Harelip



Facial abnormalities occur with a certain proportion of babies. These may be “cleft lip” (colloquially termed “harelip”); or “cleft palate,” or a combination of the two at the one time, “cleft-lip and palate.”

This means that, at the time of birth, Cleft lip is a congenital abnormality, there has been a defect of the lip and palate (the roof of the mouth) because the two sides, left and right, have failed to unite in a satisfactory manner before birth.



It is believed that about another one in four die before birth, and so are stillborn. Others may be involved in miscarriages during pregnancy.

I understand expert attention is now available for babies born with these defects. The large capital cities have special “maxillo-facial units” that care for them. Correct. Any baby born with a disability of this nature may have special surgical work carried out that will give the best possible results.



Many surgeons are now highly specialized in this skill, and can bring a reasonably high degree of normality where once a major persisting problem occurred.

Specialized attention is usually arranged from a very early age, and often the hospital or obstetrician and pediatrician attending will assist with subsequent arrangements.



Completely unaware that hot weather can produce special hazards for baby. Right. Babies do not have a very satisfactory heat-regulatory mechanism when they are young. It develops and improves as they grow older.

NEVER, under any circumstances, leave your baby alone in a parked motor car. This can be (and has been) lethal. Although a car may be in the shade when you leave it, the sun moves quickly, and your car could be in the full, direct heat of the fierce rays half an hour later. Some parents have left babies in cars for hours with all windows up and doors locked. Disaster is inevitable. In midsummer the inside of a motor car in the sun can become almost as hot as an oven.



Dress baby sensibly in hot weather. Loose-fitting, lightweight garments are essential. Nappies alone are often adequate, don’t you think?

Sure. And when the temperatures soar, put the bassinet or basket (or whatever they baby sleeps in) in a well-ventilated room in the cool part of the house. The bathroom is usually the coolest. But avoid direct draughts, as this could cool baby down too fast and allow a summer cold to get a foothold.



Because baby will sweat a good deal, much more fluid is essential in summer. Frequently give cool, boiled water, or freshly squeezed orange juice. Frequent sponging is a good idea if your child is starting to get very warm. Be very careful not to permit overexposure in the sun. Sunburn with tender baby skin is very simple to acquire. It is dangerous and can be extremely painful. Care at all times is essential, but even more so when the temperatures soar.