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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2121

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1911
THE MANAGEMENT OF CHILDREN

the desired effect, and the child begins to cry lustily, it should be at once taken out and dried, but if not, it may be slapped rather smartly a few times on the chest, back and buttocks.

Should these efforts prove ineffectual, recourse must be had to artificial respiration. This may be performed as follows: the hands of the infant are seized by the attendant and raised from the side until they are lifted above its head as far as they will go, by doing which the act of inspiration or drawing of air into the chest is imitated, after which the hands and arms are to be depressed until they are brought to the side again, by which the air will be driven from the chest, and the act of expiration be thus imitated.

Washing and Dressing.—Provided there is nothing to hinder it, so soon as the child has been removed, in a flannel receiver, the process of washing and dressing may be at once begun. The various articles of clothing which are to be put on the child should have been hung upon a chair at the commencement of labour, in proximity to the fire.

The child is generally washed upon the nurse's knee, the basin with soap and water being placed upon the floor, but it is better, if it can be done, to use an oval wooden bath, having a place scooped out at one end to allow of the child's head being supported during the process.

The bath should be sufficiently filled with warm water to cover the body, by which means it will not be exposed to the influence of the atmosphere till ready to be dried. The soap that is employed should be of the most non-irritating kind, and great care must be taken that none is allowed to enter the infant's eyes. Many of the inflammatory affections of the eyes occurring in infants may be traced to carelessness in this respect.

If there is much cheesy-looking substance on the body it may be removed with a little sweet oil, and then well soaped with a soft flannel.

When the process of washing is over, the infant should be laid upon the nurse's knee, on a pillow covered with warm cloths, and dried by means of warm soft towels. The buttocks, between the legs, armpits, etc., should be powdered carefully after each washing with refined fuller's-earth. The baby's eyes should be most carefully washed out with a little boracic acid lotion, or corrosive sublimate solution (1 part to 4,000 of water). Neglect of this precaution often results in inflammation, ulceration and subsequent blindness.

A piece of soft old linen should then be taken and a hole cut in the centre. Through this the umbilical cord should be drawn, and the lower part of the linen folded up against the other, so as to be brought in contact with the child's abdomen. The cord will thus lie between the two folds of linen, and is to be maintained in position by means of the flannel binder, which should now be applied. The binder is on no account to be too tight.

Next to the flannel binder is placed a shirt, which preferably should be made of wool, as it will afford greater protection against cold. Above