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January 19, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(3):156. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26010030003009e

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It is the common practice for physicians and the "baby books" to recommend the training of infants to have regular movements of the bowels by the insertion into the anus of the end of an ordinary clinical thermometer, or by the use of small glycerin or soap suppositories. The use of suppositories is objectionable, owing to their expense and the possibility of irritating the delicate mucous membrane through their hygroscopic properties, when they have to be employed very frequently. The soap suppository is liable also to prove irritating if used often, and unless a fresh suppository is made for each occasion, the practice is unclean and not hygienic. The clinical thermometer is expensive; it is delicate and very likely to be broken, possibly within the anus; and, being straight, it is clumsy when the infant ismade to sit up on a chair or chamber.

These disadvantages of the usual methods

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