Baby sleeping in the open air (1895)

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Sleeping in the open air

There is a widespread and foolish superstition that children should not be allowed to sleep in the open, which we see very often illustrated in our streets by nurse or mother, shaking or stirring up the sleeping mite, and reiterating the command that “Baby must not go to sleep.”

The secret of this prevalent idea is doubtless the fact that during sleep the temperature of the body is slightly lowered, because there is decreased rapidity in the vital functions, those of respiration and circulation being markedly slower than during the waking hours.

Owing to this, children are more liable to take cold when asleep than when awake, and therefore the necessity for increased care in the avoidance of the risk of chill. A carefully arranged shawl, however, is a sufficient safeguard, and the advantages of sleeping in fresh air are so obvious that such a small obstacle ought not to stand in the way of the great benefit to children.

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