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Image provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives
Newspaper Page Text
Save The Babies
By Roland R. Cross, M. D. Agency Physician, Pine Ridge, S. Dak. E as physicians in the Indian Service know from experi ence that he death rate among Indian children is very high. I have come to the conclusion that two-thirds of the infants who die on this reservation nnder one year of age die of gastro-intestinal trouble. The question natural ly arises, what is the cause, prevention and treatment of this disease? The causes are: first, permitting the baby to nurse too frequently second, bottle feeding, uncleanliness. Prevention: Do not allow the baby to nurse so often—every two hours until three months old, then every three hours. Mothers should establish the above rule and not vary from it. Do not start the baby on bottle feeding except upon the advice of a competent physician. Keep the baby clean. Bathe the baby once a day. Do not allow the baby to wear a soiled nap kin. Give the baby a drink every four hours of luke warm water, previously boiled. Don't forget to give the baby a drink. Use a medicine dropper. Treatment: Furnish the physician with sufficient castor oil to give each mother a bottle and when given instruct her to give the baby a teaspoonful when she first notices its illness. I know of no better household remedy than castor oil. It is a safe, mild, and speedy cathartic for children, antiseptic to the inflamed mucous lining of the stomach and intestines. Physiologically speaking, castor oil is non-irritant until it reaches the duodenum, where it is decomposed by the pancreatic juice, setting free the ricinoleic acid which pro duces evacuation. It stimulates the intestinal glands and muscular coat. In one to two teaspoonful doses it produces an evacuation of the bowel in from four to six hours without pain or tenesmus, fol lowed by a sedative effect upon the intestines. I believe if this sim ple preparation was placed in the hands of all Indian mothers with the proper instructions that many deaths among infants could be prevented. 14.