This may well have been a historic occasion because so far as I have been able to ascertain, this was the first time that a symposium on the important subject of colic in infants had ever been presented at a national meeting of pediatricians. Due to the fact that little attention is paid to colic in institutions, this disorder has rarely received the attention of the full-time academic pediatrician (unless he has experienced it in his own family). For that reason interns and residents all too commonly encounter this frustrating problem only on starting private practice when it becomes a matter of great importance and concern.
Our fundamental knowledge of what is termed "colic" is so uncertain that it is appropriate in discussing this subject to quote a remark by Tenney, "And so it is with colic; maybe there is no such thing, but there is certainly something that makes perfectly healthy babies cry almost unbelievably loud and long without interfering with their perfect health." For the purposes of this discussion colic may be defined as a symptom complex of early infancy characterized by evidence of intermittent abdominal pain of varying degrees of severity for which no organic or obvious physiological cause can be regularly demonstrated.
For discussion of this subject pediatricians were selected who for the most part, because of part-time positions on the teaching staffs of medical schools, would be expected to have academic as well as practical interest in this problem and who, because of their varying interests, have considered the problem from different viewpoints. Attention is directed particularly to the fact that among the 8 papers presented at this symposium only 2 were by pediatric allergists, Dr. Fries' and Dr. Ratner's.
- Copyright © 1956 by the American Academy of Pediatrics