The problem of keeping children fit during the winter is one of the major problems which mothers have to face. To some it is a source of constant worry and anxiety, which dogs them until spring comes again. Yet all this worry can be avoided if a little care is taken and a few simple rules are followed.
Just now, when influenza is so prevalent, it is doubly necessary to take We give below a few simple rules on how to ensure your children's health.
Influenza, like fashions, seems to change its style from season to season. This autumn, " two-day " influenza is taking its toll of victims. Anxious mothers are wondering what they can do to combat it, for they know that this ailment, slight as it may seem at the moment, may lead to other and more serious illnesses if neglected.
Wise mothers will take their first steps against the enemy by doing all in their power to build up the general health and stamina of their children. A strong, wellnourished body stands a hundred per cent. better chance of warding off infection than does an over-taxed and under-nourished one.
" Building-up" Process
" Strength goes in at the mouth," our
grandmothers used to say. That is stilt true, though in our day we realise that quality and careful selection of food are just as important as quantity. The scientists have proved that it is the vitamin content of the food rather than the sheer bulk which is responsible for that " building up" process.
That is 'why Milk,cheese, cream, eggs and butter. should always form the main part of the. children's diet. Not only are these foods energy-producing, giving more nourishment than any other food of equal bulk, but they are nature's foods, easily digested. A child who goes off to school after a glass of warm milk (the pasteurised kind is guaranteed germ-free) as well as a good breakfast, is doubly fortified against cold winds, draughty rooms, and infection.
Fresh Air and Exercise
Fruit and vegetables should also form a large part of every meal, for they help to keep the blood stream pure and provide valuable mineral salts.
Fresh air and exercise come next in importance. A healthy child will always find plenty of exercise, but a constant supply of fresh air, in our climate, is a problem not so easily solved.
Perhaps some day we may look forward to all our schools being centrally heated. At the moment many of our rural schools have to rely on coal fires and totally inadequate stoves. The result is that windows have to be kept closed and children are expected to work in a stuffy atmosphere, breathing devitalised air.
This makes it all the more important that they should have proper ventilation in their rooms at home. Central heating makes it possible to have a warm room and yet have wide open windows, so that the children can work and play in comfort, and yet breathe pure air.
An Even Temperature
Another advantage of this type of heating is that a room—or for that matter the whole house — can be kept at an even temperature, and small bodies will not constantly be called on to adjust themselves to varying degrees of heat and cold. This adjustment, in far too many instances, eats up nervous energy which would be much better employed in school work, in play, or in warding off infection.
Clothing should be light, yet warm, and should be loose enough to allow the skin to function normally. No tight waistbands, please! All garments should either hang from the shoulder or allow ample room for expansion.
If, in spite of your precautions, you find a child listless and running a temperature, however slight, put him to bed, give him as much fresh fruit juice as he will drink,
and call in a doctor. It cannot be too strongly emphasised that a neglected attack of this " two day 'flu can have very serious consequences.
And it is liable to recur unless the small convalescent has his stamina built up by wholesome feeding, plenty of milk, and fresh air.
This Week's Nursing Hint
A little borax mixed with glycerine makes a soothing lotion to rub on baby's gums when he is teething.