INFANTS are very much subject to colic, from over feeding and consequent acidity of the stomach, from giving them solid food at too tender an age, and from some improper thing eaten or drunk by the mother or nurse. They often suffer intensely from these pains, tossing their legs up and down, and screaming vehemently. When it arises from costiveness, the bowels are often hard and swollen.
Treatment. When it arises from costiveness, give an injection of a tablespoonful of castor oil, and a half ounce of warm infusion of peppermint or spearmint. At the same time, administer internally an infusion of one of the same herbs, with a small portion of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in it, and sweetened with loaf sugar. Or, if the bowels need to be acted upon, the syrup of rhubarb, or the sweet tincture of rhubarb, with a little soda in it, will do well. Paregoric generally brings relief, but should not be used, if simple carminatives will answer the purpose. Children are often relieved by covering them with a hot flannel, laying them upon the belly on the knee, and trotting them, at the same time tapping them gently upon the back. This should be done cautiously; for if unsuccessful, it might increase the suffering; and the infant has no language but screams to tell its distress. Five drops of aromatic spirits of ammonia, with same amount of spirits of lavender, in warm water, relieve, if often repeated, most cases.
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