Rules for Children, 1904

A class of German school children, photographed in 1904.

Quick Quotes 20.  The following quote is taken from On the Healthy Home Life of School Children, by Professor Dr. Leo Burgerstein, published in English in 1904 and translated from the original German text by R.T. Williamson.

It is unfortunately a common delusion that alcoholic beverages are strengthening. Except when prescribed as a medicine, by a doctor, they should not be taken by school children.

The table beverages for children should be water or milk.

Strong stimulants, such as strong coffee and strong tea, are also injurious to children. It is a great mistake to take them with the object of overcoming fatigue during the preparation for examinations.

Parents should provide their children with their own drinking glasses or cups (when such are required) for use in the school; glasses should not be borrowed from other scholars.

The greatest caution should be observed with respect to drinking water in districts where it is not quite free from suspicion of impurity, and especially in parts where epidemics of typhoid fever or cholera are liable to occur, or at times when such diseases are prevalent. The drinking water for daily consumption should be boiled, covered over, and allowed to cool. The taste may be improved by the addition of a little lemon juice.

Unfortunately, smoking is becoming more and more common amongst school children, and more common at an earlier age. Apparently the chief inducement to the habit is because it is forbidden. The tact of the teacher will be needed in choosing, in each case, according to the temperament of the scholar, the most suitable means of checking this habit.

It is important, on grounds of health, that the scholar should be accustomed to have the bowels moved daily at a definite hour — before school, or at least not during school hours. If the bowels are regular, much fluid should not be drunk just before going to bed; also the urine should be passed just before getting into bed.

The scholar should wash the hands, face, and neck thoroughly in the morning. The teeth should be cleaned with a tooth-brush which is not too hard, both on the outer and inner surfaces, and the mouth then washed out thoroughly. (A little spirit or common salt may be added with advantage to the water used for washing out the mouth.)

If possible, the scholar should not study after the supper or evening meal. He may then devote himself to some light occupation of his own choosing. Amusements which are exciting, or which are continued late at night, as well as exciting reading, should be avoided.


“Quick Quotes” are some bonus content for the blog. Each time I find an interesting or amusing little quote from and old (verging on forgotten) book, that does not really need any further explanation or background information, it will appear on Windows into History under this heading. You can keep updated each time I post a new entry by clicking on the follow button on the right of the screen. I welcome any comments or suggestions, and will consider guest posts.

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About Roger Pocock

Author of windowsintohistory.wordpress.com Co-writer on junkyardview.wordpress.com Administrator of frontiersmenhistorian.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in 20th Century, Books, History, People, Quick Quotes, School and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Rules for Children, 1904

  1. Alli Templeton says:

    My grandmother used to give my dad a bit of whiskey in his night bottle to help him sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

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