WTTW Channel 11 - Medical Self-Help Training - "Infant and Child Care" (Part 2, 1963)
Here's Part 2 of an edition of Medical Self-Help Training on WTTW Channel 11. This, the ninth of a total of 16 installments of an ongoing course about maintaining life and health in times of national disaster or emergencies, deals with the topic of "Infant and Child Care" and is hosted by Dr. Max Klinghoffer, Chairman of the Illinois State Medical Society's (ISMS) Disaster Medical Care Committee.
This was transferred directly from a 2" Quad tape, and was recorded on October 25th 1963.
The good doctor starts off this part by discussing prematurely-born babies. He defines prematures as being born way before the average 40 weeks of a mother's pregnancy, and that babies born 2-3 weeks prematurely are no different, in their care needs, from regular newborns; but several weeks premature, and they are "weak and small." Signs to look for are: wrinkled skin ("looking like a wrinkled old man"), slightly bluish skin color, difficulty in maintaining feeding and keeping a steady temperature, with special susceptibility to any variations in temperature, and therefore must be kept warm but not too hot (which he mentions more than once during this aspect of his talk), as well as being kept as clean as possible; prematures are especially susceptible to infection, and should be kept as far away from anyone with infectious diseases as possible. Dr. Klinghoffer cites breast-feeding as the best method for feeding prematures, but failing that, he recommends mothers extract milk from the breast to feed the baby via an eyedropper, which he advises to have placed at their lower lip; and if a mother doesn't have an eyedropper, he suggests a clean teaspoon whose tip should be placed to the premature's lower lip. If breast milk is not available, he recommends formula, mixed the same way as for regular newborns, placed in an eyedropper or teaspoon. He then calls for a demonstration of improvised incubators for the eventuality of a disaster, advising not to overheat the baby or let him/her chill; the woman with the baby doll demonstrates the proper way to carry out such procedures as he describes them, including using dresser drawers or (as he shows on camera) two boxes, one small enough to telescope into the other, and pack open spaces in-between the two boxes with crushed newspapers which serve as insulator; but he keeps emphasizing not to make the incubator warmer than anything one would touch with their own hands. After he puts the boxes down, the woman puts the baby doll into the incubator. He also advising using hot water bottles or ordinary water bottles with warm water inside for warming, to place in-between the boxes; even warm rocks or stones to put inside. His preferred temperature for prematures is 96 - 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
The doctor segues from this subject to that of babies from newborn to 1 year old, noting at the start that at the outset, the care is the same as for newborns, but as the baby gets older, he (notice the language used here in those days) must have added room for activity and play, even in a shelter environment. The doctor mentions that even at this young age, babies are aware of tensions around them, even if they don't know the cause of such tension or anxiety, and thus babies need more reassurance and loving care from their parents than usual, as well as a set routine for feeding, resting, cleanliness "and so forth." He also notes that babies in this age range undergo "reversions" under disaster conditions from their feeding, toilet training etc., and need to be re-trained in these areas - but stresses that such reversions are "normal" reactions. He notes that infants are especially susceptible to diarrhea, and suggests withholding one or two feedings or dilute the feedings in areas such as breast feeding (with the rest of the feeding consisting of boiled and cooled water) or, if formula, dilute it in half; and resume normal feeding after the baby improves. The good doctor then brings up the issue of "thrush," a fungal disease that produced white flecks around the mouth emanating from the mucous membranes, either caused by unclean conditions or other factors; he recommends increasing "all efforts towards cleanliness" but cautions against wiping the white stuff off. He also cites convulsions as a common occurrence in babies, which he explains as related to fever and suggests parents restrain the child only so much as to prevent him from hurting himself. He then goes on to dermatitis, some forms of which are potentially communicable and may lead to various contagious diseases. Dr. Klinghoffer then touches on the issue of immunizations, which he recommends be done as early as the family doctor advises, and often, against such diseases as smallpox, measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, and advises a rest period for the child afterwards.
Next, he briefly discusses pre-school children, who also "regress" under disaster conditions, and should be kept "occupied at all times." For older children 6-12, he mentions as they get older, they become more aware of the meaning of disaster situations, and he emphasizes they must be reassured and allowed to express themselves, or else they will have more difficulties in disaster situations. He then jumps to adolescents whose reactions to disasters, as he notes, are more like adults'; they are more likely to be helpful, calm, cool and collected and of great assistance, but (and there's always a "but" with the good doctor) some will panic and need reassurance, as well as their being not fully mature enough to cope with such conditions.
" . . . and we will have to re-train the baby to accustom him to enter this brave new world."
This aired on local Chicago TV on Thursday, December 5th 1963 during the 8:30pm to 9pm timeframe.
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