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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2125

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1915
DISEASES OF CHILDHOOD

once a day in the forenoon. As a change, a little meat gravy with a mealy potato mashed up in it may be given. An egg lightly boiled, or one that has been placed for two minutes in boiling water, forms a very useful article of diet for young children, and one that is very nourishing. A little piece of some ripe fruit will not prove hurtful to most children, and so may be given sparingly, care being taken to remove all stones. Nuts and other husk fruits, which are difficult of digestion, should be avoided.

Children should not be allowed to eat between meals.

DISEASES OF INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD

Chicken-Pox.—This is a contagious but harmless disease of childhood attended by slight constitutional disturbance, as a rule, and after running its course for a few days ends in complete recovery. Often several children of the same family have it, one after the other. It effects both sexes alike and all classes indiscriminately. After a period of incubation of about a fortnight, a number of little red points suddenly appear on the skin, and in the course of 24 hours each has become a small blister, or vesicle, raised above the surface and surrounded by a pink areola or zone. The next day more red spots appear, which also form blisters, and so on for about 3 or 4 days fresh crops appear, the previous ones attaining a maturer stage. The eruption is most abundant on the back and front of the body. In about a week the vesicles begin to wither and dry up, and in a week or 10 days longer the scabs fall off, leaving as a rule no scar.

Treatment.—The child should be put to bed when the spots appear and prevented from scratching the pox by the use of fingerless gloves. Diet should be plain and simple, chiefly of milk and farinaceous foods. Medicine is not necessary. It should not be allowed to mix with other children till the scabs have fallen off; occasionally the little patient is restless and feverish, but in most cases it will play as cheerfully as usual and appear to have nothing the matter with it.

It is well to have medical advice in cases of suspected chicken-pox, as the resemblance between this disease and small-pox is so great. Also in many places chicken-pox is one of the diseases cases of which have to be notified to the local sanitary authorities. Chilblains are most irritating to children. Common factors in their causation are wet boots and imperfectly fitting boots, which compress the feet and retard the circulation. Special attention should be paid to these points in the prevention of chilblains. Wet boots should be changed immediately on returning from a walk. The following is an excellent remedy for unbroken chilblains: hydrochloric acid, diluted, ¼ of an ounce, hydrocyanic acid, diluted, 30 drops; camphor water, 6 ounces. This chilblain lotion cures mild cases by one application. It is deadly poison, and should be kept under lock and key. A