The Care and Feeding of Children eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 97 pages of information about The Care and Feeding of Children.

Under what circumstances should the daily tub bath be omitted?

In the case of very feeble or delicate infants on account of the exposure and fatigue, and in all forms of acute illness except by direction of the physician.  In eczema and many other forms of skin disease much harm is often done by bathing with soap and water, or even with water alone.

GENITAL ORGANS

How should the genital organs of a female child be cleansed?

Best with fresh absorbent cotton and tepid water, or a solution of boric acid, two teaspoonfuls to the pint.  This should be done carefully at least once a day.  If any discharge is present, the boric-acid solution should invariably be used twice a day.  Great care is necessary at all times to prevent infection which often arises from soiled napkins.

How should the genital organs of a male child be cleansed?

In infancy and early childhood the foreskin should be pushed back at least twice a week while the child is in his bath, and the parts thus exposed washed gently with absorbent cotton and water.

If the foreskin is tightly adherent and cannot readily be pushed back, the physician’s attention should be called to it.  The nurse or mother should not attempt forcible stretching.

When is circumcision advisable?

Usually, when the foreskin is very long and so tight that it cannot be pushed back without force; always, when this condition is accompanied by evidences of local irritation or difficulty in passing water.

EYES

How should the eyes of a little baby be cleansed?

With a piece of soft linen or absorbent cotton and a lukewarm solution of salt or boric acid,—­one half of an even teaspoonful to one pint of water.

If pus appears in the eyes, what should be done?

They should be cleansed every hour with a solution of boric acid (ten grains to one ounce of water).  If the lids stick together, a little vaseline from a tube should be rubbed upon them at night.  If the trouble is slight, this treatment will control it; if it is severe, a physician should be called immediately, as delay may result in loss of eyesight.

MOUTH

How is an infant’s mouth to be cleansed?

An excellent method is by the use of a swab made by twisting a bit of absorbent cotton upon a wooden toothpick.  With this the folds between the gums and lips and cheeks may be gently and carefully cleansed twice a day unless the mouth is sore.  It is not necessary after every feeding.  The finger of the nurse, often employed, is too large and liable to injure the delicate mucous membrane.

What is sprue?

It appears on the lips and inside the cheeks like little white threads or flakes.  It is also called thrush.  In bad cases it may cover the tongue and the whole of the inside of the mouth.

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The Care and Feeding of Children from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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