Child care practices and nutritional status of 0-2 year old children in lower Nyakach, Kisumu District
Opiyo, Rose O
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This study aimed at determining the various childcare activi ties performed by caregivers, time allocation for childcare activities and nutritional status of children aged 0-2 years. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out between October 1992 and early January 1993. The methodologies used in data collection were focus group discussion, interview, participant observation and anthropometr ic measurements. The sampling frame was made up of households with children aged 0-24 months, and sampling was through multistage sampling technique. The findings of this study show that important childcare activities according to maternal rating of activities were cooking for the child (46%), care of child's clothes (29%), care of child's body (14%) .and feeding the child (7%). The activities that were reported to be taking much of the mothers' time were care of child Is clothes (reported by 90%), cooking for the child (reported by 43%) and feeding the child (reported by 17%). However, observation results indicate that comforting the child (76 minutes per day) and breastfeeding (53 minutes per day) were the two most time consuming childcare activities. These two activities were, xiv however, not rated high among activities by the mothers. important childcare When mothers do not have enough time for all the childcare activities, they use various methods in different activities to save time. In looking for food, most mothers (63%) reported stocking enough food in the house as a way of saving time, while the majority (77%) save time in fetching fuel by fetching a lot to be used once in a week. The use of a wheelbarrow or donkey was reported by the majority (39%), as a way of saving time in fetching water. Some of the reported time-saving methods, for example, cooking food for more than one meal, could however be harmful for the child's health and nutrition, noting that in a rural community, facilities such as refrigeration are not available for food storage. High prevalence of malnutrition was noted in the study area where stunting (27%) was the common form of malnutrition at all ages, especially among the male (38.9%) children. There was a weak correlation between the child's nutritional status and the mean time for childcare activities which was not statistically significant (p<.05), hence the study concluded that nutritional status of a child does not depend only on the care given to the child by the caregivers, but on other factors.
CitationMaster of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, University of Nairobi, 1993
Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, University of Nairobi