Sprue is a whitish, stringy-like substance that collects in the mouth, under the tongue and around the gums--in fact, all over the inside of the mouth when the condition is bad. It is caused by too frequent feeding from a mother who has eaten too much of the starchy foods. If a child is properly fed, and not fed more than three or four times at the most in the daytime, and not at all during the night, there will be no trouble of this kind.
If, however, the condition appears, it can be overcome without much trouble if the mother who is nursing the child will cut out all the starchy food for a few days and eat more freely of the fresh fruits and raw vegetable salads, together with the regulation dinner in the evening, consisting of meat, cooked vegetables, and salad.
I do not approve of any of the mouth-washes that are suggested to be used at such a time. This is merely palliation, and the real cause, not being recognized and done away with, will build more trouble in the future. It means that the mother is building an acid condition through her overeating on starch; and this will build further trouble for her also later on.
There should be little or no trouble with the eyes of a baby, if it is properly cared for. One of the principal things to watch is the cleansing of the wash-cloth that is used on the baby's eyes. In fact, the wash-cloth should be used on the body of the child, but a small piece of cotton should be used on the eyes, mouth, and the parts of the body where there is any secretion to be removed. Then the cotton can be thrown away and a new piece used each time. The eyes should be bathed in warm water. If there seems to be some irritation, a little salt may be added to the water, but nothing else.