Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/741

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OCTOBER. 1881.




THE vicissitudes necessarily incident to an out-door and primitive mode of life are never the first causes of any disease, though they may sometimes betray its presence. Bronchitis, nowadays perhaps the most frequent of all infantile diseases, makes no exception to this rule; a draught of cold air may reveal the latent progress of the disorder, but its cause is long confinement in a vitiated and overheated atmosphere, and its proper remedy ventilation and a mild, phlegm-loosening (saccharine) diet, warm sweet milk, sweet oatmeal-porridge, or honey-water. Select an airy bedroom and do not be afraid to open the windows; among the children of the Indian tribes who brave in open tents the terrible winters of the Hudson Bay territory, bronchitis, croup, and diphtheria are wholly unknown; and what we call "taking cold" might often be more correctly described as taking hot; glowing stoves, and even open fires, in a night-nursery, greatly aggravate the pernicious effects of an impure atmosphere. The first paroxysm of croup can be promptly relieved by very simple remedies: fresh air and a rapid forward-and-backward movement of the arms, combined in urgent cases with the application of a flesh-brush (or piece of flannel) to the neck and the upper part of the chest. Paregoric and poppy-sirup stop the cough by lethargizing the irritability and thus preventing the discharge of the phlegm till its accumulation produces a second and far more dangerous paroxysm. These second attacks of croup (after the administration of palliatives) are generally the fatal ones. When the child is convalescing, let him beware of stimulating food and overheated rooms. Do not give aperient medi-