A play pen, such as is described in “Infant Care,” a booklet published by the Children’s Bureau and sent free on request, makes it possible to leave the baby safely by himself on the porch or in the yard, after he is old enough to creep.
A screened porch on the shady side of the house is a boon to every mother, affording a cool, secure place for the baby to play and also to sleep. Let him have his daytime naps on the porch and sleep there at night during the heat.
Do not be afraid of fresh air for the baby. He cannot have too much of it. Night air is sometimes even better than day air, because it has been cooled and cleansed of dust by the dew.
The essentials in the summer care of babies are:
1. Proper food, given only at regular intervals.
2. A clean body.
3. Fresh air, day and night.
4. Very little clothing.
5. Cool places to play and sleep in.
Do not give the baby medicine of any sort unless it is ordered by the doctor. Never give him patent remedies which are said to relieve the pain of teething, or to make him sleep, or to cure diarrhea, for such medicines are likely to do the baby much more harm than good, especially in summer when the digestion is so easily disturbed. It is so much easier to keep the baby well than it is to cure him when he is sick, that wise mothers try to take such care of the baby that he will not be sick.
Do not fail to give the baby a drink of cool water several times a day in hot weather. Boil the water first, then cool it, and offer it to the baby in a cup, glass, or nursing bottle. Babies and young children sometimes suffer cruelly for lack of drinking water.
QUESTIONS ON TEXT
1. What are the chief causes of sickness and death among children during the summer time?
2. What are the best preventatives for baby ills during the hot months?
3. Discuss the importance of bathing and tell how to bathe the child.
4. What is the best way to dress the child during the heated time of the year?
5. What provisions should be made for his sleeping?
6. Discuss the use of patent medicines.
7. What should be done regarding the drink of the child? Why?
8. What can best be done by the well-to-do and by the community as a whole to protect and preserve the babies?
Reference: Selections from “Child Nature and Child Nurture,” by St. John.
This Activity Is Expressed in Simple Reflexes, Complex Instincts, or Internally Caused Impulses
As already mentioned, the physical needs of the infant are supreme. Proper nourishment, the right temperature, bathing, and an abundance of fresh, pure air constitute all of his requirements. The child is endowed, however, with an enormous capacity for movement which is the outward expression of his awakening mental life.