Thursday, April 13, 2017

Personal Hygiene 1880

I was reading through "Home Nursing, and how to help in cases of Accident" by Samuel Benton ©1880 and came across this informative chapter on personal hygiene. I've highlighted a couple of paragraphs that I can see myself taking advantage of in building conflict between characters. Enjoy!

In re-papering a room always take care to have the old paper removed; fancy living or sleeping in a room, as many people do, with the wall papers four or five deep, each one with the exhalations of a generation in process of decomposition. A separate bed should be provided for everyone in the house. Especially should children be prohibited from sleeping together, contaminating each other with their excretions from lungs and skin; it is even worse for a child habitually to sleep with a grown-up person, they only become pale and consumptive. Before getting into bed do not leave your day wearing apparel folded up in a heap, but separate each article so that it may be aired, especially those articles worn nearest the skin.

Under-linen and flannel should be changed at least twice a week; never wear any under-garment by day which is used at night. Always throw back the bedding, and expose it, especially the blankets, to fresh air and sunlight in getting up in the morning. Never fold up a nightshirt, but hang it on a peg to air, or spread it on the back of a chair.

Boys and girls, if left to dress themselves, will usually get out of bed, jump into their clothes, sponge their face and hands, and come down stairs. Children should be taught how to wash all over with soap and water, and rub themselves dry with a rough towel.

Tight-fitting clothes over the chest and round the waist must be prohibited.

Use stocking suspenders in preference to garters, but if the latter are used, always wear them above the knee; when garters are put on below the knee they hinder the venous current of blood towards the heart, and so engender swollen legs, varicose veins and ulcers. High-heeled boots and shoes alter the perpendicular line of the body, and cause fatigue, pain and deformity, also tight boots are a great mistake; to avoid corns and bunions wear boots which allow plenty of room for the toes, and for walking have thick firm soles.

It need only be mentioned with respect to corsets and tight stays, that these things should not be worn. Young growing girls should be encouraged to practise gymnastics on a small scale; it strengthens the spinal and other muscles, also increases the chest capacity. A trapeze and parallel bars can be erected in a dressing room or nursery, and dumb-bells supplied, at a very small cost.

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