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Letters to the Editor

Indian Pediatrics 1999; 36:418-419

Healthy Baby Contests

I read the recent publication on this subject with interest(1 ). I have been conducting "Healthy Baby Shows" since 1994 in con- junction with Don Bosco Youth Center, Thiroor which attracts around 200 children annually. A token fee of Rs. 10/- is collected as registration fee. Only children between ages of 1-3 years are entertained. Each mother and child pair has to cover 3 stations. Prior to coming to station-], the height and weight of each child is recorded. This is done by volunteers. .

At the first station, the child is assessed by a pediatrician who does a physical examination and enquires about the milestones. At the second station, each child is examined for cleanliness of skin, hair, teeth and nails. At the third station, 50% marks are set apart for breastfeeding (negative marks for bottle feeding). The remaining 50% marks are for immunization (separate marks for production of the immunization card). Each of these 3 stations are alloted 20 marks each.

In the final round, the children along with their mothers have to walk across a well decorated stage, where 2 other doctors independently give marks (10 each) for the smartness and the manner in which children face and acknowledge the audience. At this point every child is presented with a gift packet (sponsored by various organizations).

Thus each child is assessed for 80 marks. The marks in the various stations are added up to select Baby King and Baby Queen. In
addition, 3 Baby Princes and 3 Baby Princesses are also selected.

There is a definite increase in the rate of immunization and breastfeeding since the starting of these 'Healthy Baby Shows'. Even the mothers who are bottle feeding their babies get the feeling that they are not doing the right thing.

To man the various stations, I make use of Medical Students and Interns who are only too happy to take part. This, I feel is also a
good manner to introduce the concepts of breast- feeding and immunization to the medical students.

Lulu Mathews,
Associate Professor in Pediatrics,
 Medical College;

M.G. Kavu P.O.,
Thrissur 680 581,



1. Prajapati NC, Healthy child contests: Indian Pediatr 1998; 35: 1142.



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