In summer time children are liable to sudden attacks of vomiting and diarrhoea, which cause rapid prostration, and, if not speedily checked, death. The vomited matters consist at first of food, then of mucus, and there may be empty retching. The motions are mostly thin and watery, and green or yellow; at times they are slimy and mixed with blood; at times they consist of undigested food. The child wastes rapidly; there is usually great thirst; the body is hot, and hands and feet cold. The chief causes are improper feeding and changes of temperature.
General Treatment.–To guard against it, pay great attention to the clothing and diet of the child, and of the nursing mother of the child if at the breast.
All stimulating food and drinks should be avoided. The child should be fed at regular intervals. It should be clothed well, but not too warmly. Very light woollen clothing is the best for summer. The room it is kept in should be well aired.
During an attack the child should be allowed to drink cold water, or thin barley-water, or toast-water. The whites of eggs, beaten up into a froth, and given in a teaspoon, is an excellent diet in diarrhoea. If the child is at the breast, it must not be allowed to take more than a very little at a time.
The craving for drink is natural, and should not be resisted, and when it is retained there is nothing better than water; it must be given in teaspoonfuls.
Medicines.–(Every fifteen minutes until reaction sets in, then gradually increasing the intervals.)
Aconite3.– Watery diarrhoea, crying, complaining, biting fists, restless.
Arsen. 3.– Weakness, pallor, emaciation, great thirst; white or brownish offensive diarrhoea, worse after midnight or towards morning, and after eating or drinking.
Carb. veg. 6.– Stools thin and offensive, child cold, blue, collapsed.
At the beginning of an attack, nausea, vomiting of food and drink or mucus and bile, thirst.
Diarrhoea after every meal, stools fetid, thin, undigested.
Great weakness, fainting, coldness, vomiting after swallowing the least liquid; or after the slightest movement; colic, loose brownish stools.
Stools frequent, greenish, thin, watery, slimy.