A Pediatrician at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) Tema, Dr. Amma Benin, has advised against tightly braiding babies’ hair at an early age.
She explained that it did not only cause tension on the scalp, but damaged hair follicles and caused hair losses because of the soft and fragile nature of their scalp.
Dr Benin said this in a discussion on the topic “Cultural practices that affect child health,” hosted by the Ghana News Agency-Tema, under its weekly health advocacy platform.
She said a baby’s hair could be plaited anytime if it did not inconvenience her health, but sometimes the tight braids caused pain and discomfort to infants leading to high body temperature, headache, scalp sores and sleep difficulty.
To avoid scalp sores and discomfort for children, it is advisable to cut a child’s hair to a reasonable low level but cautioned against completely shaving a baby’s hair as it could expose them to too much cold.
Dr Benin encouraged increased public awareness and education on the negative impact of some cultural practices on the health of mothers and their children.
She said some cultural practices like dribbling the genitals with warm water, using breast milk to treat eye infections, bathing a baby immediately after delivery, and sniffing phlegm from the nostrils of babies by the mouth, could negatively affect the health of babies, she said.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, the GNA Regional Manager, called for the documentation of both harmful and useful traditional practices to serve as a guide for public awareness creation and education for society.