When may young children be played with?
If at all, in the morning, or after the midday nap; but never just before bedtime.
What points should guide one in selecting toys and playthings for an infant?
The instinct in a baby to put everything into the mouth is so strong that nothing should be given that cannot be safely treated in this way. Hence one should choose things which are smooth, those which can be easily washed, and those which cannot be swallowed.
One should avoid (1) toys with sharp points or corners; (2) those with loose parts that might be detached or broken off and swallowed; (3) small objects which might be swallowed or pushed into the nose or ear, such as coins, marbles, and safety-pins, also beads and buttons unless strung upon a stout cord; (4) painted toys; (5) those covered with hair or wool. Infants have often been severely injured by swallowing what they have pulled off from their small toy animals.
What points are to be considered in selecting the toys and playthings of a child over two years old?
It should be remembered that toys are not merely a source of amusement, but that they have an educational value as well. Those are therefore to be preferred the use of which develops the child’s imagination, and with which he can be taught to amuse himself. For boys nothing can surpass blocks, toy soldiers, balls, engines, and cars; and for girls, dolls and housekeeping sets. The complicated mechanical toys now so much in vogue give only a momentary pleasure, and as soon as the wonder at their operation has worn off, they have lost interest for the child except that which he gets in breaking them to see how the thing worked.
What important things can be taught children with their toys and how may this be done?
The imagination may be developed, and children may be trained to habits of neatness, order and regularity and to concentration of mind.
To this end toys should be kept in an orderly way upon a shelf in the nursery or in a closet, never piled in a miscellaneous heap in the corner of the room. Children should select their toys and play with one thing at a time, which they should be taught to put away in its place before another is given. They should never be allowed to have a dozen things strewn about the room at one time, with none of which they are occupied.
Are there any valid objections to kissing infants?
There are many serious objections. Tuberculosis, diphtheria, and many other grave diseases may be communicated in this way. The kissing of infants upon the mouth by other children, by nurses, or by people generally, should under no circumstances be permitted. Infants should be kissed, if at all, upon the cheek or forehead, but the less even of this the better.