. Dozing--that state between sleeping
and waking--is injurious; it enervates both body and mind, and is as
detrimental to health as dram drinking! But if he rise early he must
go to bed betimes; it is a bad practice to keep him up until the
family retire to rest. He ought, winter and summer, to seek his pillow
by nine o'clock, and should rise as soon as he awake in the morning.

Let me urge upon a parent the great importance of _not_ allowing the
chimney of any bedroom, or of any room in the house, to be stopped, as
many are in the habit of doing to prevent, as _they_ call it, a
draught, but to prevent, as _I_ should call it, health.

357. _How many hours of deep ought a boy to have_?

This, of course, will depend upon the exercise he takes: but, on an
average, he should have every night at least eight hours. It is a
mistaken notion that a boy does _better_ with _little_ sleep. Infants,
children, and youths require more than those who are further advanced
in years; hence old people can frequently do with little sleep. This
may in a measure be accounted for from the quantity of exercise the
young take. Another reason may be, the young have neither racking
pain, nor hidden sorrow, nor carking care, to keep them awake; while,
on the contrary, the old have frequently, the one, the other, or

  "Care keeps his watch on every old man's eye,
  And where care lodges, sleep will never lie."--_Shakspeare_.


358. _What are the beet means of keeping the teeth and the gums in a
healthy state_?

I would recommend the teeth and the gums to be well brushed with warm
salt and water, in the proportion of one large tea-spoonful of, salt
to a tumbler of water. I was induced to try the above plan by the
recommendation of an American writer--_Todd_. The salt and water
should be used _every night_.

The following is an excellent tooth-powder:--

  Take of--Finely-powder Peruvian Bark;
                ''       Prepared Coral;
                ''       Prepared Chalk;
                ''       Myrrh, of each half an ounce
                ''       Orris root, a quarter of an ounce:

Mix them well together in a mortar, and preserve the powder in a wide
mouthed stoppered bottle.

The teeth ought to be well brushed with the above tooth-powder every

If the teeth be much decayed, and if, in consequence, the breath be
offensive, two ounces of finely-powdered charcoal well mixed with the
above ingredients will be found a valuable addition. Some persons
clean their teeth every morning with soap; if soap be used it ought to
be Castile soap; and if the teeth be not white and clean, Castile soap
is an excellent cleanser of the teeth, and may be used in lieu of the
tooth powder as before recommended.

There are few persons who brush their teeth properly. I will tell you
the right way. First of all procure a tooth brush of the best make,
and of rather hard bristles, to enable it to penetrate into all the
nooks and corners of the teeth; then, having put a small quantity of
warm water into your mouth, letting the principal of it escape into
the basin, dip your brush in warm water, and if you are about using
Castile soap, rub the brush on a cake of the soap, and then well brush
your teeth, first upwards and then downwards, then from side to
side--from right to left, and from left to right--then the backs of
the teeth, then apply the brush to the tops of the crowns of the teeth
both of the upper and of the lower jaw,--so that _every_ part of each
tooth, including the gums, may in turn be well cleansed and be well
brushed. Be not afraid of using the brush; a good brushing and
dressing will do the teeth and the gums an immensity of good; it will
make the breath sweet, and will preserve the teeth sound and
good. After using the brush the mouth must, of course, be well rinsed
out with warm water.

The finest get of teeth I ever saw m my life belonged to a middle-aged
gentleman; the teeth had neither spot nor blemish, they were like
beautiful pearls. He never had toothache in his life, and did not know
what toothache meant! He brushed his teeth, every morning, with soap
and water, in the manner I have previously recommended. I can only say
to you--go and do likewise!

Camphor ought never to be used as an ingredient of tooth-powder, it
makes the teeth brittle. Camphor certainly has the effect of making
the teeth, for a time, look very white; but it is an evanescent

Tartar is apt to accumulate between and around the teeth; it is better
in such a case not to remove it by sealing instruments, but to adopt
the plan recommended by Dr Richardson, namely, to well brush the teeth
with pure vinegar and water.


359. _If a boy or a girl show great precocity of intellect, is any
organ likely to become affected_?

A greater quantity of arterial blood is sent to the brain of those who
are prematurely talented, and hence it becomes more than ordinarily
developed. Such advantages are not unmixed with danger; this same
arterial blood may exite and feed inflammation, and either
convulsions, or water on the brain, or insanity, or, at last, idiocy
may follow. How proud a mother is in having a precocious child! How
little is she aware that precocity is frequently an indication of

360. _How can danger in such a case be warded off_?

It behoves a parent, if her son be precocious, to restrain him--to
send him to a quiet country place, free from the excitement of the
town; and when he is sent to school, to give directions to the master
that he is not on any account to tax his intellect (for a master is
apt, if he have a clever boy, to urge him forward); and to keep him
from those institutions where a spirit of rivalry is maintained, and
where the brain is thus kept in a state of constant excitement. Medals
and prizes are well enough for those who have moderate abilities, but
dangerous, indeed, to those who have brilliant ones.

An over-worked precocious brain is apt to cause the death of the
owner; and if it does not do so, it in too many instances injures the
brain irreparably, and the possessor of such an organ, from being one
of the most intellectual of children becomes one of the most
commonplace of men.

Let me urge you, if you have a precocious child, to give, and that
before it be too late, the subject in question your best

361. _Are precocious boys in their general health usually strong or

Delicate: nature seems to have given a delicate body to compensate for
the advantages of a talented mind. A precocious youth is predisposed
to consumption, more so than to any other disease. The hard study
which he frequently undergoes excites the disease into action. It is
not desirable, therefore, to have a precocious child. A writer in
"Eraser's Magazine" speaks very much to the purpose when he says,
"Give us intellectual beef rather than intellectual veal."

362. _What Habit of body is most predisposed to scrofula_?

He or she who has a moist, cold, fair, delicate and almost transparent
skin, large prominent blue eyes, protuberant forehead, light-brown or
auburn hair, rosy cheeks, pouting lips, milk-white teeth, long neck,
high shoulders, small, flat, and contracted chest, tumid bowels, large
joints, thin limbs, and flabby muscles, is the person, most
predisposed to scrofula. The disease is not entirely confined to the
above; sometimes she or he who has black hair, dark eyes and
complexion, is subject to it, but yet, far less frequently than the
former. It is a remarkable fact that the most talented are the most
prone to scrofula, and being thus clever their intellects are too
often cultivated at the expense of their health. In infancy and
childhood, either water on the brain or mesenteric disease; in youth,
pulmonary consumption is frequently their doom: they are like shining
meteors; their life is short, but brilliant.

363. _How may scrofula be warded off_?

Strict attention to the roles of health is the means to prevent
scrofula. Books, unless as an amusement, ought to be discarded. The
patient must almost live in the open air, and his residence should be
a healthy country place, where the air is dry and bracing; if it be at
a farm-house, in a salubrious neighbourhood, so much the better. In
selecting a house for a patient predisposed to scrofula, _good pure
water should be an important requisite;_ indeed for every one who
values his health. Early rising in such a case is most beneficial.
Wine, spirits, and all fermented liquors ought to be avoided.
Beef-steaks and mutton-chops in abundance, and plenty of milk and of
farinaceous food--such as rice, sago, arrowroot, &c., should be his

Scrofula, if the above rules be strictly and perseveringly followed,
may be warded off; but there must be no half measures, no trying to
serve two masters--to cultivate at the same time the health and the
intellect. The brain, until the body becomes strong, must _not_ be
taxed. "You may prevent scrofula by care, but that some children are
originally predisposed to the disease there cannot be the least doubt,
and in such cases the education and the habits of youth should be so
directed as to ward off a complaint, the effects of which are so
frequently fatal."--_Sir Astley Cooper on Scrofula_.

364. _But suppose the disease to be already formed, what must then be

The plan recommended above must still be pursued, not by fits and
starts, but steadily and continuously, for it is a complaint that
requires a vast deal of patience and great perseverance. Warm and cold
sea-bathing in such a case are generally most beneficial. In a patient
with confirmed scrofula it will of course be necessary to consult a
skilful and experienced doctor.

But do not allow without a second opinion any plan to be adopted that
will weaken the system, which is already too much depressed. No,
rather build up the body by good nourishing diet (as previously
recommended), by cod-liver oil, by a dry bracing atmosphere, such as,
either Brighton, or Ramsgate, or Llandudno; or if the lungs be
delicate, by a more sheltered coast, such as, either St Leonards or

Let no active purging, no-mercurials, no violent, desperate remedies
be allowed. If the patient cannot be cured _without_ them, I am
positive that he will not be cured _with_ them.

But do not despair; many scrofulous patients are cured by time and by
judicious treatment But if desperate remedies are to be used, the poor
patient had better by jar be left to Nature: "Let me fall now into the
hand of the Lord; for very great are his mercies; but let me not fall
into the hand of man."--_Chronicles_.

365. _Have you any remarks to make on a girl stooping_?

A girl ought never to be allowed to stoop: stooping spoils the figure,
weakens the chest, and interferes with the digestion. If she cannot
help stooping, you may depend upon it that she is in bad health, and
that a medical man ought to be consulted. As soon as her health is
improved the dancing-master should be put in requisition, and
calisthenic and gymnastic exercises should be resorted to. Horse
exercise and swimming in such a case are very beneficial The girl
should live well, on good nourishing diet, and not be too closely
confined either to the house or to her lessons. She ought during the
night to lie on a horsehair mattress, and during the day, for two or
three hours, flat on, her back on a reclining board. Stooping, if
neglected, is very likely to lead to consumption.

366. _If a boy be round-shouldered and slouching in his gait, what
ought to be done_?

Let him be drilled; there is nothing more likely to benefit him than
drilling. You never see a soldier round-shouldered nor slouching in
his gait He walks every inch like a man. Look at the difference in
appearance between a country bumpkin and a soldier! It is the drilling
that makes the difference: "Oh, for a drill-sergeant to teach them to
stand upright, and to turn out their toes, and to get rid of that
slouching, hulking gait, which gives such a look of clumsiness and
stupidity!" [Footnote: A. K, H. B., _Fraser's Magazine_, October

367. _My daughter has grown out of shape, she has grown on one ride,
her spine is not straight, and her ribs bulge out more on the one side
than on the other; what is the cause, and can anything be done to
remedy the deformity_?

The causes of this lateral curvature of the spine, and consequent
bulging out of the ribs that you have just now described, arise either
from delicacy of constitution, from the want of proper exercise, from
too much learning, or from too little play, or from not sufficient or
proper nourishment for a rapidly-growing body. I am happy to say that
such a case, by judicious treatment, can generally be cured--namely,
by gymnastic exercises, such as the hand-swing, the fly-pole, the
patent parlour gymnasium, the chest-expander, the skipping rope, the
swimming bath; all sorts of out-door games, such as croquet, archery,
&c.; by plenty of good nourishment, by making her a child of Nature,
by letting her almost live in the open air, and by throwing books to
the winds. But let me strongly urge you not, unless ordered by an
experienced surgeon, to allow any mechanical restraints or appliances
to be used. If she be made strong, the muscles themselves will pull
both the spine and the ribs into their proper places, more especially
if judicious games and exercises (as I have before advised), and other
treatment of a strengthening and bracing nature, which a medical man
will indicate to you, be enjoined. Mechanical appliances will, if not
judiciously applied, and in a proper case, waste away the muscles, and
will thus increase the mischief; if they cause the ribs to be pushed
in in one place, they will bulge them out in another, until, instead
of being one, there will be a series of deformities. No, the giving of
strength and the judicious exercising of the muscles are, for a
lateral curvature of the spine and the consequent bulging out of one
side of the ribs, the proper remedies, and, in the majority of cases,
are most effectual, and quite sufficient for the purpose.

I think it well to strongly impress upon a mother's mind the great
importance of early treatment. If the above advice be followed, every
curvature in the beginning might be cured. Cases of several years'
standing might, with judicious treatment, be wonderfully relieved.

Bear in mind, then, that if the girl is to be made straight, she is
first of all to be made strong; the latter, together with the proper
exercises of the muscles, will lead to the former; and the _earlier_ a
medical man takes it in hand, the more rapid, the more certain, and
the more effectual will be the cure.

An inveterate, long-continued, and neglected case of curvature of the
spine and bulging out of the ribs on one side might require mechanical
appliances, but such a case can only be decided on by an experienced
surgeon, who ought always, _in the first place_, to be consulted.

368. _Is a slight spitting of blood to be looked upon as a dangerous

Spitting of blood is always to be looked upon with suspicion; even
when a youth appears, in other respects, to be in good health, it is
frequently the forerunner of consumption. It might be said that, by
mentioning the fact, I am unnecessarily alarming a parent, but it
would be a false kindness if I did not do so:--

  "I most be cruel, only to be kind."--_Shakspeare_.

Let me ask, When is consumption to be cured? Is it at the onset, or is
it when it is confirmed? If a mother had been more generally aware
that spitting of blood was frequently the forerunner of consumption,
she would, in the management of her offspring, have taken greater
precautions; she would have, made everything give way to the
preservation of their health; and, in many instances, she would have
been amply repaid by having the lives of her children spared to
her. We frequently hear of patients, in _confirmed_ consumption, being
sent to Mentone, to Madeira, and to other foreign parts. Can anything
be more cruel or absurd? If there be any disease that requires the
comforts of home--and truly may an Englishman's dwelling be called
_home!_--and good nursing more than another, it is consumption.

369. _What it the death-rate of consumption in England? At what age
does consumption most frequently occur? Are girls more liable to it
than boys? What are the symptoms of this disease_?

It is asserted, on good authority, that there always are in England,
78,000 cases of consumption, and that the yearly death-rate of this
fell disease alone is 39,000! Consumption more frequently shows
itself between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one: after then, the
liability to the disease gradually diminishes, until, at the age of
forty-five, it becomes comparatively rare. Boys are more prone to this
complaint than girls. Some of the most important symptoms of pulmonary
consumption are indicated by the stethoscope; but, as I am addressing
a mother, it would, of course, be quite out of place to treat of such
signs in Conversations of this kind. The symptoms it might be well for
a parent to recognise, in order that she may seek aid early, I will
presently describe. It is perfectly hopeless to expect to cure
consumption unless advice be sought at the _onset_, as the only
effectual good in this disease is to be done _at first_.

It might be well to state that consumption creeps on insidiously. One
of the earliest symptoms of this dreadful scourge is a slight, dry,
short cough, attended with tickling and irritation at the top of the
throat. This cough generally occurs in the morning; but, after some
time, comes on at night, and gradually throughout the day and the
night. Frequently during the early stage of the disease _a slight
spitting of blood occurs_. Now, this is a most dangerous symptom;
indeed, I may go so far as to say that, as a rule, it is almost a sure
sign that the patient is in the _first_ stage of a consumption.

There is usually hoarseness, not constant, but coming on if the
patient be tired, or towards the evening; there is also a sense of
lassitude and depression, shortness of breath, a feeling of being
quickly wearied--more especially on the slightest exertion. The hair
of a consumptive person usually falls off, and what little remains is
weak and poor; the joints of the fingers become enlarged, or clubbed
as it is sometimes called; the patient loses flesh, and, after some
time, night sweats make their appearance: then we may know that hectic
fever has commenced.

Hectic begins with chilliness, which is soon followed by flushings of
the face, and by burning heat of the hands and the feet, especially of
the palms and the soles. This is soon succeeded by perspirations. The
patient has generally, during the day, two decided paroxysms of hectic
fever--the one at noon, which lasts above five hours; the other in the
evening, which is more severe, and ends in violent perspirations,
which perspirations continue the whole night through. He may, during
the day, have several attacks of hectic flushes of the face,
especially after eating; at one moment he complains of being too hot,
and rushes to the cool air; the next moment he is too cold, and almost
scorches himself by sitting too near the fire. Whenever the
circumscribed hectic flush is on the cheek, it looks as though the
cheek had been painted with vermilion, then is the time when the palms
of the hands are burning hot. Crabbe, in the following lines,
graphically describes the hectic flush:--

  "When his thin cheek assumed a deadly hue,
  And all the rose to one small spot withdrew:
  They call'd it hectic; 'twas a fiery flush,
  More fix'd and deeper than the maiden blush."

The expectoration at first is merely mucus, but after a time it
assumes a characteristic appearance; it has a roundish, flocculent,
woolly form, each portion of phlegm keeping, as it were, distinct; and
if the expectoration be stirred in water, it has a milk-like
appearance. The patient is commonly harassed by frequent bowel
complaints, which rob him of what little strength he has left. The
feet and ankles swell. The perspiration, as before remarked, comes on
in the evening, continues all night--more especially towards morning,
and while the patient is asleep; during the time he is awake, even at
night, he seldom sweats much. The thrush generally shows itself
towards the close of the disease, attacking the tongue, the tonsils,
and the soft palate, and _is a sure harbinger of approaching
death_. Emaciation rapidly sets in.

If we consider the immense engines of destruction at work-viz.,
the-colliquative (melting) sweats, the violent bowel complaints, the
vital parts that are affected, the harassing cough, the profuse
expectoration, the hectic fever, the distressing exertion of
struggling to breathe--we cannot be surprised that "consumption had
hung out her red flag of no surrender," and that death soon closes the
scene. In girls, provided they have been previously regular,
menstruation gradually declines, and then entirely disappears.

370. _What are the causes of consumption_?

The _predisposing_ causes of consumption are the tuberculous habit of
body, hereditary predisposition, narrow or contracted chest, deformed
spine, delicacy of constitution, bad and scanty diet, or food
containing but little nourishment, impure air, close in-door
confinement in schools, in shops, and in factories, ill-ventilated
apartments, dissipation, late hours, over-taxing with book-learning
the growing brain, thus producing debility, want of proper out-door
exercises and amusements, tight lacing; indeed, anything and
everything, that either will debilitate the constitution, or will
interfere with, or will impede, the proper action of the lungs, will
be the predisposing causes of this fearful and lamentable disease.

An ill, poor, and insufficient diet is the mother of many diseases,
and especially of consumption: "Whatsoever was the father of a
disease, an ill diet was the mother."

The most common _exciting_ causes of consumption are slighted colds,
neglected inflammation of the chest, long continuance of influenza,
sleeping in damp beds, allowing wet clothes to dry on the body,
unhealthy employments--such as needle-grinding, pearl button making

371. _Supposing a youth to have spitting of blood, what precautions
would you take to prevent it from ending in consumption_?

Let his health be the first consideration; throw books to the winds;
if he be at school, take him away; if he be in trade, cancel his
indentures; if he be in the town, send him to a sheltered healthy spot
in the country, or to the south coast; as, for instance, either to St
Leonards-on-Sea, to Torquay, or to the Isle of Wight.

I should be particular in his clothing, taking especial care to keep
his chest and feet warm. If he did not already wear flannel
waistcoats, let it be winter or summer, I should recommend him
immediately to do so: if it be winter, I should advise him also to
take to _flannel_ drawers. The feet must be carefully attended to;
they ought to be kept both warm and dry, the slightest dampness of
either shoes or stockings should cause them to be immediately
changed. If a boy, he ought to wear double-breasted waistcoats; if a
girl, high dresses.

The diet must be nutritious and generous; he should be encouraged to
eat plentifully of beef and mutton. There is nothing better for
breakfast, where it agree, than milk; indeed, it may be frequently
made to agree by previously boiling it. Good home-brewed ale or sound
porter ought, in moderation, to be taken. Wine and spirits must on no
account be allowed. I caution parents in this particular, as many have
an idea that wine, in such cases, is strengthening, and that _rum_ and
milk is a good thing either to cure or to prevent a cough!

If it be summer, let him be much in the open air, avoiding the evening
and the night air. If it be winter, he should, unless the weather be
mild for the season, keep within doors. Particular attention ought to
be paid to the point the wind is in, as he should not be allowed to go
out if it is either in the north, in the east, or in the north-east;
the latter is more especially dangerous. If it be spring, and the
weather be favourable, or summer or autumn, change of air, more
especially to the south-coast--to the Isle of Wight, for instance--
would be desirable; indeed, in a case of spitting of blood, I know of
no remedy so likely to ward off that formidable, and, generally,
intractable complaint--consumption--as change of air. The beginning of
the autumn is, of course, the beat season for visiting the coast. It
would be advisable, at the commencement of October, to send him either
to Italy, to the south of France--to Mentone [Footnote: See _Winter
and Spring on the Shores of the Mediterranean_, By J. Henry Bennet,
M.D., London: Churchill.]--or to the mild parts of England--more
especially either to Hastings, or to Torquay, or to the Isle of
Wight--to winter. But remember, if he be actually in a _confirmed_
consumption, I would not on any account whatever let him leave his
home; as then the comforts of home will far, very far, out-weigh any
benefit of change of air.

372. _Suppose a youth to be much predisposed to a sore throat, what
precautions ought he to take to ward off future attacks_?

He must use every morning thorough ablution of the body, beginning
cautiously; that is to say, commencing with the neck one morning, then
by degrees, morning after morning, sponging a larger surface, until
the whole of the body be sponged. The chill at first must be taken off
the water; gradually the temperature ought to be lowered until the
water be quite cold, taking care to rub the body thoroughly dry with a
coarse towel--a Turkish rubber being the best for the purpose.

He ought to bathe his throat externally every night and morning with
luke-warm salt and water, the temperature of which must be gradually
reduced until at length no warm water be added. He should gargle his
throat either with barm, vinegar, and sage tea, [Footnote: A
wine-glassful of barm, a wine-glassful of vinegar, and the remainder
sage tea, to make a half-pint bottle of gargle.] or with salt and
water--two tea-spoonfuls of table salt dissolved in a tumbler of
water. He ought to harden himself by taking plenty of exercise in the
open air. He must, as much as possible, avoid either sitting or
standing in a draught, if he be in one, he should face it. He ought to
keep his feet warm and dry. He should take as little aperient
medicine as possible, avoiding especially both calomel and blue
pill. As he grows up to manhood he ought to allow his beard to grow,
as such would be a natural covering for his throat. I have known great
benefit to arise from this simple plan. The fashion is now to wear the
beard, not to use the razor at all, and a sensible fashion I consider
it to be. The finest respirator in the world is the beard. The beard
is not only good for sore throats, but for weak chests. The wearing of
the beard is a splendid innovation, it saves no end of trouble, is
very beneficial to health, and is a great improvement "to the human
face divine."

373. _Have you any remarks to make on the almost universal habit of
boys and of very young men smoking_?

I am not now called upon to give an opinion of the effects of tobacco
smoking on the middle-aged and on the aged. I am addressing a mother
as to the desirability of her sons, when boys, being allowed to smoke.
I consider tobacco smoking one of the most injurious and deadly habits
a boy or young man can indulge in. It contracts the chest and weakens
the lungs, thus predisposing to consumption. It impairs the stomach,
thus producing indigestion. It debilitates the brain and nervous
system, thus inducing epileptic fits and nervous depression. It stunts
the growth, and is one cause of the present race of pigmies. It makes
the young lazy and disinclined for work. It is one of the greatest
curses of the present day. The following cases prove, more than any
argument can prove, the dangerous and deplorable effects of a boy
smoking. I copy the first case from _Public Opinion_. "The _France_
mentions the following fact as a proof of the evil consequences of
smoking for boys--'A pupil in one of the colleges, only twelve years
of age, was some tune since seized with epileptic fits, which became
worse and worse in spite of all the remedies employed. At last it was
discovered that the lad had been for two years past secretly indulging
in the weed. Effectual means were adopted to prevent his obtaining
tobacco, and he soon recovered.'"

The other case occurred about fifteen years ago in my own
practice. The patient was a youth of nineteen. He was an inveterate
smoker. From being a bright intelligent lad, he was becoming idiotic,
and epileptic fits were supervening. I painted to him, in vivid
colours, the horrors of his case, and assured him that if he still
persisted in his bad practices, he would soon become a drivelling
idiot! I at length, after some trouble and contention, prevailed upon
him to desist from smoking altogether. He rapidly lost all epileptic
symptoms, his face soon resumed its wonted intelligence, and his mind
asserted its former power. He remains well to this day, and is now a
married man with a family.

374. _What are the best methods to restrain a violent bleeding from
the nose_?

Do not, unless it be violent, interfere with a bleeding from the
nose. A bleeding from the nose is frequently an effort of Nature to
relieve itself, and therefore, unless it be likely to weaken the
patient, ought not to be restrained. If it be necessary to restrain
the bleeding, press firmly, for a few minutes, the nose between the
finger and the thumb; this alone will often stop the bleeding; if it
should not, then try what bathing the nose and the forehead and the
nape of the neck with water quite cold from the pump, will do. If that
does not succeed, try the old-fashioned remedy of putting a cold large
door-key down the back. If these plans fail, try the effects either of
powdered alum or of powdered matico, used after the fashion of
snuff--a pinch or two either of the one or of the other, or of both,
should be sniffed up the bleeding nostril. If these should not answer
the purpose, although they almost invariably will, apply a large lump
of ice to the nape of the neck, and put a small piece of ice into the
patient's mouth for him to suck.

If these methods do not succeed, plunge the hand and the fore-arm into
cold water, keep them in for a few minutes, then take them out, and
either hold, or let be held up, the arms and the hands high above the
head: this plan has frequently succeeded when others have failed. Let
the room he kept cool, throw open the windows, and do not have many in
the room to crowd around the patient.

Doubtless Dr Richardson's local anaesthetic--the ether spray--playing
for a few seconds to a minute _on_ the nose and _up_ the bleeding
nostril, would act most beneficially in a severe case of this kind,
and would, before resorting to the disagreeable operation of plugging
the nose, deserve a trial. I respectfully submit this suggestion to my
medical brethren. The ether--rectified ether--used for the spray ought
to be perfectly pure, and of the specific gravity of 0.723.

If the above treatment does not soon succeed, send for a medical man,
as more active means, such as plugging of the nostrils--_which, is not
done unless in extreme cases_--might be necessary.

But before plugging of the nose is resorted to, it will be well to try
the effects of a cold solution of alum:--

  Take of--Powdered Alum, one drachm;
           Water, half a pint:

To make a Lotion.

A little of the lotion should be put into the palm of the hand and
sniffed up the bleeding nostril; or, if that does not succeed, some of
the lotion ought, by means of a syringe, to be syringed up the nose.

375. _In case of a young lady fainting, what had better be done_?

Lay her flat upon her back, taking care that the head be as low as, or
lower than, the body; throw open the-windows, do not crowd around
her, [Footnote: Shakspeare knew the great importance of not crowding
around a patient who has fainted. He says--

  "So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons; Come all to help
  him, and so stop the air By which he should revive."] unloosen her
  dress as quickly as possible; ascertain if she have been guilty of
  tight-lacing--for fainting is sometimes produced by that
  reprehensible practice. Apply smelling salts to her nostrils; if
  they be not at hand, burn a piece of rag under her nose; dash cold
  water upon her face; throw open the window; fan her; and do not, as
  is generally done, crowd round her, and thus prevent a free
  circulation of air. As soon as she can swallow, give her either a
  draught of _cold_ water or a glass of wine, or a tea-spoonful of
  sal-volatile in a wine-glassful of water.

_To prevent fainting for the future._--I would recommend early hours;
country air and exercise; the stays, if worn at all, to be worn slack;
attention to diet; avoidance of wine, beer, spirits, excitement, and
fashionable amusements.

Sometimes the cause of a young lady fainting, is either a disordered
stomach, or a constipated state of the bowels. If the fainting have
been caused by _disordered stomach_, it may be necessary to stop the
supplies, and give the stomach, for a day or two, but little to do; a
fast will frequently prevent the necessity of giving medicine. Of
course, if the stomach be _much_ disordered, it will be desirable to
consult a medical man.

If your daughter's fainting have originated from a _costive state of
the bowels_ (another frequent cause of fainting), I beg to refer you
to a subsequent Conversation, in which I will give you a list of
remedies for the prevention and the treatment of constipation.

A young lady's fainting occasionally arises from debility--from
downright weakness of the constitution; then the best remedies will
be, change of air to the coast, good nourishing diet, and the
following strengthening mixture:

  Take of--Tincture of Perchloride of Iron, two drachms;
           Tincture of Calumba, six drachms;
           Distilled Water, seven ounces:

Two table-spoonfuls of this mixture to be taken three times a day.

Or for a change, the following:--

  Take of--Wine of Iron, one ounce and a half
           Distilled Water, six ounces and a half

To make a Mixture. Two table spoonfuls to be taken three times a day.

Iron medicines ought always to be taken _after_ instead of _before_ a
meal. The best times of the day for taking either of the above
mixtures will be eleven o'clock, four o'clock, and seven o'clock.

376. _You had a great objection to a mother administering calomel
either to an infant or to a child, have you the same objection to a
boy or a girl taking it when he or she requires an aperient_?

Equally as great. It is my firm belief that the frequent use, or
rather the abuse, of calomel and of other preparations of mercury, is
often a source of liver disease and an exciter of scrofula. It is a
medicine of great value in some diseases, when given by a _judicious_
medical man, but, at the same time, it is a drag of great danger when
either given indiscriminately, or when too often prescribed. I will
grant that in liver diseases it frequently gives temporary relief, but
when a patient has once commenced the regular use of it, he cannot do
without it, until, at length, the _functional_ ends in _organic_
disease of the liver. The use of calomel predisposes to cold, and thus
frequently brings on either inflammation or consumption. Family
aperient pills ought never to contain, in any form whatever, a
particle of mercury.

377. _Will you give me a list of remedies for the prevention and for
the cure of constipation_?

If you find it necessary to give your son or daughter an aperient, the
mildest should be selected, for instance, an agreeable and effectual
one, is an electuary composed of the following ingredients--

  Take of--Beat Alexandria Senna, powdered, one ounce
           Best figs, two ounces,
           Best Raisins (stoned), two ounces,

All chopped very fine. The size of a nutmeg or two to be eaten, either
early in the morning or at bedtime.

Or, one or two tea-spoonfuls of Compound Confection. of Senna
(lenitive electuary) may occasionally, early in the morning, be
taken. Or, for a change, a tea-spoonful of Henry's Magnesia, in half a
tumblerful of warm water. If this should not be sufficiently active,
a tea-spoonful of Epsom salts should be given with the magnesia. A
Seidlitz Powder forms another safe and mild aperient, or one or two
Compound Rhubarb Pills may be given at bed time. The following
prescription for a pill, where an aperient is absolutely necessary, is
a mild, gentle, and effective one for the purpose--

  Take of--Extract of Socotrine Aloes, eight grains,
           Compound Extract of Colocynth, forty-eight grains,
           Hard Soap, twenty four grains,
           Treacle, a sufficient quantity

To make twenty four Pills. One or two to be taken at bedtime

But, after all, the best opening medicines are--cold ablutions every
morning of the whole body, attention to diet, variety of food,
bran-bread, grapes, stewed prunes, French plums, Muscatel raisins,
figs, fruit both cooked and raw--if it be ripe and sound, oatmeal
porridge, lentil powder, in the form of Du Barry's Arabica Revalenta,
vegetables of all kinds, especially spinach, exercise in the open air,
early rising, daily visiting the water-closet at a certain hour--there
is nothing keeps the bowels open so regularly and well as establishing
the habit of visiting the water-closet at a certain hour every
morning, and the other rules of health specified in these
Conversations. If more attention were paid to these points, poor
school boys and school girls would not be compelled to swallow such
nauseous and disgusting messes as they usually do to their aversion
and injury.

Should these plans not succeed (although in the majority of cases,
with patience and perseverance, they will) I would advise an enema
once or twice a week, either simply of warm water, or of one made of
gruel, table-salt, and olive-oil, in the proportion of two
table-spoonfuls of salt, two of oil, and a pint of warm gruel, which a
boy may administer to himself, or a girl to herself, by means of a
proper enema apparatus.

Hydropathy is oftentimes very serviceable in preventing and in curing
costiveness; and as it will sometimes prevent the necessity of
administering medicine, it is both a boon and a blessing. "Hydropathy
also supplies us with various remedies for constipation. From the
simple glass of cold water, taken early in the morning, to the various
douches and sea-baths, a long list of useful appliances might be made
out, among which we may mention the 'wet compresses' worn for three
hours over the abdomen [bowels], with a gutta percha covering."

I have here a word or two to say to a mother who is always physicking
her family. It is an unnatural thing to be constantly dosing either a
child, or any one else, with medicine. One would suppose that some
people were only sent into the world to be physicked! If more care
were paid to the rules of health, very little medicine would be
required! This is a hold assertion; but I am confident that it is a
true one. It is a strange admission for a medical man to make, but,
nevertheless, my convictions compel me to avow it.

378. _What is the reason girls are so subject to costiveness_?

The principal reason why girls suffer more from costiveness than boys,
is that their habits are more sedentary; as the best opening medicines
in the world are an abundance of exercise, of muscular exertion, and
of fresh air. Unfortunately, poor girls in this enlightened age must
be engaged, sitting all the while, several hours every day at fancy
work, the piano, and other accomplishments; they, consequently, have
little time for exercise of any kind. The bowels, as a matter of
course, become constipated; they are, therefore, dosed with pills,
with black draughts, with brimstone and treacle--Oh! the abomination!
--and with medicines of that class, almost _ad infinitum_. What is the
consequence? Opening medicines, by constant repetition, lose their
effects, and, therefore, require to be made stronger and still
stronger, until at length, the strongest will scarcely act at all, and
the poor unfortunate girl, when she becomes a woman, _if she ever does
become one_, is spiritless, heavy, doll, and listless, requiring daily
doses of physic, until she almost lives on medicine!

All this misery and wretchedness proceed from Nature's laws having
been set at defiance, from _artificial_ means taking the place of
_natural_ ones--from a mother adopting as her rule and guide fashion
and folly, rather than reason and common sense. When will a mother
awake from her folly and stupidity? This is strong language to address
to a lady, but it is not stronger than the subject demands.

Mothers of England do, let me entreat you, ponder well upon what I
have said. Do rescue your girls from the bondage of fashion and of
folly, which is worse than the bondage of the Egyptian task masters,
for the Israelites did, in making bricks without straw, work m the
open air--"So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land
of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw," but your girls, many of
them, at least, have no work, either in the house or in the open
air--they have no exercise whatever. They are poor, drawling,
dawdling, miserable nonentities, with muscles, for the want of proper
exercise, like ribands, and with faces, for the lack of fresh air, as
white as a sheet of paper. What a host of charming girls are yearly
sacrificed at the shrine of fashion and of folly.

Another, and a frequent cause of costiveness, is the bad habit of
disobeying the call of having the bowels opened. The moment there is
the slightest inclination to relieve the bowels, _instantly_ it ought
to be attended to, or serious results will follow. Let me urge a
mother to instil into her daughter's mind the importance of this

379. _Young people are subject to pimples on the face, what is the

These hard red pimples (acne--"the grub pimple") are a common and an
obstinate affection of the skin, affecting the forehead, the temples,
the nose, the chin, and the cheeks, occasionally attacking the neck,
the shoulders, the back, and the chest; and as they more frequently
affect the young, from the age of 15 to 35, and are disfiguring, they
cause much annoyance. "These pimples are so well known by most persons
as scarcely to need description; they are conical, red, and hard;
after a while, they become white, and yellow at the point, then
discharge a thick, yellow-coloured matter, mingled with a whitish
substance, and become covered by a hard brown scab, and lastly,
disappear very slowly, sometimes very imperfectly, and often leaving
an ugly scar behind them. To these symptoms are not unfrequently added
considerable pain, and always much unsightliness. When these little
cones have the black head of a 'grub' at their point, they constitute
the variety termed _spotted acne_. These latter often remain
stationary for months, without increasing or becoming red; but when
they inflame, they are in nowise different in their course from the
common kind."--_Wilson on Healthy Skin_.

I find, in these cases, great benefit to be derived from bathing the
face, night and morning, with strong salt and water--a table-spoonful
of table-salt to a tea-cupful of water; by paying attention to the
bowels; by living on plain, wholesome, nourishing food; and by taking
a great of out-door exercise. Sea-bathing, in these cases, is often
very beneficial. Grubs and worms have a mortal antipathy to salt.

380. _What is the cause of a Gum-boil_?

A decayed root of a tooth, which causes inflammation and abscess of
the gum, which abscess breaks, and thus becomes a gum-boil.

381. _What is the treatment of a Gum-boil_?

Foment the outside of the face with a hot camomile and poppy head
fomentation, [Footnote: Four poppy heads and four ounces of camomile
blows to be boiled in four pints of water for half an hoar, and then
to be strained to make the fomentation.] and apply to the gum-boil,
between the cheek and the gum, a small white bread and milk poultice,
 [Footnote: Cut a piece of bread, about the size of the little finger--
without breaking it into crumb--pour boiling hot milk upon it, cover
it over, and let it stand for five minutes, then apply the soaked
bread over the gum-boil, letting it rest between the cheek and the
gum.] which renew frequently.

As soon as the gum-boil has become quiet, _by all means_ have the
affected tooth extracted, or it might cause disease, and consequently
serious injury of the jaw; and whenever the patient catches cold there
will be a renewal of the inflammation, of the abscess, and of the
gum-boil, and, as a matter of course, renewed pain, trouble, and
annoyance. Moreover, decayed fangs of teeth often cause the breath to
be offensive.

382. _What is the best remedy for a Corn_?

The best remedy for a _hard corn_ is to remove it. The usual method of
cutting, or of paring a corn away, is erroneous. The following is the
right way--Cut with a _sharp_ pair of pointed scissors around the
circumference of the corn. Work gradually round and round and towards
the centre. When you have for some considerable distance well loosened
the edges, you can either with your fingers or with a pair of forceps
generally remove the corn bodily, and that without pain and without
the loss of any blood: this plan of treating a corn I can recommend to
you as being most effectual.

If the corn be properly and wholly removed it will leave a small
cavity or round hole in the centre, where the blood-vessels and the
nerve of the corn--vulgarly called the root--really were, and which,
in point of fact, constituted the very existence or the essence of the
corn. Moreover, if the corn be entirely removed, you will, without
giving yourself the slightest pain, be able to squeeze the part
affected between your finger and thumb.

_Hard corns_ on the sole of the foot and on the sides of the foot are
best treated by filing--by filing them with a sharp cutting file (flat
on one side and convex on the other) neither too coarse nor too fine
in the cutting. The corn ought, once every day, to be filed, and
should daily be continued until you experience a slight pain, which
tells you that the end of the corn is approaching. Many cases of _hard
corn_ that have resisted every other plan of treatment, have been
_entirely_ cured by means of the file. One great advantage of the file
is, it cannot possibly do any harm, and may be used by a timid
person--by one who would not readily submit to any cutting instrument
being applied to the corn.

The file, if properly used, is an effectual remedy for a _hard_ corn
on the sole of the foot. I myself have seen the value of it in several
cases, particularly in one case, that of an old gentleman of ninety
five, who had had a corn on the sole of his foot for upwards of half a
century, and which had resisted numerous, indeed almost innumerable
remedies, at length I recommended the file, and after a few
applications entire relief was obtained, and the corn was completely

The corns between the toes are called _soft corns_. A _soft corn_ is
quickly removed by the strong Acetic Acid--Acid. Acetic Fort--which
ought to be applied to the corn every night by means of a camel's hair
brush. The toes should be kept asunder for a few minutes, in order
that the acid may soak in, then apply between the toes a small piece
of cotton wool.

Galbanum Plaster spread either on wash leather, or on what is better,
on an old white kid glove, has been, in one of our medical journals,
strongly recommended as a corn plaster, it certainly is an admirable
one, and when the corn is between the toes is sometimes most
comfortable--affording immense relief.

Corns are like the little worries of life--very teazing and
troublesome a good remedy for a corn--which the Galbanum Plaster
undoubtedly is-is therefore worth knowing.

_Hard corns_, then, on the sole and on the side of the foot are best
treated by the file, _hard corns_ on the toes by the scissors, and
_soft corns_ between the toes either by the strong Acetic Acid or by
the Galbanum Plaster.

In the generality of cases the plans recommended above, if properly
performed, will effect a cure, but if the corn, from pressure or from
any other cause, should return, remove it again, and proceed as before
directed. If the corn have been caused either by tight or by ill
fitting shoes, the only way to prevent a recurrence is, of course, to
have the shoes, properly made by a clever shoemaker--by one who
thoroughly understands his business, and who will have a pair of lasts
made purposely for the feet. [Footnote: As long as fashion instead of
common sense is followed in the making of both boots and shoes, men
and women will, as a matter of course, suffer from corns.

It has, often struck me as singular, when all the professions and
trades are so overstocked, that there should be, as there is in every
large town, such a want of chiropodists (corn-cutters)--of respectable
chiropodists--of men who would charge a _fixed_ sum for every visit
the patient may make, for instance to every working man a shilling,
and to every gentleman half-a-crown or five shillings for _each_
sitting, and not for _each_ corn (which latter system is a most
unsatisfactory way of doing business). I am quite sure that of such a
plan were adopted, every town of any size in the kingdom would
employee regularly one chiropodist at least. However we might dislike
some few of the American customs, we may copy them with advantage in
this particular--namely, in having a regular staff of chiropodists
both in civil and in military life.]

The German method of making boots and shoes is a capital one for the
prevention of corns, as the boots and shoes are made, scientifically
to fit a _real_ and not an _ideal_ foot.

One of the best preventatives of as well as of the best remedies for
corns, especially of soft corns between the toes, is washing the feet
every morning as recommended in a previous Conversation, [Footnote:
Youth--Ablution, page 250.] taking especial care to wash with the
thumb, and afterwards to wipe with the towel between each toe.

383. _What are the best remedies to destroy a Wart_?

Pure nitric acid, [Footnote: A very small quantity of Pure Nitric
Acid--just a drain at the bottom of a stoppered bottle--is all that is
needed, and which may be procured of a chemist.] carefully applied to
the wart by means of a small stick of cedar wood--a camel's hair
pencil-holder--every other day, will soon destroy it. Care must be
taken that the acid does not touch the healthy skin, or it will act as
a caustic to it. The nitric acid should be preserved in a stoppered
bottle and must be put out of the reach of children.

Glacial Acetic Acid is another excellent destroyer of warts: it
should, by means of a camel's hair brush, be applied to each wart,
every night just before going to bed. The warts will, after a few
applications, completely disappear.

384. _What is the best remedy for tender feet, for sweaty feet, and
for smelling feet_?

Cold water: bathing the feet in cold water, beginning with tepid
water; but gradually from day to day reducing the warm until the water
be quite cold. A large nursery-basin one-third full of water, ought to
be placed on the floor, and one foot at a time should be put in the
water, washing the while with a sponge the foot, and with the thumb
between each toe. Each foot should remain in the water about half a
minute. The feet ought, after each washing, to be well dried, taking
care to dry with the towel between each toe. The above process must be
repeated at least once every day--every morning, and if the annoyance
be great, every night as well. A clean pair of stockings ought in
these cases to be put on daily, as perfect cleanliness is absolutely
necessary both to afford relief and to effect a cure.

If the feet be tender, or if there be either bunions, or corns, the
shoes and the boots made according to the German method (which are
fashioned according to the actual shape of the foot) should alone be

385. _What are the causes of so many young ladies of the present day
being weak, nervous, and unhappy_?

The principal causes are--ignorance of the laws of health, Nature's
laws being set at nought by fashion and by folly, by want of fresh air
and exercise, by want of occupation, and by want of self-reliance.
Weak, nervous, and unhappy! Well they might be! What have they to
make them strong and happy? Have they work to do to brace the
muscles? Have they occupation--useful, active occupation--to make
them happy? No! they have neither the one nor the other!

386. What diseases are girls most subject to?

The diseases peculiar to girls are--Chlorosis--Green-sickness--and

387. What are the usual causes of Chlorosis? Chlorosis is caused by
torpor and debility of the whole frame, especially of the womb. It is
generally produced by scanty or by improper food, by the want of air
and of exercise, and by too close application within doors. Here we
have the same tale over again--close application within doors, and the
want of fresh air and of exercise. When will the eyes of a mother he
opened, to this important subject?--the most important that can engage
her attention!

388. What is the usual age for Chlorosis to occur and what are the

Chlorosis more frequently attacks girls from fifteen to twenty years
of age; although unmarried women, much older, occasionally have it. I
say _unmarried_, for, as a rule, it is a complaint of the _single_.

The patient, first of all, complains of being languid, tired, and out
of spirits; she is fatigued with the slightest exertion; she has
usually palpitation of the heart (so as to make her fancy that she has
a disease of that organ, which, in all probability, she has not); she
has shortness of breath, and a short dry cough; her face is flabby and
pale; her complexion gradually assumes a yellowish or greenish
hue--hence the name of chlorosis; there is a dark, livid circle around
her eyes; her lips lose their colour, and become almost white; her
tongue is generally white and pasty, her appetite is bad, and is
frequently depraved--the patient often preferring chalk, slate pencil,
cinder, and even dirt, to the daintiest food, indigestion frequently
attends chlorosis, she has usually pains over the short-ribs, on the
_left_ side, she suffers greatly from "wind"--is frequently nearly
choken by it, her bowels are generally costive, and the stools are
unhealthy, she has pains in her hips, loins, and back, and her feet
and ankles are oftentimes swollen. _The menstrual discharge is either
suspended or very partially performed_, if the latter, it is usually
almost colourless. Hysterical fits not unfrequently occur during an
attack of chlorosis.

389. _How may Chlorosis be prevented_?

If health were more and fashion were less studied, chlorosis would not
be such a frequent complaint. This disease generally takes its rise
from mismanagement--from Nature's laws having been set at defiance. I
have heard a silly mother express an opinion that it is not _genteel_
for a girl to eat _heartily!_ Such language is perfectly absurd and
cruel. How often, too, a weak mother declares that a healthy, blooming
girl looks like a milk maid! It would be well if she did! How true and
sad it is, that "a pale, delicate face, and clear eyes, indicative of
consumption, are the fashionable _desiderata_ at present for
complexion."--_Dublin University Magazine._

A growing girl requires _plenty_ of _good_ nourishment--as much as her
appetite demands, and if she have it not, she will become either
chlorotic, or consumptive, or delicate. Besides, _the greatest
beautifier in the world is health_, therefore, by a mother studying
the health of her daughter, she will, at the same time, adorn her body
with, beauty! I am sorry to say that too many parents think more of
the beauty than of the health of their girls. Sad and lamentable
infatuation! Nathaniel Hawthorne--a distinguished American--gives a
graphic description of a delicate young lady. He says--"She is one of
those delicate nervous young creatures not uncommon in New England,
and whom I suppose to have become what we find them by the gradually
refining away of the physical system among young women. Some
philosophers choose to glorify this habit of body by terming it
spiritual, but in my opinion, it is rather the effect of unwholesome
food, bad air, lack of out-door exercise, and neglect of bathing, on
the part of these damsels and their female progenitors, all resulting
in a kind of hereditary dyspepsia."

Nathaniel Hawthorne was right. Such ladies, when he wrote, were not
uncommon, but within the last two or three years, to their great
credit be it spoken, "a change has come o'er the spirit of their
dreams," and they are wonderfully improved in health, for, with all
reverence be it spoken, "God helps them who help themselves," and they
have helped themselves by attending to the rales of health--"The women
of America are growing more and more handsome every year for just this
reason. They are growing rounder of chest, fuller of limb, gaining,
substance and development in every direction. Whatever may be urged to
the contrary we believe this to be a demonstrable fact. When the
rising generation of American girls once begin to wear thick shoes, to
take much exercise in the open air, to skate, to play at croquet, and
to affect the saddle, it not only begins to grow more wise but more
healthful, and which must follow as the night the day--more
beautiful"--_The Round Table_.

If a young girl had plenty-of wholesome meat, varied from day to day,
either plain roast or boiled, and neither stewed, nor hashed, nor
highly seasoned for the stomach, if she has had an abundance of fresh
air for her lungs, if she had plenty of active exercise, such as
skipping, dancing, running, riding, swimming, for her muscles, if her
clothing were warm and loose, and adapted to the season, if her mind
were more occupied with active _useful_ occupation, such as household
work, than at present, and if she were kept calm and untroubled from
the hurly-burly and excitement of fashionable life--chlorosis would
almost be an unknown disease. It is a complaint of rare occurrence
with country girls, but of great frequency with fine city ladies.

390. _What treatment should you advise_?

The treatment which would prevent should be adopted when the complaint
first makes its appearance. If the above means do not quickly remove
it, the mother must then apply to a medical man, and he will give
medicines _which will soon have the desired effect_. Chlorosis is very
amenable to treatment. If the disease be allowed for any length of
time to run on, it may produce either organic--incurable--disease of
the heart, or consumption or indigestion, or confirmed ill-health.

391. _At what period of life is a lady most prone in Hysterics, and
what are the symptoms_?

The time of life when hysterics occur is generally from the age of
fifteen to fifty. Hysterics come on by paroxysms--hence they are
called hysterical fits. A patient, just before an attack, is
low-spirited; crying without a cause; she is "nervous," as it is
called; she has flushings of the face; she is at other times very
pale; she has shortness of breath and occasional palpitations of the
heart; her appetite is usually bad; she passes quantities of
colourless limpid urine, having the appearance of pump water; she is
much troubled with flatulence in her bowels, and, in consequence, she
feels bloated and uncomfortable. The "wind" at length rises upwards
towards the stomach, and still upwards to the throat, giving her the
sensation of a ball stopping her breathing, and producing a feeling of
suffocation. The sensation of a ball in the throat (_globus
hystericus_) is the commencement of the fit.

She now becomes _partially_ insensible, although she seldom loses
_complete_ consciousness. Her face becomes flushed, her nostrils
dilated, her head thrown back, and her stomach and bowels enormously
distended with "wind." After a short time she throws her arms and her
legs about convulsively, she beats her breast, tears her hair and
clothes, laughs boisterously and screams violently; at other times she
makes a peculiar noise; sometimes she sobs and her face is much
distorted. At length she brings up enormous quantities of wind; after
a time she bursts into a violent flood of tears, and then gradually
comes to herself.

As soon as the fit is at an end she generally passes enormous
quantities of colourless limpid urine. She might, in a short time,
fall into another attack similar to the above. When she comes to
herself she feels exhausted and tired, and usually complains of a
slight headache, and of great soreness of the body and limbs. She
seldom remembers what has occurred during the fit. Hysterics are
sometimes frightful to witness, but, in themselves, are not at all

Hysterics--an hysterical fit--is sometimes styled hysterical
passion. Shakspeare, in one of his plays, calls it _hysterica

  "Oh how this, mother, swells up toward my Heart! _Hysterica

Sir Walter Scott graphically describes an attack--"The hysterical
passion that impels tears is a terrible violence--a sort of throttling
sensation--then succeeded by a state of dreaming stupidity"

392. _What are the causes of Hysterics_?

Delicate health, chlorosis, improper and not sufficiently nourishing
food, grief, anxiety, excitement of the mind, closely confined rooms,
want of exercise, indigestion, flatulence and tight-lacing, are the
causes which usually produce hysterics. Hysterics are frequently
feigned, indeed, oftener than any other complaint, and even a genuine
case is usually much aggravated by a patient herself giving way to

393. _What do you recommend an hysterical lady to do_?

To improve her health by proper management, to rise early and to take
a walk, that she may breathe pure and wholesome air,--indeed, she
ought to live nearly half her time in the open air, exercising herself
with walking, skipping, etc., to employ her mind with botany, croquet,
archery, or with any out-door amusement, to confine herself to plain,
wholesome, nourishing food, to avoid tight lacing; to eschew
fashionable amusements; and, above all, not to give way to her
feelings, but, if she feel an attack approaching, to rouse herself.

_If the fit be upon her_, the better plan is, to banish all the _male_
sex from the room, and not even to have many women about her, and for
those around to loosen her dress; to lay her in the centre of the
room, flat upon the ground, with a pillow under her head, to remove
combs and pins and brooches from her person; to dash cold water upon
her face; to apply cloths, or a large sponge wetted in cold water, to
her head; to throw open the window, and then to leave her to herself;
or, at all events, to leave her with only one _female_ friend or
attendant. If such be done, she will soon come round; but what is the
usual practice? If a girl be in hysterics, the whole house, and
perhaps the neighbourhood, is roused; the room is crowded to
suffocation; fears are openly expressed by those around that she is in
a dangerous state; she hears what they say, and her hysterics are
increased ten-fold.

394. _Have you any remarks to make on a patient recovering from a
severe illness_?

There is something charming and delightful in the feelings of a
patient recovering from a severe illness: it is like a new birth: it
is almost worth the pain and anguish of having been ill to feel quite
well again: everything around and about him wears a charming aspect--a
roseate hue: the appetite for food returns with pristine vigour; the
viands, be they ever so homely, never tasted before so deliciously
sweet; and a draught of water from the spring has the flavour of
ambrosial nectar: the convalescent treads the ground as though he were
on the ambient air; and the earth to him for a while is Paradise: the
very act of living is a joy and gladness:--

  "See the wretch that long has tost
  On the thorny bed of pain
  Again repair his vigour lost
  And walk and run again.

  The meanest flow'ret of the vale,
  The amplest note that swells the gale,
  The common air, the earth, the skies,
  To him are opening Paradise."--_Grey_

       *       *        *       *        *


If this book is to be of use to mothers and to the rising generation,
as I humbly hope and trust that it has been, and that it will be still
more abundantly, it ought not to be listlessly read, merely as a novel
or as any other piece of fiction; but it must be thoughtfully and
carefully studied, until its contents, in all its bearings, be
completely mastered and understood.

       *       *        *       *        *

In conclusion: I beg to thank you for the courtesy, confidence, and
attention I have received at your hands; and to express a hope that my
advice, through God's blessing, may not have been given in vain; but
that it may be--one among many--an humble instrument for improving the
race of our children--England's priceless treasures! O, that the time
may come, and may not be far distant, "That our sons may grow up as
the young plants, and that our daughters may be as the polished
corners of the temple!"


ABLUTION of a child

  of an infant

  of a youth

  thorough, of boy and girl

Accidents of children

  how to prevent

Acne, symptoms and treatment of

Advice to a mother if her infant be poorly

  to _Mr Pater familias_

Ailments, the distinction between between _serious_ and _slight_

  of infants

Air and exercise for youth

  the importance of good

  the necessity of fresh, and changing the

Airing an infant's clothes

Alternately to each breast

American ladies

Amusements for a child

  for a boy

  for a girl

Ankles, weak

Antipathies of a child

Aperients for a child

  for an infant

  for a new-born babe

  for a youth

  danger of frequent

Appeal to mothers

Appetite, on a child losing his

Applications, hot

Apron, washing


Arnold, Dr, on corporal punishment

Arrow-root for an infant

Artificial food for an infant at breast

Asses' milk

BABES should kick on floor

Babe's clothing

Babe himself taking exercise

Babyhood, the language of

Baby daughter

Baked crumb of bread for an infant

  flour for an infant

Bakers' and home made bread

Bathing after _full_ meal

Baths, cold, tepid, and warm

  warm, as a remedy for flatulence

Beard, best respirator

Bed, on placing child in

Beds, feather

  purification of

Bed-rooms, the ventilation of



  a plan to ventilate

Bee, the sting of

Beef, salted or boiled

Beer, on giving child

Belladonna, poisoning by

Belly-band, best kind

  when to discontinue

Beverage for a child

"Black-eye," remedies for

Bladder and bowels of an infant

Bleeding from navel, how to restrain

  of nose

Blood, spitting of

Blows and bruises

Boarding schools for females

  on cheap (note)

Boiled bread for infants' food

  flour for infants' food

Boils, the treatment of

Boots and shoes

Bottles, the best nursing

Boulogne sore-throat


Bowels, large, of children

  looseness of

  protrusion of lower

  regulation of, by diet

Boys should be made strong

Brain, water on the

Bran to soften water

Bran Poultices

Breakfast of a child

  of a youth

Breast on early putting an infant to

Breathing exercise

Brimstone and treacle

Brown and Polson's Corn Flour

Bronchitis, the treatment of

Broth for Infants

  for a new born infant

  and soup

Brothers and sisters

Bruises, remedies for

Bullying a child

Burns and scalds

Butter, wholesome

CADBURY'S Cocoa Essence

Calomel, the danger of a mother prescribing

  the ill effects of

Camphor makes teeth brittle

Caning a boy

Caps, flannel

Care in preparation of food

Carpets in nurseries

Carriage exercise

Carron oil in burns

Castor oil to heal the bowels

Cat, bites and scratches of a

"Chafings" of infants, the treatment of

Chairs, straight backed

Change of air

  linen in sickness

Chapped hands, legs, &c


Chest, keeping warm the upper part of the

"Chicken breasted" and narrow breasted children



Child should dine with parents


  the treatment of a paroxysm of

Children's hour


Chimneys, on the stopping of

Chiropodists (_note_)

Chloralum as a disinfectant

Chlorosis and green sickness

  not in rural districts

Choking, what to be done in a case of

_Cholera infantum_

Cisterns, best kind of

Clothes, on airing an infant's

  the ill effects of tight

Clothing of children

  of infants

  during winter

  of youths

Coffee as an aperient

  and tea

Coin, on the swallowing of a

Cold bed-room healthy

Cold, a feverish

  on child always catching

  feet, method to warm

Concluding remarks on infancy


Constipation, prevention and cure of

Consumption attacks the _upper_ part of the lungs

  the age at which it usually appears

  causes of

  death rate

  importance of early consulting a medical man in

  spitting of blood in

  symptoms of

Consumptive patient, the treatment of a

Convulsions of children

  cause insensibility

  from hooping-cough

  no pain in

Cooked fruit for child


Corn plaster, an excellent

Coroners inquests on infants

Corporal punishment at schools

Costiveness of infants, the means to prevent

  remedies for

  the reason why so prevalent

  in weak children

Cough, the danger of stopping a

Cow, the importance of having the milk from one

  pox lymph direct from heifer

  from healthy child

Cream and egg, 200

  and water for babe

Crinoline and burning of ladles

Crib, covering head of

Croquet for girls

Crossness in a sick child


  the treatment of

Cry of infant

Cure, artificial and natural

"Curious phenomenon" in scarlet fever

Cut finger, the application for

DANCING, and skipping

Danger of constantly giving physic

Delicate child, plan to strengthen a


  lancing of gums



Diarrhoea of infants

  treatment of

Diet of a child who has cut his teeth

  of children

  of a dry nursed child

  of infants

  on a mother being particular in attending to

  variety of for child

  of youth

Dietary in infants

Dieting a child

Dinner for a child


Diphtheria symptoms, causes, and treatment of

Dirty child

Diseased nature and strange eruptions

Diseases of children




  the prevention of

  produced by tight lacing

  symptoms of _serious_

Disinfectants in scarlet fever

Doctor on early calling in

Dog the bide of a

Doleful child


Dowle on _The Foot and its Covering_


Dress, female

  of a child while asleep

  of a babe, child, and youth

Dresses, high for delicate child

Dressing babe for sleep

Dribbling bibs

Drinking fountains

Dropping child, danger of

Dry nursed children, the best food for

"Dusting powder" for infants

Dysentery, symptoms and treatment of

EAR, discharges from

  removal of a pea or bead from

Ear-ache, treatment of

  wig in ear

Early rising

Education of children

  infant schools

  home, the best for girls

Education, modern

  for youth

Eggs for children

Electuary of figs

Emetic tarter dangerous for child

Eneme apparatus (_note_)

  of warm water

Engravings in nurseries

Eruptions about the mouth

Excorations applications for

  best remedy for


  best composing medicine

  during teething

  for children

  in wet weather

  on violently tossing infants

  horse and pony

  an infant himself taking

  in very cold weather

  in wet weather

  for youth

Eve, substances in

FAECAL matter in pump-water


  from constipation

  from debility

  from disordered stomach

Falling-off of hair

Falls on the head

Farinaceous food give _babes_ wind

Fash on dangerous effects of strictly attending to

  the present, of dressing children

Fashionable _desiderata_ for complexion


Feeding bottles

  infants, proper times for at breast

  new born babe with gruel

Feet smelling



Female dress

Fire, on a child playing with

  danger of back to

  in night nursery

  the manner of extinguishing, if clothes be on


Fire-proof, making dresses

Flannel cap for babe


  shifts for a delicate child


  to wash child with

Flatulence, remedies for

Fleas, to drive away

Flute, bugle and other wind-instruments

Fly pole

Fog, on sending a child out in

Folly, of giving physic after vaccination

Food, artificial, during snacking

  care in preparing infant's

  for dry-nursed infants

  for infants who are sucking

Formula, for milk, water, salt, and sugar

Friction after ablation

Frightening a child

Fruit as an aperient

  during teething

GARTERS impede circulation

Gently speak to child

Gin or pepperment in infant's food

Giving joy to a child

Glass, a child swallowing broken



Goats' milk

_Godfrey's Cordial_

  poisoning by treatment

Grazed skin

Green dresses poisonous

  paper hangings for nurseries

  peas as a vegetable

"Gripings" for infants

Groin rupture

"Gross superstition,"


Gums, the lancing of the

Gum-bod, cause and treatment

Gum-sticks, the best

Gymnasium, value of

HAIR, the best application for

  falling off

  making tidy

  management of

Half-washed and half starved child


Happiness to a child

Happy child

Hard's Farinaceous Food

Hardening of children's constitutions

  of infants

Hartehorn, on swallowing

Hats for a child, the best kind

Hawthorn, Nathaniel, on American ladies

Head, fall upon

Heat, external application of

Hectic flush, description of

Hiccups of infants

Hints conducive to the well-doing of a child

Home of childhood--the nursery



  treatment of

Horse exercise for boys or girls

  and pony exercise

Hot-water bag or bottle

Household work for girls

Hurdle on early rising


_Hysterica passio_


ICE, on the value of

Illness, recovery from

Importance of our subject

India-rubber hot-water bottle

Ingoldsby Legend on thumb-sucking

Infants should be encouraged to use exertion

Infant schools

Ipecacuantis wine, preservation of

JOYFUL to bed, on sending child

LADIES "affecting the saddle"

Laudanum, poisoning by

Laugh of a child

Law, physic, and divinity

Leaden cisterns

Learning without health

Leech bites, the way to restrain bleeding from

Lessons for child

Lice in head after illness

Light, best artificial, for nursery

  the importance of, to health

Lightly clad child

Lime in the eye

  to harden the bones

Lime-water and milk

"Looseness of the the bowels" the treatment

Love of children

Lucifer-matches the poisonous effects of

Luncheon for a child

Lungs, inflammation of

  precautions to

  symptoms of

  treatment of

Lying lips of a child

MAD DOG, the bite of

  description of

Magnesia to cool a child

Management of child's mother's question

Massacre of innocents

Mattresses, horse-hair, best for child

May, the month of

Meals, a child's


  and scarlet fever

  treatment of

Meat, daily, on giving

  raw in long-standing diarrhoea

  in exhaustive diseases

  when a child should commence taking

Meddlesome treatment

Medical man, a mother's treatment towards

Medicine, the best way of administering

  on giving new-born infants

  on making palatable (_note_)

Menstruating female during suckling

Mercury, on the danger of parents giving

Milk, on the importance of having it from ONE cow

  bad, very nasty

  for babe indispensable

  in every form

  or meat, or both

  a plan to make a child take

  sugar of, and water

  the value of, for children


  a way to prevent, turning sour


Mismanaged baby

Modified small-pox and chicken-pox

Mother fretting, injurious to infant

  a foolish

  of many diseases

Mother's and cow's milk, on mixing

  health during suckling


Motions, healthy, of babe


NAAMAN, the Syrian

Napkins, when to dispense with

Nature's physic

Navel, management of the

  rupture of


  -string separation of

Neaves' Farinaceous Food

Nervous and unhappy young ladies


New-born infants and aperients

  when feeble



Nose, removal of foreign substances from

  bleeding from, means to restrain

Nurse, on the choice of a

  a lazy

  strong and active

  young, not desirable

  for the sick


  of a sick child

  a child's own domain

  selection, warming, ventilation, arrangements of

  on the light of a

  must be airy

  observations, further

  windows to be often opened

Nursing-bottles, the best

OPIUM, a case of poisoning by

  the danger of administering to infants

  the treatment of poisoning by


Over-lying a child

PAIN, convulsions, and death

Paint-boxes dangerous as toys

Parental baby-slaughter

Parritch, the halesome

Peevishness of a child, the plan to allay


Physicking a child, on the frequent

Pies and Puddings

Pimples on the face, treatment of

Pin, on a child swallowing

Pins, in dressing of babe

Play, a course of education in

Play-grounds for children

  and play

Pleasant words to a child

Poisoning, accidental

  by the breath


Pork an improper meat for children

Position of a sleeping child

Potatoes for children

Poultice, a white-bread

Powder, "dusting"

_Precocity of intellect_

Precocious youths, the health of

Prescriptions for a child

Princess of Wales and her baby (note)

Professions and trades

Proper person to wash an Infant

Prunes, the best way of stewing

Profession or trade, choice of, for delicate youth

  delicate youth should be brought up to

Puddings for children

Pals of child

Pye Chavasse's Fresh Air Treatment of scarlet fever

  Milk Food


Quacking an infant

Quick lime in eye


Recapitulation of ablution

Red gum

Respiration, products of poisonous

Rest, the best time for a child to retire to

Re-vaccination, Importance of

  every seven years

  recommended by Jenner

Revalenta Arabica

Rheumatic fever, flannel vest and drawers

Ribs, bulging out of

Rice, prepared as an infant's food

Rich children

_Richardson, Dr, ether spray_


  various degrees of

Roberton on child-crowing

Rocking-chairs, and rockers to cradle,

Rocking infants to sleep

Rooms ill effects, of dark

Round shoulders

Round worm

Running scall



SALLOWNESS, cause of in young girls

Salt water and fresh water

  should be added to an infants food

  bag of hot

  necessary to human life

Salt-and water ablations for a delicate child

  for teeth and gums

  meats for children

Scalds and burns

  of mouth



  and diphtheria

  the contagion of

  the danger of giving aperients in

  the dropsy of

  Fresh Air Treatment of


  management of child after

  and measles, the importance of distinguishing between

  the principal danger of

  purification of house after

  treatment of

  utter prostration in

Schools, female boarding


Screaming in sleep


  prevention of

Scurfy head

Sea-bathing and fresh-water bathing

  for a young child

Secrets, talking, before child

Senna as an aperient

Shivering fit, importance of attending to a

  treatment of

Shoes, _plan to waterproof_

  preferable to boots

  sound and whole

  and stockings for children and youths

  the ill effects of tight

"Shortening" an infant

Shoulder-blades "growing out"

Sick child, the nursing of a

  not to be staffed with food

Sick-room, management of,

Sickness of infants

Singing and reading aloud

  beneficial to a child


Sitting with back to fire

Sitz-bath for protrusion of bowels

Skating for boys and girls

Skin, grazed

Sleep of children

Sleep, infant's

  in middle of day beneficial

  much, necessary for infants

  temperature of an infant's bedroom during

  right time of putting a child to

  putting infants to

  of youth


Sleeping on lap

  -rooms, importance of well-ventilating

Sleepless child

Slippers, the best for sick-room (_note_)


  a pest and disgrace


  when in neighborhood,

  to prevent pitting of

Smoking, on a boy

Smothering of infants, the cause

Socks and Stockings for a child

Soda, ill effects of washing clothes with

Sounds, joyful

Soups and broths

Speak gently to a child

Spencer, a knitted worsted

Spines, distorted

Spine, injury to

  curvature of


Spirits, deadly effects of, to the young

Spitting of blood


Spurious croup

Stammering, cause of

  cure of

Stays, the ill effects of

Stillness of sick-room

Sting of bee or wasp

Stir-about and milk

Stockings and shoes

Stooping in a girl

Stopping of chimneys

Stoves in nursery


Stuffing a sick child with food

  a babe

"Stuffing of the nose" of infants

Stunning of a child

"Stye," treatment of

Substitute for mother's milk

Sucking of thumb

Suckling, the proper times of

Suet pudding

Sugar for infants



  _raw_, as an aperient



Supper for a child and for a youth

Surfeit water and saffron tea

Sweet things and sour digestion

Sweetmeats and cakes

Swimming, on boys and girls

Symptoms of serious diseases


Taste for things refined

Tea, on giving a child

  green, the ill effects of

Teeth, attention to, importance of

  child should not have meat till he have cut several

  the diet of a child who has cut all his

  and gums

  right way of brushing

  appearance and number of _first_ set of

  _second_ set of

  second crop of


  causing convulsions

  eruptions from

  frequent cause of sickness

  fruitful source of disease

  purging during

  restlessness from


  symptoms and treatment of painful

  in town or country

Temperature and ventilation of a nursery

  of a warm-bath


Throats, sore, precautions to prevent

Thrush, cause, symptoms, prevention and cure of

Thumb best gum-stick

Tight bands, belts, and hats

Tight-lacing, the ill effects of

Times for suckling an infant

Tobacco-smoking for boys

  cases illustrating the danger of

Toe-nails, the right way of cutting,

Tongue-tied, an infant


Tooth-powder, an excellent

Top-crust of bread as infant's food

Tossing an infant


Toys, children's

  painted with arsenic

Trade or profession for delicate youth,

Treatment of a delicate child

  of some urgent serious diseases

Troubles of child

Truth, the love of

Tub, commencement of washing infant

Tubbing a child

Tumbling and rolling of a child


  appearance of scab

  arm after

  giving medicine after,

  making babe poorly

Veal for a child

Vegetables for a child

Ventilation, and stopping of chimneys

  and sleep

  of a nursery


WALKING, on the early, of infants

  exercise, value

  in his sleep, a child

Warm-bathe for children

  external applications


Washing of boys and girls

Washing a child

  an infant

  a new-born infant's head with brandy

Washing a nursery floor

Wasp, the sting of a

Water, on the importance of good,

  on the brain

  closet, on going regularly to,

  cold and warm for ablution,

  hard for drinking


  pure, essential to health

  to whole of skin

Weaned child, the diet of a

Weaning, proper time and manner of

Weather, on a child almost living in the air in flue

  on the sending a child out in wet

Weight of new-born infants (_note_)

Wet flannel application


  diet of

  for feeble babe

  management of

"Wetting the bed" during sleep

Wheezing of a new-born infant

White lily leaf for bruises

"Wind," babe suffering from

Windows of a nursery

Wind pipe, foreign substance in

Wine and youth

Wine for children and youths

Winter clothing

Woolen garments


  quick medicines for

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Advice to a Mother on the Management of Her Children" ***

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