Letter: Children who need help

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The Independent Online
Letter: Children who need help

Sir: Working mother-friendly hours (City +, 6 May) are not necessarily child-friendly. It is not fair to expect a three-year-old to cope with a developmental assessment after its mother has come home from work at 5.30pm - just when all the child wants is tea, bath and bed. Trying to fit developmental checks or immunisations into evening surgery risks late- running appointments, as medical emergencies take precedence.

Child health clinics are run during the day when the children are at their best, and trained staff available to deal with any emergencies. They are usually timed so that mothers can get away in time to collect other children from school. Supermarkets may be able to stay open into the evening supported by teenagers earning pin money, but children need the attentions of highly qualified staff - who are frequently themselves working mothers.

Dr A M G BOUCHER

Basingstoke, Hampshire

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