FEVER indicates poisoning (not drug poisoning), usually decomposition in the intestine. It means that there is a mass of rotting food in the food tube poisoning the body.
It, means something else--namely: Nutrition is suspended until the poisoning is overcome. It means that no more food should be given to the child until all fever and other symptoms are gone. It means that nothing but water, as demanded by thirst, should be given to the patient.
So long as there is fever and diarrhea, no food, of whatever character, can be of any use to the child. If the child appears to be hungry it is thirst. Give it water, for food will not relieve thirst.
If food is given to the feverish infant it usually vomits it up immediately; nature refusing food as fast as well meaning, but misguided parents and attendants force it upon the child.
Bear in mind that the food decomposed and poisoned the child because the child's digestive power had been greatly impaired and that to give it more food, under such conditions, is only to add to the poisoning.
The disease will last until the poisons have been eliminated and the decomposing food has been voided. Fever, vomiting and purging are natures methods of getting rid of the poison and when these cases are fasted and not fed such troubles soon end. There is no danger in them. Feeding and drugging are the elements of danger. Never permit your child to be drugged and do not permit the physician to reduce (suppress) its fever.
When animals, young and old, become sick they instinctively refrain from eating. Warmth, quiet and fasting, with a little water, are all they want. When they take nourishment, it is a sure sign that they are recovering. They eat but little at first and gradually eat more as they grow better. They never worry about calories or protein requirements, either.
Infants call for warmth, quiet and fasting, plus water. They will take nourishment, if they are not given water, because they are thirsty. But they are made sicker each time they take it.
The body never preforms any of what Dr. Tilden calls "Hindoo tricks" in this matter of taking nourishment. It does not digest and absorb food when digestion is suspended and the membranes of the stomach and intestine are exuding matter instead of absorbing it. It is exuding fluid to aid in expelling the mass of putresence in the food tube and to protect the walls of the tube and any irritated surface from the irritation. Sometimes nature even rejects water, expelling it by vomiting, as often as it is forced down. How foolish, in such cases to continue to force food and drugs on the patient and water into his stomach. Nature is trying to protect herself by this vomiting. She even guards herself against water by creating a bad taste in the mouth that causes the patient to refuse water.
"In all sick stomachs," says Dr. Tilden, "especially in Typhoid or cholera infantum, there is an irritation due to the bad effect of decomposition, and the nausea and vomiting is a conservative measure, and, rightly interpreted mean, a suspension of absorption and a pouring out of the water of the blood and other secretions for the purpose of immunizing and flushing" the stomach and intestine.
Parents; if you are wise, you will never feed your sick children. Be not afraid to let them fast. For, everyday that they fast lessens' their illness and their danger. Feeding adds to their suffering and danger and prolongs their illness.