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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2131

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1921
DISEASES OF CHILDHOOD

It shows itself as a dry scurfy or scaly condition of some portion of the scalp, generally in separate patches more or less circular, on which the hairs are broken off, and the surface presents a dirty appearance, with some redness beneath.

On the face, body or limbs the disease appears in the form of rings of various sizes, generally pretty round and of a reddish colour; they commence as minute points, and increase in size somewhat rapidly, healing in the centre as the disease progresses centrifugally. As the disease is contagious, children suffering from it must not go to school or play with others till they are cured.

Treatment.—The daily application of dilute nitrate of mercury ointment or ammoniated mercury ointment is generally sufficient to effect a. cure. Amongst the popular remedies are ink and vinegar. Strong acetic acid is a useful preparation. It should be used once and well rubbed in; after that ammoniated mercury ointment may be used daily. The liniment of iodine is also a most useful preparation. It should be applied by means of a camel-hair brush or feather, and repeated in a few days if necessary. Great cleanliness is essential in this affection, and if the disease is situated on the scalp, the hair must be cut away for some little distance round the diseased patch before applying the remedy.

Teething.—The period of teething is one which is looked upon by many mothers with dread. Owing to the greater irritability of the in usually found to exist at that time, children are more susceptible to certain diseases; and in order that everything may be done on the mother's part to guard against these, it is well that she should be familiar with the usual time of appearance of the teeth, and with a few hints that may be of service in maintaining the health of the child during this period.

The first, or temporary, teeth, 20 in all, generally begin to make their appearance between the fifth and eighth months in the following order: the 2 central front teeth of the lower jaw, called central incisors; the corresponding teeth in the upper jaw; 2 lower and 2 upper lateral incisors; the 4 first molars; the 4 canines (the 2 upper of which are popularly called eye-teeth); and, lastly, the 4 second molars.

The symptoms of troublesome teething are most perceptible to the mother: the child sucks feebly, and its gums are hot, inflamed and swollen. In this case, relief is yielded by rubbing the gums with the thing ring from time to time. Selfish and thoughtless nurses, and mothers too sometimes, give cordials and sleeping-draughts, the effects of which are too well known.

During the cutting of the temporary teeth, the infant's head should be kept cool, and its feet and hands warm. The body clothing should be light but warm. The apartments occupied by the child should be rather cool at this time. If the bowels are confined, the diet should be altered, and a little calcined magnesia given in milk.