Healthy contest

The best baby.  

"CHILDREN SHOULD be seen and not heard", so goes a quotation about children. It also means that healthcare delivery is more important for infants. Parents have to take meticulous care to keep their infants free from illness and obviously grooming a child, by itself, is an art.

Come August, many service organisations and baby-friendly clinics vie with one another to observe the World Breastfeed Week to create an awareness of the advantages of breastfeeding among mothers as part of post-natal care.

The Kavery Medical Centre and Hospital and the Inner Wheel Club organised a `healthy baby contest,' which was instrumental for young mothers to ensure a proper healthcare delivery for their children.

The contest was not aimed at selecting the `fattest' baby but identifying three infants brought up under proper hygienic environment — free from viruses, pollution or infection, air-borne and water-borne contamination etc.

The contest attracted a number of young mothers and their children. A team of doctors recorded every basic aspect of child-care yardstick such as the age, weight, nutritional balance, rate of growth commensurate with the age etc.

Harini (seven months old) was adjudged the best baby among all the 200-odd participants. Her father, R. Ganesh, a businessman of Tiruchi and mother Baghyalakshmi explained the special care they have been taking to bring up Harini. "We do not take our baby outside our home, as a first precautionary measure against air pollution", they say.

They said since infants were more prone to infection especially at places such as a community centre or marriage hall, children should be kept off such zones.

They hailed the clinical advice given by their consultant paediatrician in properly ensuring the baby's hygiene. Mr. Ganesh said that breast-feeding was the best method but the babies must be fed punctually.

The director of the hospital, Manivannan, and S.Venkataraman, who co-ordinated the contest, said apart from the best baby contest, there was another contest exclusively for mothers this year. Three mothers were selected in recognition of the post-natal care techniques adopted by them. The Dean of the KAP Viswanatham Government Medical College, Kalavathy Pooniraivan, distributed the prizes.

From Balaganessin M. in Tiruchi.

Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam.