Maternal behaviours related to certain child care practices which possibly have a contributory role in causation of diarrhoea in children were studied. Comparison was made between behaviours of mothers in 108 families having diarrhoeal children (Case families) with mothers of 72 families having age and neighbourhood matched non diarrhoeal children (control families) using a logistic regression model. Five risk behaviours were identified and these are bottle feeding (OR-2.87; CI-1.30 to 6.34), non-use of soap for cleaning feeding container (OR-2.61; CI-1.30 to 5.23), water storage in wide-mouthed container (OR-2.75; CI-1.27 to 5.96), use of pond water for the same (OR-2.36; CI-1.15 to 4.84) and indiscriminate disposal of children's stool (OR-1.99; CI-0.97 to 4.08). Around 83 per cent of diarrhoeal families could be predicted using these five variables only. The first three of these five risk behaviours were responsible for occurrence of significantly higher incidence (3 or more episodes) of diarrhoea in the case families. All these risk behaviours are amenable to change if suitable intervention is initiated. The result of this study would be helpful in reducing diarrhoea associated morbidity to a substantial level.
PIP: A number of studies have documented the existence of a relationship between certain behavioral practices at the family level and an increased incidence of diarrhea among children. Findings are reported from a study in which mothers' behaviors in diarrheal and control families were compared to selected child care practices which may help cause diarrhea in children. The authors compared the behaviors of mothers in 108 families having children with diarrhea (case families) with mothers of 72 families having age and neighborhood matched nondiarrheal children (control children) using a logistic regression model. The following risk behaviors were observed: bottle feeding, non-use of soap for cleaning feeding containers, water storage in wide-mouthed containers, the use of pond water for the same, and the indiscriminate disposal of children's feces. 81.5% of diarrheal families could be predicted using only these 5 variables. The most significant risk behavioral practices of mothers were bottle feeding, non-use of soap for cleaning feeding containers, and drinking water storage in wide-mouthed containers. All of these risk behaviors are subject to change if exposed to the appropriate interventions.