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Ceramic teaching doll showing treatment for polio, England, 1930-1950

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Lying on a wooden bed is a ceramic doll whose arms and legs are supported by pillows and padding. The doll was used to show child polio patients and their family the child’s upcoming treatment for the disease. Polio is caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system and can cause temporary or permanent paralysis. Complete rest and support of the limbs and warmth were often used as an early form of treatment. The letters “LMTH” stitched into the pillow stand for the Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. Set up in 1908, the hospital combined treatment of the physically disabled with education and schooling for long term patients. The hospital closed in the 1990s.

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Glossary: teaching doll

No description.

Glossary: polio

An infectious disease affecting the central nervous system. Affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the polio virus enters the blood stream.

Glossary: virus

A tiny particle made up of DNA/RNA and a protein coat. Viruses infect animals, plants, and micro-organisms and cause many diseases, including the common cold, influenza, measles, chickenpox, AIDS, polio and rabies. Many viral diseases can be controlled by means of vaccines.

Glossary: paralysis

The loss of function in one or more muscle groups. It causes loss of mobility and feeling.

Glossary: central nervous system

Consisting of the brain and spinal cord, it controls the activity of the body through nerve tissues.