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

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Acton 1894

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Acton]

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The following table compares the death rate of children under one year per thousand registered births, and the birth rate for the last eight years.

Birth RatePer Thousand.Deaths of Children under 1 year Per Thousand Registered Births.
188728.7147
188831.1182
188934.1175
189028.3151
189130.8146
189230.5185
189331.9192.5
189430.2159.4
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This high infant mortality is due to a great extent to the
deplorable ignorance that exists both amongst the poorer and in some
cases the more educated classes, as to the suitable food to give a
child brought up by hand.
It is especially a difficult subject to approach with
regard to the poor women, who are at work all day and leave the
infant to the care of children, or possibly some equally ignorant
person.
The plan that I have adopted is to give printed cards to
the mothers and nurses as to the character and amount of food
to be given at each meal, also minute directions how to prepare
the food, and the suitable feeding bottle to be used.
In some cases I find it necessary to instruct them
personally in their homes, and not to lose sight of the infant
until it begins to thrive.


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