Some illnesses could be merely a nuisance or inconvenience, like repeated bouts of colds and coughs, fevers and agues, or worms, especially when they struck older children; but in infants, and on occasion in older children as well, they could suddenly, and often inexplicably, turn deadly. Early modern people tried to prevent and cure illnesses using both medical and non-medical means—and the line between the two was not always clear. When parents recounted an individual child’s illness or death, they cited an assortment of possible causes. Domestic recipe books, where women collected, copied and circulated recipes for medicines that would then be used in cases of illness, contained remedies for the same children’s diseases that were listed in the medical texts. Since the beginning of the history of childhood as a scholarly field, historians have debated the reasons for the high number of child deaths in the past.