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want of circulation, and impregnated with the deleterious fumes of sulphur, putrid substances, smoke, dunghills, excrements, and other noxious exhalations, it acts as a slow poison, induces diseases, and gradually undermines the human constitution. Hence the propriety of rearing children in apartments where the air is clear and dry, uncontaminated with the steam arising from cooking victuals, and from ironing linen, and from the breath and perspiration of persons crowded into a narrow room-and the necessity of frequently leading them abroad into the open air, to enjoy the light of heaven and the refreshing breeze. Hence the impropriety of crowding two or three children's beds into one small apartment, of covering a child's face when asleep, and wrapping him up too close in a cradle, by which means he is forced to breathe the same air over and over again, all the time he sleeps. In great towns, where the poorer class of inhabitants live in low, dirty, confined houses, and narrow lanes, where pure air has seldom access, the want of wholesome air often proves destructive to their offspring; and those of them who arrive at maturity are most frequently weak and deformed. In the im provements now going forward in society, it would be of vast importance to the health and comfort of the labouring classes, that such dwellings were completely demolished, and for ever prevented from again becoming the habitations of men.
In connection with air, the influence of light ought not to be overlooked. Almost all organized bodies require the influence of light for their health, and the full development of their parts and functions. It changes the colour of plants and animals, and the complexion of man. As plants when deprived of light grow pale, and insects confined to dark places remain white, so those who spend their lives in their closets, or in gloomy apartments, acquire a pale and yellowish complexion, and many sickly persons become worse about sunset, and during the continuance of night. Hence the propriety of nursing children in light and cheerful apartments, and of carrying them frequently into the fields, to enjoy the full influence of the radiant sun. And hence it follows, that dark habitations, close and narrow lanes, houses sunk beneath the level of a street, small windows, sombre walls, trees immediately in the front of dwellings, and whatever intercepts the light of heaven from the habitations of men, must damp the animal spirits, and prove noxious to the vigour of the human frame. Whereas, a full and uninterrupted view of the beauty, the variety, and the lively colours, of the scenes of nature, has the happiest effects on the temper, and a tendency to exercise and invigorate the powers of the mind;-for there can be little doubt,
that the faculties of the understanding, and the dispositions of the neart, which characterize the individual in the future part of his life, acquire their particular bias and distinguishing features from the circumstances in which he is placed, and the objects with which he is surrounded, in early life.-It may not be improper to add, that, as the eyes of very young children are delicate, they should not at once be exposed to a strong light; and, when they advance, as they are eager to stare at every thing, particularly at a brilliant light, their eyes should be turned so as to have the object in a straight line before them, or their backs turned directly o it. To allow them to look at it sideways, or with one eye, would teach them a habit of squinting.
Few things are of more importance to the health and comfort of children than cleanliness. The functions of the skin are of peculiar importance in the animal system, and have a great influence in preserving the health and vigour of the corporeal frame. Through its millions of pores, the insensible perspiration is inces santly flowing, and more than the one-half of what we eat and drink is in this way discharged. Hence the danger which must arise from frequent obstruction of this essential function, from wet, excrements, dirty linens, and every kind of uncleanliness. From want of attention to this circumstance, various diseases of the skin, eruptions, catarrhs, coughs, the itch, obstructions of the first passages, and even many fatal disorders, derive their origin. It is injurious both to the health and the virtue of man; it stupifies the mind, sinks it into a lethargic state, deprives him of animal enjoyment, and of the esteem and regard of others. Whereas cleanliness promotes both health and virtue, clears the understanding, encourages to cheerfulness and activity, prevents many loathsome maladies, and procures the attachment and esteem of associates. Hence the incessant and minute attention which ought to be paid to this circumstance, by parents and nurses, in the rearing of the young. Cleanliness in domestic life, may be considered as one of the cardinal virtues, as an essential requisite in the physical education of children, and, perhaps, the only province of parental care in which they can never do too much. The pores of the skin should be kept open by washing the body, and chang !ng the clothes and linen whenever they are unclean. In the first .nstance, children may be bathed in lukewarm water, and afterwards with water of a colder temperature, as they are able to Dear it. Some parts of the body, such as the interior of the legs, the folds of the neck, the arm-pits, and the parts behind the ear, which are liable to be inflamed, demand particular attention. The nose, likewise, should be occasionally washed and thoroughly
cleaned; it having been found, that the unpleasant smell peculiar to some infants, is owing to the habitual neglect of cleaning that organ. Great attention ought to be paid to children in regard to their evacuations; and every thing that may occasion dampness, and every kind of offensive matter that might adhere to the skin, should be speedily removed. As children are liable to perspire more than adults, frequent change of their linen is a matter of some consequence; and all parents who can afford it, should give them clean dry linen every day. It is as much the duty of parents to wash and clean their children, as it is to feed and clothe them; and children that are frequently washed and kept clean, gradually improve in health and vivacity; cleanliness becomes familiar to them, their spirits are enlivened, and they grow up virtuous, polite, and happy.
The Russians, with all their ignorance and rusticity of manners, are said to be superior to the more refined English, French, and Germans, both in a delicate sensibility of cleanliness, and in the practical use of the bath. A foreign gentleman, travelling in Russia, had hired one of the natives as his groom or postilion. After having travelled several days together in very sultry weather, the semi-barbarian, upon his knees, requested his employer to grant him leave of absence for two or three hours, to refresh himself with the luxury of a bath, which to him was indispensable, and the want of which he had long felt.-In Russia almost every house has its bath; and the peasants in that country possess a refinement of sense, with respect to the surface of the body, with which the most elegant ladies in other countries seem totally unacquainted. Even the American Indians, who cannot change their furs so frequently as we can do our clothes, put under their children the dust of rotten wood, and renew it as often as it becomes damp.
The clothing of children likewise requires some degree of skill and attention. This, indeed, is so simple a matter, that it is surprising that persons living in civilized countries should ever have erred so egregiously in regard to it; and yet it is a fact, that many children have been rendered deformed, and others have lost their lives, by the pride and folly of their parents in respect to this circumstance. The time has not long gone by, (if it have yet passed,) since a poor child, as soon as it breathed the vital air, had as many rollers and wrappers-sometimes ten feet in length-applied to its body, as if every bone, had been fractured in the birth; and these were often drawn so tight, as to gall its tender frame, and even obstruct its vital organs-a piece of folly so repugnant to the dictates of nature, that even the most savage
nations never commit it; and hence, deformed children are seldom or never found among them. By the weight and pressure of stays, bandages, heavy and tight clothes, children, who were well-proportioned at their birth, have afterwards appeared with flat breasts, high shoulders, crooked spines, and other deformities. For when a child is cramped in its clothes, it naturally shrinks from the part that is hurt, and puts its body into unnatural postures; and every part of it, even the bones themselves, being soft and flexible, deformity, of some kind or other, is the natural result. To this cause physicians have ascribed the numerous, instances of children dying of convulsions soon after their birth.
The general rule which reason suggests, in regard to the clothing of children, is—" That a child have no more clothes than are necessary to keep it warm, and that they be quite easy for its body." In conformity to this rule, the dress of children should be simple, clean, light, and cheap-free, wide, and open, so as neither to opede the vital functions, nor the free and easy motions of the body, nor prevent the access of fresh air, and be easily put on or taken off. The following cut exhibits the simple
dress of a little girl.-Pins should be used as little as possible, and the clothes chiefly fastened with strings, which would prevent
the occasional scratching of their tender skins, and those alarming cries which so frequently proceed from this cause. Such a light and simple dress would induce children to live with less restraint in the society of each other; and check that silly pride, which leads them to ape the fashions of their superiors, and to value themselves on account of the finery of their clothes. During the first months, the head and breast may be slightly covered; but as soon as the hair is sufficiently long to afford protection, there appears little necessity for either hats or caps, unless in seasons of rain or cold. By keeping the breast and neck uncovered, they acquire more firmness, are rendered hardier, and less susceptible of being affected with cold. Besides, a child has really a more interesting aspect, when arrayed in the beautiful simplicity of nature, than when adorned with all the trappings which art can devise. The following anecdote, related by Herodotus, illustrates the advantage connected with a cool regimen of the head. "After the battle fought between the Persians, under Cambyses, and the Egyptians, the slain of both nations were separated; and upon examining the heads of the Persians, their skulls were found to be so thin and tender, that a small stone would immediately perforate them; while, on the other hand, the heads of the Egyptians were so firm, that they could scarcely be fractured by the largest stones." The cause of this remarkable difference was attributed to the custom of the Egyptians shaving their heads from earliest infancy, and going uncovered in all states of the weather; while the Persians always kept their heads warm by wearing heavy turbans.
Attention ought likewise to be paid to the proper covering of the feet. It is scarcely necessary for children to use shoes be fore they are a year old; or if they do, the soles should be thin and soft. The form of the human foot is such, that, at the toes it is broad, at the heel narrow, and the inside of the foot is longer than the outside-a form which is evidently intended by Nature to enable us to stand and walk with firmness and ease. It is therefore a dictate of nature, that shoes should be made in the same form as the feet, and be sufficiently roomy for the toes to move with ease; and in order to this, they must be formed upon two separate lasts, corresponding to the right and the left foot. How shoes came at first to be made tapering to a point at the toes, almost like a bodkin-how high-heels became the darling fashion of the ladies-and how a small foot came to be reckoned genteel-I pretend not to determine; but certainly nothing can be more absurd and preposterous. Such opinions and practices, along with many others which abound, particularly in the fashion