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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 11, 2004


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(6):749. doi:10.1001/jama.292.6.749

Very few people seem to realize how much more dangerous, as regards possible infection, is the usual position of the child in the house than that of any other member of the family. The little one creeps about the floor getting its hands soiled with the accumulation of material that has been carried in from the street, unable to protect itself by reason or experience, and consequently likely to handle all sorts of offensive material in any opportunity should arise; and beside living for many hours in the day so close to the floor that every little eddy of air, every little draft that blows from open doors or windows, and every movement of any kind in the room causes the lifting of dust which is usually carried only just high enough to be inhaled by the child or to cover its clothing and thence be removed by its active little hands and carried to its mouth in various ways. It is no wonder that children are subject to infections much more than others, and the surprise often is that they resist so well as they do the opportunities for infection that must be so constantly present.