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Letters to the Editor

Indian Pediatrics 1998; 35:1142

Healthy Child Contests: Marking Them More Obejective

Healthy child contests (HCC) are commonly organized to promote awareness to- wards positive health of the child. Selection of the healthy child is a difficult task and concerns regarding partialities and subjective errors are often raised(1). At times only weight, fair complexion, nice dress, etc. are given paramount importance. There have been instances when a rachitic child won the prize at a local baby show. In order to minimize personal bias and subjective errors in assessment, I suggest the following protocol while conducting HCC.

Every child participating in HCC should be assessed by a team of five judges-each assessing different parameter(s), as per a fixed format carrying equal number of marks (Table I).

The marks are added to decide the winner. While conducting HCC it has also been felt that: (a) A nominal entry fee should be charged so that only interested persons participate; (b) Child comforts like-place for breast feeding, toilets, snacks, etc. should be provided (c) All participants should be given some token prize; and (d) Opportunity should be utilized to simultaneously provide health education and immunization.

There is a need to make the procedure of conducting HCC more objective and un- biased. Comments from fellow pediatricians will help formulate some standard guidelines for better organization of HCC,


TABLE I-Proposed Assessment Criteria

1. Hygiene
(Maximum marks 2 for each, i.e., 2 x 10 = 20)
Hair, Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Teeth, Ears, Nails, Clothes, Underclothes and Shoes/slippers 2. Growth
(Maximum marks 10 for each, i.e., 10 x 2 = 20)
Weight-centile of NCHS Standard Height-centile of NCHS Standard
3. Motor Development
(Maximum marks 10 for each, i.e., 10 x 2 = 20)
Gross motor
Fine motor
4. Social and speech
(Maximum marks 10 for each, i.e., 10 x 2 =20)
Social development
5. Parents knowledge about child health (Maximum marks 5 for each, i.e., 5 x 4 =20) Delivery and Post-natal events Vaccination till date
Vaccination schedule
Breastfeeding and weaning


which form one of the 20 point programme of lAP week celebrations.

N.C. Prajapati,
Associate Professor,
Department of Pediatrics,
M.G. Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagran, Wardha 442 102, India.


1. Jhala DR, Shah AR. Healthy baby competition-crowning a baby with a prize. Indian pediatr 1980; 17: 289-291


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