The Care and Feeding of Children eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 114 pages of information about The Care and Feeding of Children.


What should be done for a child in convulsions before a doctor arrives?

Keep the child perfectly quiet with ice at the head, put the feet in a mustard bath, and roll the entire body in large towels which have been dipped in mustard water (two heaping tablespoonfuls of mustard to one quart of tepid water), and have plenty of hot water and a bath tub at hand, so that the doctor can give a hot bath if he thinks it advisable.

When is a hot bath useful?

If the convulsions have continued until the pulse is weak, the face very pale, the nails and lips blue, and the feet and hands cold, the hot bath will be useful by bringing blood to the surface and relieving the heart, lungs, and brain.

How should the bath be given?

The temperature should not be over 106 deg.  F.; this should always be tested by a thermometer if one can be obtained.  Without this precaution, in the excitement of the moment, infants have frequently been put into baths so hot that serious and even fatal burns have been produced.  If no thermometer is available the nurse may plunge her arm to the elbow into the water.  It should feel warm, but not so hot as to be at all uncomfortable.  One half a teacupful of powdered mustard added to the bath often adds to its efficacy.


What should be done if a foreign body has been swallowed?

First, examine the throat with the finger to see if it has lodged there, and if so remove it.  If it has passed from the throat it has usually gone into the stomach.

What should be done in this case?

Give the child plenty of dry food, like bread, potato, etc., but under no circumstances either an emetic or cathartic.  An infant may have its usual food.

What harm would a cathartic do?

It is likely to hurry the foreign body too rapidly through the intestine and in this way do harm; otherwise it becomes coated with fecal matter and passes the intestine usually without doing injury.

What should be done if a child gets a foreign body into the ear?

Unless this can easily be removed with the fingers it should not be meddled with, for it is likely to be pushed farther into the ear.  The child should be taken to a physician.

What should be done if there is a foreign body in the nose?

The child should blow his nose strongly while the empty nostril is compressed.  Unless this removes it a physician should be called.  Meddlesome interference is always harmful.


What are the symptoms of colic?

There is a strong, hard cry, which comes suddenly and returns every few minutes.  With this there is drawing up of the feet, contraction of the muscles of the face, and other signs of pain.  The abdomen is usually tense and hard.

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