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

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Barking 1948

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Barking]

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In certain foreign parts, particularly where cattle and sheep are reared (such
as Australia) worms, or at least certain larval stages in their development, may be
picked up from too intimate contact with dogs. This, however, is not at all likely
to occur in England and certainly not
in Barking. Even so, it is never
wise to let your child kiss her dog's nose.
Very occasionally children do catch
certain types of ringworm from domestic
animals but this is not very common and,
of course, ringworm is caused by a fungus
and not by vermin.
TotalNumber of examinations
in the schools by the school
nurses or other authorised
persons 14,325
Total number of individual
pupils found to be infested 463
Number of individual pupils in
respect of whom cleansing
notices were issued 69
Very often when a little girl's hair is
found to be lousy, the family pet is blamed
for harbouring the lice. This may be a
convenient excuse but I am afraid it is
doing an injustice to the animal. Lousy
heads, generally speaking, come from other lousy heads. Nor is this necessarily
a disadvantage for every head cleansed means the prevention of further infestation,
though, of course—contrariwise—every dirty head in a family, not cleansed,
perpetuates the trouble.
In my last report I did point out how I have great sympathy with the overburdened
mother who, in a crowded house with too many babies and too little
money, does eventually give up the fight or is driven to lower her standards.
Though it may be that "to understand is to forgive" this does not mean
that we need to rest satisfied with the present position.
Indeed your school nurses last year did examine carefully every school child
and they did continue to give advice and help wherever needed.
Question:—What provision is made for children who cannot be
educated in ordinary schools ?
Answer:—There are officially eleven categories of children handicapped in
one way or another who require special educational facilities, in some cases at
special schools.
In Barking we have one special school (namely Faircross). The PhysicallyHandicapped
and Open-Air Sections include physically handicapped children
(such as cripples), and delicate children
needing modified schooling, fresh air and
an after-dinner sleep.
The other section of Faircross School
is for those children who are educationally
below normal but who are yet good enough
to benefit from special schooling.
Section Number of
on roll at
Physically Handicapped 23
Open-Air 43
Sub-Normal 40
All the children at Faircross School
have their lunch there and most are brought
and taken away by special bus. Many, of
course, come from Boroughs beyond
Barking, such as Ilford and East Ham.

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