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The Care and Feeding of Children A Catechism for the Use of Mothers and Children's Nurses

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At what age may a child be given a full tub bath?

Usually when ten days old; it should not be given before the cord has come off.

How should the bath be given?

It should not be given sooner than one hour after feeding. The room should be warm; if possible there should be an open fire. The head and face should first be washed and dried; then the body should be soaped and the infant placed in the tub with its body well supported by the hand of the nurse. The bath should be given quickly, and the body dried rapidly with a soft towel, but with very little rubbing.

At what temperature should the bath be given?

For the first few weeks at 100° F.; later, during early infancy, at 98° F.; after six months, at 95° F.; during the second year, from 85° to 90° F.

With what should the bath be given?

Soft sponges are useful for bathing the body, limbs and scalp. There should be a separate wash-cloth for the face and another for the buttocks.

What are the objections to bath sponges?

When used frequently, they become very dirty and are liable to cause infection of the eyes, mouth or genital organs.

Under what circumstances should the daily tub bath be omitted?

In the case of very feeble or delicate infants on account of the exposure and fatigue, and in all forms of acute illness except by direction of the physician. In eczema and many other forms of skin disease much harm is often done by bathing with soap and water, or even with water alone.



How should the genital organs of a female child be cleansed?

Best with fresh absorbent cotton and tepid water, or a solution of boric acid, two teaspoonfuls to the pint. This should be done carefully at least once a day. If any discharge is present, the boric-acid solution should invariably be used twice a day. Great care is necessary at all times to prevent infection which often arises from soiled napkins.

How should the genital organs of a male child be cleansed?

In infancy and early childhood the foreskin should be pushed back at least twice a week while the child is in his bath, and the parts thus exposed washed gently with absorbent cotton and water.

If the foreskin is tightly adherent and cannot readily be pushed back, the physician's attention should be called to it. The nurse or mother should not attempt forcible stretching.

When is circumcision advisable?

Usually, when the foreskin is very long and so tight that it cannot be pushed back without force; always, when this condition is accompanied by evidences of local irritation or difficulty in passing water.



How should the eyes of a little baby be cleansed?

With a piece of soft linen or absorbent cotton and a lukewarm solution of salt or boric acid,—one half of an even teaspoonful to one pint of water.

If pus appears in the eyes, what should be done?

They should be cleansed every hour with a solution of boric acid (ten grains to one ounce of water). If the lids stick together, a little vaseline from a tube should be rubbed upon them at night....