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The Eugenic Marriage, Volume IV. (of IV.) A Personal Guide to the New Science of Better Living and Better Babies

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Mothers frequently wonder where their children get colds. Briefly we will point out some of the sources from which these apparently inexplicable colds may come.

A. Sitting on the Floor.—Children should not be allowed to sit or crawl upon the floor at any season of the year, but especially during the winter months. There is always a draught of cold air near the floor. It is a bad habit to begin allowing a child to play with its toys on the floor. Use the bed or a sofa or a platform raised a foot from the floor.

B. Kicking the Bed Clothes Off During the Night.—The bed clothes should be securely pinned to the mattress by large safety pins. When it is established as a habit a child who kicks off the bed clothes should wear a combination night suit with "feet," made of flannel during the winter and of cotton during the summer.

C. Inadequate Head Covering.—Professor Kerley states that this is one of the "most frequent causes of disease of the respiratory tract in the young." He calls attention to the fact that "mothers carefully clothe the baby with ample coats, blankets, leggings, etc., before they take him out for the daily walk. They dress him in a warm room taking plenty of time to put on the extra clothes, during which time the baby frets and perspires. When all is ready they place upon the hot, almost bald head of the baby a light artistically decorated airy creation which is sold in the shops as children's caps. The child is then taken out of doors and because of the inadequate covering of the hot perspiring head, catches cold and the mother never knows how it came." Every baby and child should wear under such caps a skull cap of thin flannel, especially in cold weather. In summer or windy day a light silk handkerchief folded under the cap is a very excellent protection.

D. Subjecting a Baby to Different Temperatures Suddenly, is liable to be followed by a cold—for example, taking the child from a warm room to a cold room, or through a cold hall, holding the child at an open window for a few moments.

E. The Practice of Wearing Rubbers Needs Some Consideration.—They should never be worn indoors for even five minutes. They should not therefore be kept on in school, nor should they be worn by women in stores when they go shopping. When it is actually raining, or snowing, or when there is slush or wet mud they are needful; but they should not be worn simply because the weather is threatening or damp. Children should not put them on to play—worn for any length of time when active they are harmful. If worn to and from school they should be taken off at once when in school or at home. Wearing rubbers prevents free evaporation of the natural secretion of the skin, keeps the feet moist and invites colds and catarrh. In damp weather, or when children play during winter months, they should be shod with stout shoes with cork insoles.

The same argument applies to storm coats of rubber, water-proof material. They should not be worn as overcoats all day, but only when going to and from school or business when it is actually storming....