Sore throat is quite common in children. When the
tonsils are involved, it is called tonsilitis; when the larynx is involved, the
child's cough will be croupy--this is named catarrhal croup; and when the
pharynx is involved, it is named pharyngitis. But what is in a name'?
These different names are given to catarrhal sore throat, depending on the part
of the throat involved in the inflammation.
The cause is gastric (stomach) indigestion, brought on
from overeating, or improper eating; or the eating may not be excessive or
particularly unsuitable, but the child may be enervated from excessive play,
excitement, or anxiety in school work. It is common in children of low
resistance--delicate children, children of neurotic parents--to have frequent
sick spells. They will be sick at the stomach, or constipated,
have a sore throat, or be croupy. Frequently these nervous children are put to
bed apparently as well as usual, but often awaken during the night coughing,
croupy, or vomiting, and by morning develop quite a sore throat or acute
gastritis, vomiting frequently throughout the day, with more or less fever,
pungent breath, and thirst, which later, if satisfied with water, increases the
Too great a variety of food is bad for neurotic
children. Fresh bread or cooked breakfast foods are bad forms of starch to feed
them; for their tendency is to eat too fast--they rush such food into their
stomachs without sufficient insalivation. This induces fermentation, bringing
about a continuous acid state of the stomach. If jam, jelly, syrup, or honey is
eaten with the fresh bread, or if sugar and cream are used on the breakfast
mushes, the sweets intensify the fermentation--acidity of the stomach--building
catarrh of the stomach, chronic catarrh of the throat, enlargement of the
tonsils, nasal catarrh, adenoids, etc. These children have the so-called
catching-cold habit, which in actuality means that they have frequent crises of
Toxemia. Such children are always more or less enervated and toxemic, resulting
in crises such as are explained above with the various
names--distinctions without fundamental differences.
Sugar and too much butter, and the foods made by
combining sugar, cream, or butter and flour together, are stomach-disturbers.
Candy, chocolate, and sweets cause neurotic children lots of trouble.
Children who are allowed to
eat between meals, except an apple or a like quantity of some other fresh fruit
when they get home from school in the afternoon, will certainly come to grief
sooner or later. Eating between meals is a pernicious habit, and those who do
so are children whose resistance is so broken, who are so enervated and
toxemic, that they become easy--ready--victims of every so-called epidemic
influence, which should be defined as: Any marked fall or rise in the
temperature of the weather, or continued wet, dry, cold, or hot weather. Any of
these changes adds, so to speak, the last straw--the last modicum--of
enervating influence (to an already enervated and toxemic body) necessary to
create a crisis of Toxemia. Just what character the crisis will assume, or what
organ or organs will be involved, will depend upon what part of the child's
organism is the most vulnerable. After feast-days or holidays, most children
have been overindulged, and their stomachs rebel at the abuse given them.
Possibly the throat is the most sensitive portion of the mucous membrane; it
may be that the cecum and colon have been rendered vulnerable because of
constipation; or other parts of the mucous membrane may be the most sensitive.
The crises--the so-called diseases--will take place at whatever point (organ or
tissue) has the least resistance.
This is the reason why so large a number of children in
a populous center, and their so-called disease, are so similar that it has
given rise to the superstition named epidemics of colds, 'flu,'
angina (sore-throat type), eruptive fevers, etc., etc. This is why the medical
mind works overtime in perfecting its superstitions, such as contagion, germ
influence, quarantine, vaccination, immunization, and, neither last nor least,
fear, which when once started, adds the most potential influence for breaking
down the community's last remaining resistance.
So solid is the superstition built about epidemics,
contagion, and vaccination that it presents a veritable Gibraltar
against the walls of which rationalism makes little progress.
No one is susceptible to the physical changes of
environment, however extreme they are, to the extent of going down with the
first contingent who fall before a so-called epidemic influence, unless he is
enervated and toxemic. This is true of children also. Sharp physical changes
enervate these already enervated beyond their resistance. A monotonous state of
heat, cold, wet, or dry further enervates the enervated and forces them into a
crisis of Toxemia. Parents who would have their children escape the so-called
epidemics should build their children's resistance when they are well by giving
them proper care before they get sick.
If this is neglected, and the children get sick with
sore throat or any other so-called disease, stop all food and wash out the
bowels with warm-water enemas, night and morning. Give the child all the water
desired, if there is no nausea or vomiting. Keep something warm to the feet. If
there is any discomfort in the bowels, keep on a hot pack. Do not disturb the
stomach and bowels by giving laxatives. Why give drugs? Why not get away from
the superstition of curing disease? All that people need when they are sick is
to stay in bed, keep warm, and let food religiously alone until the tongue is
clean and the patient is absolutely comfortable. Break the fast by giving
orange juice and water, equal parts, morning, , and night for the first day. If all goes well, the
second day give an orange in the morning, vegetable soup at noon, and a little
toasted bread and butter, eaten dry and followed with a cup of hot water and
two teaspoonfuls of cream, for the evening meal. If all is going well,
regulation meals may be given the next day, holding the child back so that it
will not overeat.