Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/230

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blame when the first-born child of inexperienced young married people becomes feverish, or has a cough, and these symptoms are only aggravated when the innocent victim is treated with "teas" and mixtures, kept in an overheated room, and loaded down with bedclothes.

That our children were intended by Nature to live in fresh, open air, and that the old wives' regimen of keeping warm, living in-doors, and of warm drinks, is the cause of the fearful mortality of young children, is a truth that was not unknown one hundred years ago, but which must still be repeated over and over again.

The reader will allow me to recite the case of a patient of mine. A year ago, during his honey-moon, I congratulated him, and told him that a dry cough with which he was troubled was curable, provided he took care to live in the open air as much as possible, inuring himself to cold, sleeping in well-ventilated chambers, free from dust, etc. But this advice was hardly relished by the young pair. In October they hired rooms in a house that had just been built; its "dampness" they remedied by keeping up fires steadily; the windows were hardly ever opened, as the house stood on a windy corner, and the husband was growing more and more sensitive to cold; for this reason, too, he seldom went out-of-doors. In November he took to the bed, was again about, but he gradually declined, to the last hoping to recover.

Different was the course followed by Mr. H——, who, emaciated and troubled with a cough, had a hæmorrhage after contracting a "severe cold." He went into the country, took as much exercise as he could in the open air, and returned home with only a slight cough. At home he every morning took a warm bath with affusions of cold water, avoided rooms with bad air, etc. In six months he was free from his cough, appeared to be well nourished, and no longer had any fear of taking cold.

If the reader will dispassionately compare these two cases, he will agree with me that the first patient, who had never had hæmorrhage, fell a victim to the action of foul air, while H——used to say, "I must give to my diseased lungs, above all things, fresh air, as the prime necessary of life." Animals never take cold, even in winter; therefore among men it must be a result of wrong habits if air does any harm. We know that gold-fishes quickly perish when fresh water is not provided for them; and when we were boys we used to consider it cruelty to animals if we made no openings for ventilation in the boxes in which we kept cockchafers.

Now, these openings answer to the windows in our houses; doors are meant to be closed, windows to be opened. It has long been held that closed windows are the principal cause of consumption. I would make the proposition more general, by substituting "defective ventilation" for "closed windows." It is very pleasant to be sheltered by