TEMPERATURE OF THE WATER
When the warm bath is used as a measure of hygiene, as a general rule, any degree of temperature may be chosen between 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degree Celsius) and 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degree Celsius), which appears to be most agreeable to the child; but it should not exceed 98 F. When ordered as a remedial measure, the temperature will of course be fixed by the medical attendant.
The same degree of temperature must be kept up during the whole period of immersion. For this purpose the thermometer must be kept in the bath and additions of warm water made as the temperature is found to decrease. These additions of warm water, however, must be regulated by the indications of the thermometer and not by the feelings of the child.
PERIOD OF REMAINING IN THE BATH
This must depend upon circumstances. As a measure of hygiene, it must be varied according to the age of the child. For the first four or five weeks, the infant should not be kept in beyond three or four minutes and the duration must afterward be gradually prolonged as the child advances in age, until it extends to a quarter of an hour, a period which may be allowed after it has attained the age of four years.
When the bath is employed as a remedial agent, the time of immersion must be prolonged; this will be determined by the medical adviser. Speaking generally, a quarter of an hour may be said to be the shortest period, an hour the longest, and half an hour the medium.
When in the bath, care must be taken that the child’s body is immersed up to the shoulders or neck, otherwise that part of the body which is out of the bath (the shoulders, arms, and chest), being exposed to the cooler temperature of the air, will be chilled.
When the infant or child is taken out of the bath, the general surface, especially the feet, must be carefully rubbed dry with towels previously warmed; and when one of the objects of the bath is to excite much perspiration, the child should be immediately wrapped in flannel and put to bed. When, however, the object is not to excite perspiration, the child may be dressed in his ordinary clothing, but should not be allowed to expose himself to the open air for at least an hour.
TIME OF USING THE BATH
When resorted to for sudden illness, the bath must of course be employed at any time needed. When used for any complaint of long standing, or a measure of hygiene, as a general rule, it should be taken between breakfast and dinner, about two hours after the former, or an hour and a half before the latter. This implies that the infant should never be put into the bath after having been freely nourished at the breast. Neither should it ever be used when the child is in a state of free perspiration from exercise, or on awaking from sleep.
Note: this article is written in good faith. Please always consult your doctor before taking any action.