Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Luton Child Welfare Scheme

Children at Biggleswade, c.1900 [Z50/142/425]

Thursday 29th July 1915: The Maternity and Child Welfare Centre recently set up at Luton is already doing much useful work. During the last month 179 visits have been made by mothers with their babies and over 100 babies have been seen. The Centre does not yet have a Health Visitor and is therefore relying on voluntary workers. They carry out three main tasks: weighing babies, advising on feeding, and giving short talks to the mothers. Medical advice is given where necessary.

Of great concern at this time of year is the effect of infantile diarrhoea during the hot weather. Those babies who are breastfed are safe, but those fed on cow’s milk are at grave risk. The number of deaths can be greatly reduced if dried milk is used instead of cow’s milk and the Council has agreed to spending £5 on a certain brand which will be sold to mothers at cost price. A similar scheme at Rotherham had seen over 400 babies partially fed on dried milk. Only who were wholly fed on it had died, and it was estimated that over 40 or 50 deaths had been prevented. The Mayor told the Council that he believed that as so many young men were being lost it was their duty to do everything in their power to conserve young life.

Source: Luton Times and Advertiser, 30th July 1915

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