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

What should be done for a baby with colic?

First, see that the feet are warm.  Place them against a hot-water bag, or hold them before an open fire; apply a hot flannel to the abdomen, or let the child lie upon its stomach across a hot-water bag.  If the colic continues, a half teacupful of warm water containing ten drops of turpentine may be injected into the bowels with a syringe; at the same time the abdomen should be gently rubbed so as to start the wind.  If the gas is in the stomach, half of a soda mint tablet may be given in a tablespoonful of very warm water.

EARACHE

What are the symptoms of earache?

The pain is generally severe and accompanied by a sharp scream; the child often puts the hand to the affected ear, or cries whenever it is touched.  The pain is likely to be prolonged and continuous.

How should a child with earache be treated?

The ear should be irrigated with a solution of boric acid (twenty grains to the ounce) as warm as can be borne.  Dry heat may then be applied in several ways.  The ear having been first covered with cotton, a small hot-water bag or one filled with hot salt or bran, may be bound over it with a bandage; or a small butter plate heated in hot water may be used in the same way.  The hot-water bag may be held against the ear or the child may lie with his head upon it.  The use of such substances as oil and laudanum in the ear is not to be recommended.

CROUP

What are the symptoms of croup?

There is a hollow, dry, barking cough, with some difficulty in breathing.

When is this likely to come on?

Usually at night.

Is simple croup dangerous?

The ordinary croup of infants is spasmodic croup, and is very rarely dangerous, although the symptoms seem very alarming.

What are the symptoms?

In a mild attack there is simply noisy breathing, especially on drawing in the breath, with a tight, barking, or croupy cough.  In a severe attack the child’s breathing is more noisy and becomes difficult.

What is the dangerous form of croup?

Membranous croup, which is the same thing as diphtheria of the larynx.

How does this develop?

Gradually; very rarely does it come on suddenly.

What should be done for a baby who has spasmodic croup?

The room should be very warm, hot cloths or poultices should be applied over the throat, and either a croup kettle or an ordinary tea-kettle kept boiling in the room.  This is more efficacious if the child is placed in a tent made by a raised umbrella with a sheet thrown over it, and the steam introduced beneath the tent.  If the symptoms are urgent, ten drops of the sirup of ipecac should be given every fifteen minutes until free vomiting occurs.  Whenever the symptoms reach a point where breathing becomes difficult, a doctor should be summoned without delay.

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