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Lesson Note

Subject: BST

Topic: Child Care

Class: JS3

Objectives: by the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. Define child care;
  2. Mention and explain the three types of the special care shown by human;
  3. State ways of protecting infants.


Definition: Child care can be defined as necessary care given to a child by its parents from time of conception to when the child is born and able to fend for itself.
It is important to note here that amongst all animals, mammals especially human beings are known for adequately taking care of their young ones, beginning from conception (pregnancy) to birth.
This unique quality of human extends to old age and even death. This special care is not present or found amongst other animals who give birth to too many offspring (young ones) and leave them to fend for themselves. This exposes them to some dangers or risks such as being eaten up by predators, crushed by cars, frozen to death, etc.

The specialised care shown by humans to their offspring can be classified into three (3) main groups. These are:
1. Antenatal or prenatal care
2. Intrapartum care
3. Postnatal care

Pre or ante means before and natal means childbirth. So, we can conclude that prenatal or antenatal care refers to the type of care given to a pregnant woman before she is delivered of the baby (that is before labour). This type of care involves the examination of the baby in the womb and the mother and is aimed at preserving the pregnancy, treating any ill-health and ensuring that the delivery is safe for both the mother and the baby. It also includes preparation for the arrival of the baby and medical care of the mother, which involves advising
the woman on the kind of food she should eat, types of cloth she should wear, places she should go, types of shoe she should put on, mobility medium, etc.
Prenatal care is usually done by an experienced obstetrician or midwife. Pregnant women are always advised to register with a hospital (clinic or maternity home) very close to their homes in case of emergency
(sudden labour) and for easy check-up.
An obstetrician is a doctor who specializes in caring for pregnant women before and after delivery.
A midwife is a nurse trained to care for pregnant women and their babies.

This type of care is within the labour room. This is the care given to a pregnant woman right from the
period she enters the labour room to the period she is delivered of the baby. It includes all that can be done
to relief labour pain and to make sure the baby is in perfect health condition immediately after birth. The woman is encouraged to push and in some cases, some injections may be given. Some extreme cases may require caesarean section (operation).
The term Labour can be defined as a regular uterine contraction (of the womb), which helps to push or force the baby out through the female vagina.

The word ‘post’ means after. Therefore, postnatal care refers to the type of care shown after child birth. This is aimed at ensuring that the baby is established on the satisfactory routine of leeding regular check-ups, etc.
Furthermore, this care involves the various period of immunisation and advising the mother on regular
exercise to help the abdominal or stomach muscles return to its normal shape and firmness. The mother is
also advised to visit the postnatal clinic for regular check-ups. During this period of visits, the obstetrician
or midwife will be discussing some methods of preventing pregnancy too soon or at all. This includes the use of contraceptives like condoms, loops, pills, etc. However, the best way or method to prevent pregnancy too soon is by abstinence from sexual
intercourse which is also known as natural method.

The protection of the infants can be divided into two man parts:

  1. Cleanliness
  2. Immunization

Maintaining a high level of cleanliness for infants involves:

  • Keeping their clothes clean.
  • Keeping their surroundings clean.
  • Bathing them regularly, except when the whether is cold.
  • Washing and sterilising the baby’s feeding utensils.
  • Sterilisation means to make an object free from germs.

This is another method of protecting our infants from diseases by the use of injections, tablets, breast milk or adequate foods to boost up their antibodies and immune system.

Diseases Immunised Against include: whooping cough, measles
smallpox, chicken pox, tuberculosis
poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus

Immunity is the ability of the body to resist diseases.
There two main types of immunity. These are:

  • Natural immunity
  • Artificial or Acquired immunity

Natural or artificial immunity is having the right antibodies.
Natural immunity: In natural immunity, the individual possesses naturally occurring antibodies which will always kill any micro organism that gains entry into the body.
For example, in some areas especially in the tropics, the indigenes are relatively resistant to malaria.
Acquired immunity: Acquired immunity, like the name sounds, is the type of immunity from outside.
There are two main types:

  • Naturally acquired immunity
  • Artificially acquired immunity

Naturally acquired immunity: In this case, after having suffered a particular disease, say smallpox, an individual’s body produces antibodies which resist recurring attack in future. These antibodies are usually passed from the mother to the offspring through placenta or breast milk.
Antibodies are made by people when microbes affect their body.

Artificially Acquired Immunity: In this case, the anti body from the disease-causing organisms are taken in or injected in form of innoculation/vaccination.
There are two main types of artificially acquired immunity. These are:

  • Active artificially acquired immunity
  • Passive artificially acquired immunity

Active artificially acquired immunity: In this case, Active-A vaccine with dead or modified microbes is injected into a person, causing antibodies to be made by the body ready for when a real infection happens.

Passive artificially acquired immunity: This involves injecting into the body, the serums of certain animals which possess antibodies or antitoxins.
Examples of diseases treated with this method include tetanus and diphtheria.

Lesson Evaluation/Test

  1. Define child care.
  2. Mention and explain the three types of the special care shown by human.
  3. State ways of protecting infants.
  4. Who is an obstetrician?
  5. Mention any three diseases Immunised against.