Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
Annual report on the public health of Finsbury for the year 1910
Where there is reason to apprehend that the infant is neglected
the matter is referred to the National Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Children.
Illness of Infants. - In many homes the babies were found
at the first visit to be suffering from illness or deformity. Some
had measles, pneumonia, erysipelas, diarrhoea, thrush; others
had ophthalmia, rupture, hare lip, a whitlow, sore buttocks, or
One baby was discovered with its thumb black and discoloured,
and containing a piece of broken hat-pin.
One mother was bathing the sore eyes of her baby with milk
from a very dirty jug, and was discarding the lotion given her
for the purpose at the hospital.
One very thin child, 6 months old, had during its short
existence been under treatment at four hospitals, one dispensary,
under two private doctors, and in one home for babies. When
first visited, the mother, impatient with the slow progress of the
infant, was now contemplating still a further change.
Many of the babies were wasting, with muscles soft and flabby.
In every case the appropriate treatment was devised and mother
shown by actual practice how best to carry it out.
Clothes, pneumonia vests, lime water, feeding bottles, and
" Finsbury " cream were provided for the children.
Mothers were shown how to adjust and replace the truss over
a rupture. Children who were acutely ill or wasting were sent
into babies' homes, nursing institutions, and children's hospitals
Where the parents were able to pay for medical treatment they
were always urged to consult their own doctor.