The ailing child tells us little in words. Under 2½ years he tells us nothing of his symptoms. Even in children who talk, sensations are likely to be unnoticed or ill described or wrongly referred. Therefore, when we examine an infant or young child, we expect nothing from subjective symptoms. This makes it the more important that objective symptoms be closely studied and correctly interpreted by the pediatrist.
I would not be understood as belittling the importance of learning the history of a case. I have no patience with the self-confident clinician who places so much reliance in his own learned touch and omniscient glance that he scorns to listen to the history of a case, but proceeds at once to divine a diagnosis.
Much may often be learned from the child's attendant: his name, age, sex, heredity, residence, surroundings—as to hygiene—feeding, previous illness or injuries, onset and duration of