The Review and Herald


January 9, 1900

Disease and Its Causes

Care of Children


Parents are accountable, in a great degree, for the physical health of their children. Those children who survive the abuses received in their infancy, are not out of danger in their childhood. Their parents still pursue a wrong course toward them. Their limbs, as well as their arms, are left almost naked. Mothers dress the upper part of their limbs with muslin pantalets, which reach about to the knee, while the lower part of their limbs is covered with only one thickness of flannel or cotton, and their feet are dressed with thin-soled gaiter boots. RH January 9, 1900, Art. B, par. 1

The extremities are chilled, and the heart has thrown upon it double labor, in forcing the blood into these chilled extremities; and when the blood has performed its circuit through the body, and returned to the heart, it is not the same vigorous warm current that left it. It has been chilled in its passage through the limbs. The heart, weakened by too great labor, and poor circulation of poor blood, is then compelled to still greater exertion, in order to throw the blood to the extremities, which are never as healthfully warm as other parts of the body. The heart fails in its efforts, and the limbs become habitually cold; and the blood, which is chilled away from the extremities, is thrown back upon the lungs and brain, and inflammation and congestion of the lungs or of the brain is the result. RH January 9, 1900, Art. B, par. 2

God holds mothers accountable for the diseases their children are compelled to suffer. Mothers bow at the shrine of fashion, and sacrifice the health and lives of their children. Many mothers are ignorant of the result of their course in thus clothing their children. But should they not inform themselves, where so much is at stake? Is ignorance a sufficient excuse for you who possess reasoning powers? You can inform yourselves if you will, and dress your children healthfully. RH January 9, 1900, Art. B, par. 3

Parents may give up the expectation of their children's having health while they dress them in cloaks and furs, and load down those portions of the body with clothing where there is no call for such an amount, while leaving the extremities, which should have especial protection, almost naked. The portions of the body close to the lifesprings need less covering than the limbs, which are remote from the vital organs. If the limbs and feet could have the extra coverings usually put upon the shoulders, lungs, and heart, and healthy circulation be induced to the extremities, the vital organs would act their part healthfully, with only their share of clothing. RH January 9, 1900, Art. B, par. 4

I appeal to you, mothers; do you not feel alarmed and heartsick in seeing your children pale and dwarfed, suffering with catarrh, influenza, croup, scrofulous swellings upon the face and neck, inflammation and congestion of lungs and brain? Have you studied from cause to effect? Have you provided for them a simple, nutritious diet, free from grease and spices? Have you not been influenced by fashion, in clothing your children? Leaving their arms and limbs insufficiently protected has been the cause of a vast amount of disease and premature deaths. There is no reason why the feet and limbs of your girls should not be in every way as warmly clad as those of your boys. Boys, accustomed to exercise out of doors, become inured to cold and exposure, and are actually less liable to colds when thinly clad than are the girls, because the open air seems to be their natural element. Delicate girls accustom themselves to live indoors, in a heated atmosphere, and yet they go from the heated room out of doors with their limbs and feet seldom better protected from the cold than while remaining in a warm room. The air soon chills their limbs and feet, and prepares the way for disease. RH January 9, 1900, Art. B, par. 5

Your girls should wear the waists of their dresses perfectly loose, and should have a style of dress convenient, comfortable, and modest. In cold weather they should wear warm flannel or cotton drawers, which can be placed inside the stockings. Over these should be warm lined pants, which may be full, gathered into a band and buttoned around the ankle, or they may taper at the bottom and meet the shoe. The dress should reach below the knee. With this style of dress, one light skirt, or at most two, is all that is necessary, and should be buttoned to a waist. The shoes should be thick-soled, and perfectly comfortable. With this style of dress, your girls will be no more in danger in the open air than are your boys. And their health would be much better were they to live more out of doors, even in winter, than to be confined to the warm air of a room heated by a stove. RH January 9, 1900, Art. B, par. 6

It is a sin in the sight of heaven for parents to dress their children as they do. The only excuse that they can make is that it is fashion. They can not plead modesty in thus exposing the limbs of their children, with only one covering drawn tight over them. They can not plead that it is healthful, or really attractive. Because others will continue to follow this health-and life-destroying practice, is no excuse for those who style themselves reformers. Because everybody around you follows a fashion that is injurious to health, it will not make your sin a whit the less, nor be any guaranty for the health and life of your children. RH January 9, 1900, Art. B, par. 7