Children should have one or two meals between the regular meals. Greatest variety should prevail at dinner and supper, and the favorite dishes of the various children should be served from time to time.
Taste and appetite are the means by which the intestinal organs express what they consider most suitable for the system. That which tastes good not only influences the health of the body, but also the mental condition of the child. Proper food, ample time for play and much fresh air will make the physician’s visit a rare necessity. However, if a child becomes ill, medical advice should be obtained immediately and followed strictly, thus avoiding many sad experiences.
Nearly all forms of children’s disease are combined with fever, and even without any of the characteristic symptoms of the various forms of disease, children are often subject to more or less intense attacks of fever. Therefore, in the following pages I am giving an extensive description of fever from a biological standpoint, together with its dietetic treatment—not cure for, as will be seen, fever in itself is not a disease, but the attempt of nature to get rid of a disease.
This elaborate description of fever in all its phases will also serve as a valuable illustration of the manner in which all subjects dealt with are treated in my greater work: “Regeneration, or Dare to be Healthy.”
(A) GENERAL DESCRIPTION.
Fever is one of the protective institutions of the body, which very often acts most advantageously in the interests of the preservation of the organism. It is a symptom, or rather a group of symptoms, consisting of an increase of temperature, acceleration of metabolism, excitement of the nerves, numbness and frequently delirium.
Undoubtedly a fever of long duration and high temperature may injure the organism to the extent that death ensues.
There have been, nevertheless, at all times, those who hold the opinion that fever, as such, does not under any circumstances, injure the organism of itself alone.
Fever has at all times been regarded, and to a much higher degree today than formerly, as a healthy reaction against diseased matter, and indeed, as an expression of the healing tendency of nature, Hippocrates considered it an excellent remedy. Thomas Campanello recognized its qualities of removing diseased matter.
This doctrine is corroborated by the findings in regard to infections.
Through fever the organism is freed from micro-organisms which may have forced their way in. Fever operates like fire, destroying the contagious matter. After this is done the remnants are excreted through intense and extremely offensive perspiration.
Experiments have taught us that the growth and the resisting power of many microbes decrease if the temperature of the body rises, but 1.8 to 3.6 degrees above normal. It is also a remarkable fact that in every disease where bacteria are found, there is a special type of fever, which takes its course in such strict accordance with its law, that the physician is thereby able to determine the nature of the disease.