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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/818

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

make it proof against atmospheric and climatic changes, we must prepare it by judicious exposure for these conditions. The warm clothing which is thought to be a protection against cold is frequently the most fertile cause. It relaxes the body, moistens the skin, and the perspiration which is induced especially prepares the unresisting body for its attacks. This applies especially to warm covering around the neck, to which the air has periodic access. Except in unusually severe weather, the throat requires no more covering or protection than the face.

The method of having only two systems of underclothing, the heavy to be worn until it is quite warm, and vice versa, is also a source of danger. There should be three changes: one of the lightest texture for the warm weather of summer, a medium for spring and fall, and the pure wool for winter, which in this climate need not be very heavy. Waterproof shoes, rubbers, furs, etc., are not recommended for customary use, and should be worn only when absolutely indicated.

The best preventive of recurrent colds is the judicious use of the sponge or cold shower bath. The ordinary bath should usually be of a temperature not disagreeable to the body, but after the question of cleanliness has been attended to, an application, either by means of a sponge or shower, of ordinary cold water should be made. This should be of short duration, and friction with a coarse towel follow at once. When properly conducted, a reaction sets in so that there is no danger from this, and the toning effect of the method is of the utmost value in the prevention of colds. This applies, of course, only to persons in ordinarily good health. Even in these cases there are rare occasions in which this method is not advisable, and it may on general principles be stated that it should not be used by persons who do not react promptly. As stated, however, the application of cold water should be only momentary. The daily application of cold water to the throat and chest is also a useful practice for strengthening these parts.

In addition to these means there are certain injurious conditions that it would be well to avoid. One almost universally present in large cities is that of dust. The constant inhalation of the small particles of sand and of organic impurities of which dust is composed has an irritating effect on the delicate lining of the nose and throat, which may develop a chronic inflammation, resulting in injury to both the throat and ear. This evil, however, can be prevented by the artificial watering of our streets.

Excessive tobacco smoking produces injurious effects in the nose and throat. Of all forms of smoking, the cigarette is the most injurious, and allowing the smoke to pass through the nostrils the most dan-