Infant

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INFANT, persons. One under the age of twenty-one years. Co. Litt. 171.
     2. But he is reputed to be twenty-one years old, or of full age, the first instant of the last day of the twenty-first year next before the anniversary of his birth; because, according to the civil computation of time, which differs from the natural computation, the last day having commenced, it is considered as ended. Savig. Dr. Rom. Sec. 182. If, for example, a person were born at any hour of the first day of January, 1810, (even a few minutes before twelve o'clock of the night of that day,) he would be of full age at the first instant of the thirty-first of December, 1831, although nearly forty-eight hours before he had actually attained the full age of twenty-one years, according to years, days, hours and minutes, because there is, in this case, no fraction of a day. 1 Sid. 162; S. C. 1 Keb. 589; 1 Salk. 44; Raym. 84; 1 Bl. Com. 463, 464, note 13, by Chitty; 1 Lilly's, Reg. 57; Com. Dig. Enfant, A; Savig. Dr. Rom. Sec. 383, 384.
     3. A curious case occurred in England of a young lady who was born after the house clock had struck, while the parish clock was striking, and before St. Paul's had begun to strike twelve on the night of the fourth and fifth of January, 1805, and the question was whether she was born on the fourth or fifth of January. Mr. Coventry gives it as his opinion that she was born on the fourth, because the house clock does not regulate anything but domestic affairs, that the parochial clock is much better evidence, and that a metropolitan clock ought to be received with "implicit acquiescence." Cov. on Conv. Ev. 182-3. It is conceived that this can only be prima facie, because, if the fact were otherwise, and the parochial and metropolitan clocks should both have been wrong, they would undoubtedly have had no effect in ascertaining the age of the child.
     4. The sex makes no difference, a woman is therefore an infant until she has attained her age of twenty-one years. Co. Litt. 171. Before arriving at full infant may do many acts. A male at fourteen is of discretion, and may consent to marry; and at that age he may disagree to and annul a marriage he may before that time have contracted he may then choose a guardian and, if his discretion be proved, may, at common law, make a will of his personal estate; and may act as executor at the age of seventeen years. A female at seven may be betrothed or given in marriage; at nine she is entitled to dower; at twelve may consent or disagree to marriage; and, at common law, at seventeen may act as executrix.
     5. Considerable changes of the common law have probably taken place in many of the states. In Pennsylvania, to act as an executor, the party must be of full age. In general, an infant is not bound by his contracts, unless to supply him for necessaries. Selw. N. P. 137; Chit. Contr. 31; Bac. Ab. Infancy, &c. I 3; 9 Vin. Ab. 391; 1 Com. Contr. 150,.151; 3 Rawle's R. 351; 8 T. R. 335; 1 Keb. 905, 913; S. C. 1 Sid. 258; 1 Lev. 168; 1 Sid. 129; 1 Southard's R. 87. Sed vide 6 Cranch, 226; 3 Pick. 492; 1 Nott & M'Cord, 197. Or, unless he is empowered to enter into a contract, by some legislative provision; as, with the consent of his parent or guardian to put himself apprentice, or to enlist in the service of the United States. 4 Binn. 487; 5 Binn. 423.
     6. Contracts made with him, may be enforced or avoided by him on his coming of age. See Parties to contracts; Voidable. But to this general rule there is an exception; he cannot avoid contracts for necessaries, because these are for his benefit. See Necessaries. The privilege of avoiding a contract on account of infancy, is strictly personal to the infant, and no one can take advantage of it but himself. 3 Green, 343; 2 Brev. 438. When the contract has been performed, and it is such as he would be compellable by law to perform, it will be good and bind him. Co. Litt. 172 a. And all the acts of an infant, which do not touch his interest, but take effect from an authority which he has been trusted to execute, are binding. 3 Burr. 1794; Fonb. Eq., b. 1, c. 2, Sec. 5, note c.
     7. The protection which the law gives an infant is to operate as a shield to him, to protect him from improvident contracts, but not as a sword to do injury to others. An infant is therefore responsible for his torts, as, for slander, trespass, and the like; but he cannot be made responsible in an action ex delicto, where the cause arose on a contract. 3 Rawle's R. 351; 6 Watts' R. 9; 25 Wend. 399; 3 Shep. 233; 9 N. H. Rep. 441; 10 Verm. 71; 5 Hill, 391. But see contra, 6 Cranch, 226; 15 Mass. 359; 4 M'Cord, 387.
     8. He is also punishable for a crime, if of sufficient discretion, or doli capax. 1 Russ. on Cr. 2, 3. Vide, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.; Bing. on Infancy; 1 Hare & Wall. Sel. Dec. 103, 122; the various Abridgments and Digests, tit. Enfant, Infancy; and articles Age; Birth; Capax Doli; Dead born; Foetus; In ventre sa mere.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The discharge of premature infants occurs independent of housing conditions and competence of parents, but home visits around the time of discharge should serve to verify the actual conditions in which the family lives, their potential, and enable the best conditions and moment for the discharge.
Seven of eight studies [23, 25-27, 30, 33, 34, 36] that included premature infants with chronic lung disease reported a statistically significant reduction in children who received palivizumab compared to those who did not; the reduction varied between 0.5 and 29%.
Medical charts of premature infants, who were screened for ROP at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Baskent University, Faculty of Medicine between June 2007 and December 2011, were retrospectively reviewed.
In a Cochrane Neonatal Review, eight trials comparing formula with human donor milk indicated that formula did result in higher growth rates in premature infants, but the trials also revealed that formula posed a higher risk of developing NEC (Quigley, Henderson, Anthony, & McGuire, 2007).
In this study, premature infants were divided into 3 groups, one group was not given TPN, the second one was given amino acids only and the third group was given amino acids and intralipids As shown in Table 6, there were significant differences between groups for total parenteral nutrition (TPN), and they were highly significant when amino acids and intralipids were used together.
All premature infants with gestational age less than 32 weeks or less than 1500 g birth weight should be initially screened with ultrasound at 3 to 7 days.
Extremely premature infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit often suffer from DIC, sepsis, and PNAC.
POFRAS was applied by the same researcher in all preterm infants, about fifteen minutes before receiving the diet by orogastric tube, in the evening period according to the routine of the hospital, with the premature baby being accommodated inside the incubator, it is emphasized that all the premature infants were feeding via catheter.
There are no studies evaluating the effect of smelling amniotic fluid, which may be considered useful in reducing pain and increasing comfort during peripheral cannulation in premature infants. Applications carried out in accordance with the results obtained by this initiative could be supportive in the care of premature infants.
Baseline weights in the two groups of premature infants, who were born at an average of 27 weeks' gestation and began the study at an average age of about 30 weeks' postmenstrual age, were 970 g in the controls and 960 g in the infants who received target fortification.
It is well documented that a family's ability to adjust to and cope with caring for a premature infant determines the infant's health outcomes.