child health clinic

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(in Britain) a special clinic for the routine care of infants and preschool children, formerly known as a child welfare centre. Sometimes these clinics are staffed by doctors, health visitors, and clinic nurses; the children attending them are drawn from the neighbourhood around the clinic. Alternatively general practitioners may run their own child health clinic on a regular basis, with health visitors and other staff in attendance; it is unusual for children not registered with the practice to attend such clinics. The service provides screening tests for such conditions as congenital dislocation of the hip, suppressed squint (see cover test), and impaired speech and/or hearing. The Guthrie test may also be performed if this has not been done before the baby leaves hospital. The staff of child health clinics also educate mothers (especially those having their first child) in feeding techniques and hygiene and see that children receive the recommended immunizations against infectious diseases. They also ensure that the families of children with disabilities receive maximum support from health and social services and that such children achieve their maximum potential in the preschool period. See also community paediatrician.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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