A subtle contamination of the food by germs of disease, difficult to discover, is among the causes of fermentative diarrhea common among infants in the summer time. A simple diarrhea has been foolishly declared to be an essential thing during teething. This is a gross mistake and might prove to be a fatal error. A protracted diarrhea may result in a slowly developing enteritis which may pass on to ileocolitis.
It is difficult to convince some mothers of the extreme seriousness of choosing to raise the infant on artificial food. Every influence should be brought to bear to induce them to nurse the child if possible at least through the summer months until frost appears.
Recent observations have proven that bacteria develop with extreme rapidity in cold milk. This is contrary to the commonly accepted opinion. Milk is allowed to remain warm many times, for hours and then is put on ice. There are severe cases of diarrhea which occur on hot days which are due to this milk alone.
Furthermore it is impossible to thoroughly cleanse bottles and nipples, and the essential paraphernalia of the nursing child. Another cause of infection is the fact that a child will vomit on the pillow on which it is sleeping. This will be simply wiped off, decomposition of that portion of it which remains in the meshes of the cloth is sufficient to do harm.
Attention is now being called, and justly so, to the influence of flies in carrying infection during the summer time. All of these causes result in gastro-intestinal disorders which may become unmanageable. It is not possible to exercise too great an influence over the care that is taken in preparing the summer food for infants.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.