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

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Walthamstow 1910

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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The children are certified for by me, and were inspected during
the year.
As already recorded, an Ophthalmic Surgeon now deals with all
vision defects, and sanction to an expenditure up to £25, if necessary,
for the gratuitous provision of spectacles has been obtained.
There is a local Children's Hospital and General Dispensary voluntarily
supported, but neither makes any provision for dealing with the
defects common to school children, and treatment at the Hospital,
except in the case of accidents, can only be obtained by letter and
In the 1910 report of that institution I notice that among the outpatients
treated were 149 for eye, ear and nose diseases, 626 for dental
trouble, and presumably 96 were operated upon for Tonsils and
Following upon inspection, the parents of all children with serious
defects are advised personally or by letter to seek advice and treatment
from the family doctor and in many instances this is carried out.
Very poor parents and those with large families are persuaded with
difficulty as to the necessity for the removal of conditions which do not
make their children obviously ill, and a small percentage of them fail to
do anything, but the great majority take their children to the London
Hospitals and have treatment for such conditions as Adenoids and
To keep the children under observation, until a remedy is effected, the
procedure detailed in last year's report was carried out, and to the
teachers a great deal of credit is due for the trouble entailed in supervising
the children and for the results obtained.

Summarised, the percentage of the commoner defects remedied was as follows:—

Schools.Cleanliness of Head & Body.Nose and Throat.Teeth.Tonsils and Adenoids.External Eye Disease.Vision.Discharging Ears.Various.

The following tables show, for individual schools, the numbers of
children found with defects, the nature of them and the number
remedied, as shown from the schedules returned by the Head