This little ebook has been written for the young and inexperienced mother. It is intended to furnish her with that information which the experience and observation of some years convince the author, young mothers, almost without any exception, do not possess; and yet, from ignorance of which, the constitution of many an infant has received irretrievable injury, and life itself but too frequently fallen a sacrifice.
In the first chapters, devoted to the general management of the child in health, the author has endeavoured to teach the young mother, that the prevention of disease is her province, not its cure; that to this object all her best efforts must be directed; and, moreover, that to tamper with medicine, when disease has actually commenced, is to hazard the life of her offspring.
In the fourth chapter it has been attempted to point out, how the first symptoms of disease may be early detected by the parent. The subject has been felt to be a difficult one, and to give particular directions quite out of the question; but it is hoped that the suggestions thrown out will, in some measure, answer the purpose intended. On the advantage of an early and prompt application of remedies in the diseases of childhood, generally so active in their progress and severe in their character, it is unnecessary to offer any observation.
The latter part of the work, consisting of the maternal management of disease, the author regards as a subject of high and serious moment. Small as is the attention which has been hitherto paid to it, yet, in the diseases of infancy and childhood, how invaluable is a careful and judicious maternal superintendence to give effect to the measures prescribed by the physician.
The author has endeavoured to arrange the contents of the work in a manner which shall be most easily understood and readily available; and he now publishes it with the desire to supply, in some degree, a deficiency in this important department of knowledge.