London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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London County Council 1913

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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Report of the County Medical Officer—Education.

During the year 80,988 children were reported as having carious teeth, and 33,111 were recommended for treatment. The proportion in the various age-groups was as follows:—

No. examined.Reported as having carious teeth.Recommended for treatment.
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It will be seen that 41 per cent. of the children examined were reported with carious teeth
and 16.8 per cent. were recommended for dental treatment. The serious cases were 13.6 per cent.
among entrants, 19.2 among children 8 to 9, and 18.7 among leavers. In Woolwich over 50 percent
of the leavers examined were recommended for dental treatment, in Kensington less than 2 per cent.
The school doctor in recommending cases for treatment is no doubt influenced to some extent by the.
existing facilities for treatment. In Woolwich there is a centre for dental treatment in the most
thickly populated part of the borough, and it is easily accessible from most of the schools, while in
Kensington no centre exists, and in Greenwich, where also there is no centre, the number referred for
treatment was 9 per cent. of those examined. In both Greenwich and Kensington centres for
providing dental treatment are being instituted. On the other hand, where there is no dental centre
accessible, a large number of cases may be referred for treatment but fail to obtain it.
In addition to the cases of dental caries discovered by the school doctors, the qualified dentists
employed by the Council in inspection in the schools also referred 25,492 cases for treatment. The
examination of the dentist is restricted, however, to children of 6, 7, and 8 years of age. During
the year 31,858 children were specially examined in this way, and 80 per cent. were found to require

The special dental inspections made in 1913 in connection with the several treatment centres are detailed in the following table:—

Centre.No. of children examined.No. of children found to require treatment.Percentage of cases requiring treatment.
Hackney (from 30.9.13)69656280.75
Hammersmith (from 15.7.13)1,01493492.14
Islington (from 26.6.13)1,08887380.25
London Hospital (from 8.10.13)25722386.80
Peckham (from 11.4.13)1,4291,11377.90
Queen's (from 30.6.13)1,2861,11386.56
St. Cecilia's (from 26.6.13)1,04880376.62
St. George's Dispensary2,4312,01983.00
St. Marylebone Dispensary1,8041,58477.82
St. Pancras (from 16.4.13)1,8861,60785.20
South London (Battersea) (from 30.10.13)49145392.26
Western Dispensary (from 3.12.13)30129196.70
Woolwich (from 1.9.13)94776080.26
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Venereal Disease.—Evidence of congenital syphilis among London School Children is comparatively
rarely found in the reports of the school doctors, but it must be borne in mind that these
reports only relate to children in the elementary schools. The presence of the Hutchinsonian type of
teeth was noted in 58 cases. Interstitial Keratitis was reported in 13 children. Skin eruption of a
syphilitic character, or other evidence of the presence of syphilis was found in 15 cases. The
proportion of cases is much higher among children examined as special or urgent cases, and cases
are far more prevalent in Special Schools and Schools for the Physically Defective, particularly the
Blind Schools, in which many cases of defective sight attributable to venereal disease in the parents
are met with. Particulars of enquiries made by Mr. Yearsley and Mr. Harman will be found on pp.
117—122. In the case of one family it was reported that a child under school age was suffering from
congenital syphilis, a brother age 5 was examined and found to be apparently well, while a sister
age 7, who was also examined, was noted to have opacities interfering with vision.

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