So after that, in young children, I started giving Calc. carb. at much more frequent intervals; wherever I got a child who wasnt jumping ahead still, I repeated my Calcarea, and I think the point is this that the average young growing child, free from acute illness, will tend to improve, supposing you are doing nothing at all, and what your drug ought to be doing is increasing that improvement; so I think in many of these cases you hurry up your work, in dealing certainly with Calcarea children, if you are not satisfied to wait indefinitely before you repeat.
You see what I mean-it is different from where you have got an adult who is stationary; here you have got a growing, developing child who is going to improve apart from acute illness, and in a case of that sort you can repeat much more frequently than you would in the ordinary static adult case.
YOU remember last week I more or less completed the first group of the drugs which one commonly finds indicated in children, and you said that you would like the others done in much the same way.
Well, if you glance at the list of drugs I gave you as forming the second group you will notice that they are all very much the same type of child, and they all apply more or less to the backward kind of kid, either purely delayed development, or the definitely mental defective. These are what I am trying to cover in this second group of drugs; and, of course, the outstanding drug in that group is BARYTA CARB. which has got more of the backward child than any other drug in our Materia Medica.
The characteristics of the Baryta carb. child are very definite I think the easiest way to get hold of it is to have a clear idea in your minds that here you have got a dwarfish child, dwarfish mentally and dwarfish physically. I have never seen a Baryta carb. child who was up to standard height. I have seen them up to standard weight. And the next glaring characteristic when you see them is that you always in the Baryta carb. child have got an excessively shy child; and that shy characteristic covers quite a lot of the Baryta carb. child.
It is nervous of strangers; it is scared of being left alone; very often it is terrified of going out of doors; a town bred child going to the country is terrified in the open fields. They often get night terrors, without any clear idea of what the terror is. And they always have a fear of people. There is another characteristic you can link on to that fear of people, and that is the Baryta carb. kids are always touchy; they dont like being interfered with; they are very easily irritated. Then the next thing that you will always get in them is that throughout their lives they have been late in everything-late in speaking, late in walking, late in dentition, slow in gaining weight.
Then, the next marked feature of them is their exaggeration of the normal childs forgetfulness. Every child is forgetful, every child is inattentive, but the Baryta carb. child has that very much exaggerated. If they are playing they never stick to it for any length of time, they pick up a toy, play with it, and drop it; you may get their attention for a minute or two, then they turn round and look at the nurse or mother or whoever happens to be there.
They pick up a thing from your desk and fumble with it for a minute or two, and the next moment they are playing with the handle of a drawer. It is that lack of concentration that is the outstanding characteristic. As they get older you get the same report from the school-the child is inattentive, never concentrates on a lesson, appears to learn to-day and has completely forgotten it to-morrow. The mother would teach the child its alphabet a dozen times over, and apparently ten minutes afterwards it knew it, it would be allowed to go out and play and half an hour later it had all gone.
The next thing about them-and it is one of the things you would expect with that type of child-is that they are very easily tired out; any attempt at systematic effort exhausts them. When they are young they become cross and irritable, as they get older any systematic effort and they get very troublesome headaches- usually a frontal headache with a feeling as if their forehead was bulgy and sitting right down over their eyes, and it is an awful labour for them to keep their eyes open.
Then the next point about them-and it is pretty constant to all the Baryta carb. kids-is that they are very liable to get colds. Their colds are fairly characteristic; they always start as a sore throat,and I do not think I have ever seen a Baryta carb. child that hadnt hypertrophied tonsils.
Then, with the hypertrophy of their tonsils you can link on the other glandular tissues; the Baryta carb. child very probably has enlarged cervical glands, possibly enlarged abdominal glands. With the enlarged abdominal glands you link up that the kid stands badly, there is often marked lordosis and a very prominent abdomen. Then again, with the abdominal condition you link up the symptom that the Baryta carb. kid is usually worse after eating-more inattentive, more irritable, more touchy, and very often more tired after eating.
The next thing about them is-you link this on to the tonsillar hypertrophy-if they do get enlarged tonsils and do get cold they are very liable to run to a quinsy. And there is another tip there that is worth remembering; if you get a typical Baryta carb. kid who has got an acute tonsillitis you are wiser to give a dose of Baryta mur., rather than Baryta carb., during the acute phase; and very often you will want an intercurrent dose of Psorinum after your Baryta mur. before you go back to your Baryta carb.
And it is quite easy to tack on the Psorinum to the Baryta carb. because many of these Baryta carb. kids tend to get a crusty skin eruption on the head, they very often have crusty margins to the eyelids, they may have a definite blepharitis, and most of the Baryta carb. kids are worse from washing-all definite Psorinum symptoms also.
Another point about them-and you tack that on to their skins-is they are very liable to get intensely irritable skin eruptions, very often without very much eruption but with intense irritation, and that again is liable to be worse after they have been bathed.
As you would expect with that type of child with low physique, they are chilly, and if they are exposed to cold they are liable to get their tonsils affected.
Well, that is the keynote to the mentally defective group of drugs, and, as I say, that is by far the commonest. By following on that you get the other drugs that I mentioned, starting off with Borax.
Well, in BORAX I think that the thing that begins to make you query whether a child is a Baryta carb. or a Borax child is the manner in which the Borax child is frightened. They are both scared children; them are very often quite similar to look at; but you will find that, whereas in the Baryta carb. child it is anything strange in its surroundings which terrifies it, in the Borax child it is any sudden noise in its vicinity. Any sudden noise in the vicinity of a Borax child simply terrifies it.
Oh, there is one other point I should have mentioned about the Baryta carb. kid, and that is they have a marked tendency to salivation. If you have seen many of these mentally defective kids you know it is quite a common characteristic of the mentally defective children; you see them dribbling. And it is equally marked in Borax, but in the majority of Borax children you are getting a definite stomatitis, and associated with the salivation you get white spots on the tongue, pearly spots round the margins of the tongue, spots on the lips and on the inside of the cheeks.
Then the next thing is that you do get a very similar history in regard to night terrors under the Borax child, but you can practically always get an exciting cause in the case in the case of the Borax child; the child has been doing too much during the day, or the child has been over excited in the evening, and then they are almost sure to have a marked night terror.
Then the next thing about the Borax child is that there isnt the same degree of inability to learn. But you will very often get the statement from the school, or from the parents, that the child is simply purely idle; if they would give their hearts to it they could learn, but they are just idle. They never settle to anything, and even at play they wont stick at anything they get bored and change from one thing to another.
And the next thing that rather distinguishes them from the Baryta carb. is that they are much more irritable, and their irritability does not end up in weeping as it very often does in the Baryta carb. but it ends up in a violent passion-the child very often kicks and screams.
The next thing about the Borax child which distinguishes it from the Baryta carb. child is that where the Baryta carb. child tends to get a generalized skin eruption, or a very definite crusty eruption on the scalp, you are much more likely to get herpetic eruptions in the Borax child-very often herpetic spots about the lips, or a generalized rash of small herpetic spots on the body.
Then again you are more liable to get acute digestive upsets than in Baryta carb. Baryta carb. is the typical chronic constipation, the hard stool; Borax is very liable to get sudden attacks of diarrhoea and vomiting. There is another characteristic of Borax which is peculiar to it as distinguishing it from Baryta carb., and that is that Borax has a peculiar sensitiveness to fruit and is liable to develop violent colic after fruit- colic followed by diarrhoea.
Then, associated with the tendency to inflammation of the mucous membranes, acute stomatitis and that sort of thing, it is a very common history in the Borax kids to find either enuresis or pain on micturition; I think pain on micturition is much more common, and very often it is without any definite urinary infection.
The other thing that distinguishes the Borax child from the Baryta carb,. when it is a little older is that the Baryta carb. child gets depressing frontal headache from over study; the Borax kid tends to become sick, it tends to get definite nausea from intense concentration.
Then, there is the final clinching point in connection with the Borax child, and that is the notorious Borax aggravation from downward motion. Baryta carb. kids often get train sick or car sick; Borax kids will get train sick and car sick too, but Borax children have a peculiar terror of downward motion, and it is that terror much more than the actual feeling of discomfort which is the characteristic thing of the Borax children.
You get it occurring in all sorts of circumstances; the typical thing is the child who yells every time it is laid down in bed provided the nurse does not lower it very gently; but you get it equally marked in older children who simply scream on going down in a lift in a shop. But it is the peculiar terror, rather than the physical discomfort, which distinguishes Borax from any other drug we have got.
Then the other thing is, it like Baryta carb. in being sensitive to cold, but it has much more sensitiveness to damp than Baryta carb.
By the way, there is one useful practical tip that comes in in connection with Borax, and that is in connection with air sickness. You know we have various drugs for train sickness and sea sickness and that sort of thing; Borax acts in the majority of cases of air sickness, because it is the sudden dip which upsets most people, and particularly their terror of falling, and I have had a number of cases in which I have completely stooped air sickness by three or four doses of Borax before they started flying. It is quite a useful tip sometimes.
Then, of course, Borax is one of the Sodium salts, and immediately you strike any of the Sodium salts you begin to think of the possibility of the others, and, of course, much the most commonly indicated of the Sodium salts is NATRUM MUR. So one always considers the possibility of a childs being Natrum mur. Well, in children, in the majority of cases.
Natrum mur. again is a rather undersized, underweight child. You very often find them coming in and at first sight they are a little difficult to distinguish from the Baryta carb. kid with its shyness, because the Natrum mur. child, until you get to know it, has a very definite dislike of being handled; it has a very definite dislike of being interfered with and it is very liable to burst into tears, which is not unlike the shy terrified reaction you get from a Baryta carb. kid. But if you begin to pursue the matter a bit further, you find the reaction is quite different, it isnt shyness in the Natrum mur., it is much more a resentment at being interfered with.
You find the Natrum mur. child cries, but cries much more from rage than from terror. You can very often stop the Natrum mur. childs crying if you are sufficiently firm; try and soothe it down and it gets worse. i have seen a mother try and soothe a Natrum mur. child till it was nearly in convulsions with screaming, whereas as soon as you leave it alone it will settle down and sit in a corner and watch you. The Baryta carb. will sit in a corner and play with anything within reach-you have got an entirely different mentality.
Another thing that you meet, distinguishing the Natrum mur. from the Baryta carb. is that they both tend to be awkward in their movements. The Baryta carb. child is awkward because of incoordination, it is clumsy. The Natrum mur. child knocks things over because it is in too big a hurry.
Then you will get a history of delayed development in the Natrum mur. child, particularly that the Natrum mur. child was slow of learning to speak; it may have been slow of starting to walk, though that is not nearly so constant. You very often find that the Natrum mur. childs speech is faulty, but it is much more a difficulty in articulation in the Natrum mur. child than a lack of mentality as it is in the Baryta carb. child.
Then the next characteristic about the Natrum mur. child is that it is probably small, underweight, but in opposition to the Baryta carb. where you get a lot of enlarged cervical glands, the typical Natrum mur. child may have very small shotty enlarged cervical glands in a thin neck. The Baryta carb. have a chain of quite large glands running down both sides of the anterior borders of the sterno mastoid; the Natrum mur. children have small shotty glands at the back of the neck, and the neck itself is rather skinny.
The next thing is that the Natrum mur. kid does not tend to run to the same degree of crusty skin eruptions as the Baryta carb. kid. In the Natrum mur. you are much more likely to get an eruption restricted to the margin of the hair, rather than spreading over the whole scalp.
Then the next thing about them is that there isnt the same tendency to salivation in the Natrum mur. child, and, instead of the small patches that you get in a Borax mouth, in Natrum mur. you are much more likely to get a sensitive tongue which is red in places and white in places, but not with the little white vesicles which you get in Borax but much more the irregular mapping which you associate with Nat. mur. either in children or in adults.
Then as the Natrum mur. kids get older, they are very liable to develop school headaches-that is to say, under pressure, working too hard, attempting to concentrate too much, they get headaches. The headaches are almost identical with the Baryta carb. headaches; they are frontal headaches, with exactly the same feeling or pressure down over the eyes, and they are brought on by intense effort-mental effort particularly.
Then the temperature reactions in Natrum mur. are definitely different from the temperature reactions in Baryta carb. In Natrum mur. you very often have a chilly child, sensitive to draughts, who will shiver from a change of temperature, and very often start sneezing from a change of temperature; but they are very sensitive to heat-stuffiness particularly-and they are sensitive to exposure to the sun and are very liable to develop a sun headache.
And, of course, when you get it, and you very often do,you find that the majority of these Natrum mur. children have a definite salt craving. When I first started Homoeopathy I didnt believe that one would ever come across the excessive desire for salt that is recorded in the Materia Medica, in children. But you will find in a very short time that you meet case after case in which there is a very definite salt craving in these kids-they will steal salt as other children would steal sugar.
Then there is one other thing that I got into the habit of looking for in children when I was thinking of giving them Natrum mur., and that was that they have a very marked tendency to develop hang-nails, splits up the side of the nails which were horribly sensitive, very painful, and very difficult to heal. It is a little point, but it is quite useful sometimes in practice.
By the way, there is another distinguishing point which is sometimes helpful in trying to pick out these children, and that is the appearance of the skin. In the Baryta carb.-typical Baryta carb. children-they have usually got very little colour, they are sallow, rather earthy looking. In the Borax kids there is very often considerably more colour in the cheeks, the skin in a little more yellow, not quite so earthy looking and a shade more inelastic, thick and greasy.
In the Natrum mur. kids the probability is that they are a little darker still, they flush a little more easily, they perspire a little more easily, and again you have got a slight exaggeration of the greasy appearance.
Well. whenever you begin to think of skins the next thing you run on to as possibility is SEPIA, which has the same kind of sallow greasy skin, and Sepia is a drug which is far too much neglected in the treatment of kids. I was looking after kids for four of five years before it dawned on me that many of the kids who ought to have had Sepia werent getting it.
I think the thing that is outstanding in the Sepia children is their negative attitude to everything. The kids tend to be depressed, moody, indolent, disinclined for work, not even interested in their play. If you attempt to push them they are liable to sulk or weep. They are usually nervy kids, scared of being alone, very often afraid of the dark; and yet they dislike being handled.
They very often have a definite dislike of going to parties, and they give you a thing which you sometimes confuse with Baryta carb., and that is a dislike of playing with other children. It is the sort of thing that later develops into the typical Sepia dislike of meeting its friends, and you often confuse it with the Baryta carb. dislike of people altogether, but mostly it is pure indolence in the Sepia kid, and once they get to a party they are perfectly happy.
Then the next thing about them is that practically all these Sepia children, though so lazy and indolent, are definitely greedy, and if I get a definitely greedy child nowadays I always consider the possibility of Sepia. Then another thing that you will commonly be told by the parents is that these Sepia children, although they loathe to go to a party, when they do get there if they start dancing they wake up at once and are as happy as sand boys; it is astonishing the effect of dancing on these Sepia kids.
I remember one, the heaviest dullest child I had seen for a long time, and I saw it at a party dancing and she was an entirely different being, she had suddenly come alive. It is quite a useful tip if you get it from the parents.
Then there is another odd symptom that one comes across every now and then in children which is a definite Sepia lead, and that is that these slow developing Sepia kids very often develop the habit of head-nodding; I cant explain why; but whenever you get a head-nodding child think of the possibility of Sepia for it, dont dash off to one of the typical chorea drugs at once.