The Health Reformer


January 1, 1874

Children's Winter Dress


There is a fashionable way and a healthful way to dress a child. Mothers generally pay more attention to the former than to the latter. It is doubtless very pretty and becoming to dress a little girl in short skirts, covering her daintily-shaped ankle and handsome limb with a thin, silken or cotton stocking, encasing her foot in a thin-soled and exquisitely shaped shoe, while her shoulders are loaded with cloak, furs, and scarf. She looks well—presents an elegant appearance, in fact, and the mother is pleased thereat. HR January 1, 1874, par. 1

It is really distressing to witness this manner of dressing children during the winter months. No grown person could be comfortable for a moment in such a rig, and it is only from constant exercise in running that children so clad can secure any degree of comfort while upon the street. Dressing their extremities so thinly is not only uncomfortable, but unhealthful as well. When they run, becoming heated in play, and then sit or stand in the open air, the blood is driven rapidly from the extremities to the trunk, exposing the little ones to congestion of the lungs and mucous surfaces, when they are said to have a “bad cold.” HR January 1, 1874, par. 2

See that your children wear snugly-fitting, woolen, or canton-flannel drawers next their skin; over this the stocking may be drawn, and, in the colder days, woolen leggings should be worn over all. Let their shoes be thick and covered by warm overshoes; their limbs may not look so neatly, but they will certainly be comfortable, and the corresponding improvement in the health of your children will more than repay you for your temporary mortification at their unfashionable appearance. HR January 1, 1874, par. 3