The very poor in physique and circumstances seem to crowd near
the railway stations, and the wives and children seem not to have similar
inducements to walk and take fresh air that those removed from the
shopping localities have, and consequently both mothers and children
Joined to this there is an amount of drinking in public houses
amongst the women of the St. James Street Ward, which must act
injuriously on the children and the homes. What is applicable to St.
James Street is equally so to portions of the Wood Street Ward, and
here we have partly the explanation of our high infant mortality rate.
It is doubtful if poverty is the cause of drunkenness, but there is no
doubt that drink is the cause of much of the dirt and poverty among
our working classes, and here again we must look to our girls' schools
to produce an altered state of things.
The deaths under one year of age were over 37 per cent, of the
total deaths, compared with 34 per cent, in 1903, and were 13*5 per
cent, of the registered births as compared with 14-6 per cent, for
England and Wales.
The following shows in tabular form the numbers and causes of death in children under five years in 1904 and 1903 :—
|Scarlet Fever||7||3 Premature Birth||62||66|
|Influenza||1||1 Developmental Diseases||94||90|
|Whooping Cough||29||34 Meningitis||18||14|
|Diphtheria||20||13 Acute bronchitis||32||44|
|Croup||2||— Lobar pneumonia||18||18|
|Enteric Fever||1||— Lobular do.||45||48|
|Diarrhoea||82||25 Diseases of stomach||6||13|
|Zymotic Enteritis||99||35 Obstruction of intestines||2|
|Enteritis||4||20 Bright's disease||3||2|
|Gastric-Enteritis||13||— Accidents or negligence||23||23|
|Septic Diseases||4||1 All other causes||46||54|
|Tuberculosis of Meninges||13||16||__|
|Do. other forms||22||16|!()
match: ALTO ComposedBlock
..\13 May 2013\Batch-8\b19971035\Tables\b19971035_0025_025_016.xml
Over half of the total deaths of the district are in children under
five years of age. One hundred and fifty-two of these, or one-fourth,
died within a short time of birth from prematurity and constitutional
weakness; and 496, or over one-third, died within the first year of life.
Of every 22 children born three died within the first year, a proportion
closely resembling that of the country generally, the balance being in
favour of your district.