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children. Physical, mental, and spiritual health should be the birthright of
The observance of May 1 as child health day requires preparation throughout the preceding year. A planning of activities that will mean more physically sound, alert, spiritually endowed children who later may shoulder without faltering the ever increasing responsibility of citizenship.
From May 1, 1926, to May 1, 1927, activities were carried on which lowered the number of poorly nourished, anæmic children and increased the number of healthy, rosy-cheeked children.
Mother care, habits, diet, sunlight, sleep, play, and all other factors affecting child health are being intelligently used as aids. Fathers and mothers, physicians, dentists, nurses, clinics, hospitals, and many lay organizations are planning to give every child the best possible chance.
The Indiana child hygiene division activities reach many personally with health instruction. A suggestive, program was arranged earlier this year so that schools closing in April might plan health days before the close of school. In January and February about 3,000 mimeographed suggestions, old superstitions, plays, and songs were mailed to official agencies and heads of clubs, and sent through groups over the State. The February number of the Indiana State board of health Bulletin carried complete suggestions, plays, and songs to 3,700 persons in Indiana and other States. Later 1,500 reprints were distributed. The May Day Festival Book and the Bulletin of Suggestions were sent to county nurses and to persons active in civic and community affairs.
Personal assistance by physicians and nurses of the child hygiene division was given in counties along the eastern border of the State and in the southwest and southern counties. Other counties had definite accouncements and suggestions through the director and other staff members.
Indiana newspapers and press associations gave generous space. Official bulletins of the State board of health, Child Welfare Association, Parent-Teacher Association, American Association of University Women, Farm Bureau, and other organizations gave assistance in carrying publicity articles and suggestions. Chambers of commerce, clubs, universities, schools, motion-picture houses, and churches all helped in publicity and plans. May day posters were displayed in many places. The Pathe May day trailer was shown in approximately 100 Indiana theaters. The president of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Dick Miller, announced May day, child health day, in an open forum meeting on April 29.
Requests for assistance in the form of programs, plays, publicity, talks, films, and slides received from 50 Indiana towns show the state-wide interest. Reports received thus far indicate that newspaper stories, health slides and films, merchants displays, poster displays, and school health programs were some of the activities most commonly planned. Some programs were very elaborate and some were quite simple. All were effective in promoting the ideals embodied in child health day.
The observance of child health day in Indianapolis is one of the finest examples of cooperation in social service and health work that the city affords. All the community fund and public agencies whose work in any way touches problems related to child health are actively represented on the committee of about 40. The various settlements, hospitals, clinics, and children's institutions, public schools, department of health, school nurses, child hygiene division united in an effort to present their own work as an integral part of the whole child-health effort.
The press and mercantile interests of the city were very generous and cooperative. Seventy-five churches and more than 100 Sunday schools of Indianapolis received bulletins from the Indianapolis Church Federation and from the Council of Religious Education urging ministers and Sunday-school instructors to take as broad an interest in child health day as their programs would permit.
A gradually increasing interest has been manifest on the part of the public and the recognition of the day is no longer difficult to secure.
Indorsements such as that of the governor, secretary of the State board of health, secretary of the city board of health, the State Dental Association, and judge of the Marion County juvenile court were published. Two series of brief articles on diseases and child care were printed.
A short talk from the local radio station was made on May 2. A statement of the purpose of child health day, together with a few brief rules of child health, was printed and distributed to all the school rooms of the city. This statement went out accompanied by a letter from the superintendent of schools. Announcements were made in all the Parent-Teacher Association meetings held during the month of April and the first week of May.
The park board arranged for festival and maypole dances in each of the largest and most popular parks of the city. The swimming pools of the Y. W. C. A. and of one of the largest athletic clubs of the city staged exhibits of swimming, emphasizing life saving methods. These were under the direction of the Red Cross instructors in life saving.
The various clinics of the city child hygiene divisions and the dispensaries were opened to the public as was the Riley Hospital for children and the children's ward of the City Hospital. Through this means, the people of the city were afforded an opportunity to see the organized child health work of the community.
A picturesque feature of the observance was the distribution of flowers by a corps of girls under the direction of the Red Cross motor corps. These flowers were provided by local florists and were designed for homes in which there was a sick or crippled child. The lsit of these children was made up by the Public Health Nursing Association.
The nutrition workers in the public schools aroused considerable interest among those in the nutrition classes which resulted in the choice as king and queen of the boy and girl who had made the greatest individual gain in weight during the year.
Again, as heretofore, the merchants of the city, with the very hearty backing of the merchants' association, arranged window displays and advertising in keeping with the motive of the day and week. The general use in the theaters of the trailer supplied free by the Pathe was secured through the motion-picture indorsers. The cooperation of the police department through its accident prevention bureau was hearty and helpful.
The examination of 566 babies and preschool children was conducted under the auspices of the Council of the Preschool Study Circle of Fort Wayne by competent physicians and nurses. Plans are made for effective follow up and correction of defects. Fort Wayne ministers set aside Sunday morning services on May 1 as the time to deliver sermons stressing the importance of proper religious training for children. Concerted action in observance of the day was made under the supervision of the ministerial association. In addition to the examination of children, all civic organizations, farm federations, and women's clubs, schools, churches, medical associations, nurses' associations cooperated in a varied program of merchants' window displays, poster and sign announcements, and newspaper publicity.
Health programs in the city, county, and parochial schools featured child health week activities in Evansville under the auspices of the Parent-Teacher Association and health organizations of the city. Health buttons were awarded to pupils in the first grades found to be in perfect health by school nurses.
Churches incorporated the idea of health into their regular services. Window displays carried by various business houses of the city fostered the idea of health as found in various foods and products displayed.
The week's activities closed with the annual summer round-up sponsored by health organizations of the city in which beginning pupils for the coming year were given physical examinations to determine the state of their health and adjustments or medical attention needed to render them physically fit before entering school next September. This is part of a plan to start all children in the first grade next September in 100 per cent perfect physical condition, and was carried on under the direction of the chief of school physicians and chief of school Health talks were given over the local radio station. Morning services given under the auspices of the Deaconess Hospital featured the idea of health.
When children were examined any defect in health was reported to parents who were expected to have the defect corrected before the child enters the first grade next fall. Fourteen schools and twelve churches, the nursing association, merchants, newspapers, and others cooperated. Plays and pageants were given in the schools. A dental talk was given in all schools and free dental care was given if needed. Thirty per cent of rural school children were immunized against diphtheria.
Every township in the county was organized for some form of health work. As a result of the interest aroused, two new buildings for health centers are contemplated.
In Hammond, the following proclamation was issued by the city health board:
“Every person in the city of Hammond is urged to devote May 1, child health day, to consideration of the ideal. Review the progress of the year and celebrate joyously its accomplishments. Note wherein we have failed. Plan greater progress in the future. As long as a single child remains hampered by preventable disease, remedial defects or lack of vigor or of opportunity, there is work to be done.
“We dedicate May day to a renewal of effect to realize for every child in this community, joy in health. It should be possible for every child to be born healthy; to live under favorable conditions; to be protected from physical, mental, and spiritual injury; to possess joy in health from infancy to old age.'
A complete program for child health was prepared by the Hammond Welfare Council through the committee of the public health nurses. The all inclusive child health program embodied instruction and advice to be given in schools, city institutions, and business houses. Health articles appeared each day in local papers,
Hammond churches observed Sunday, May 1, national child health day with songs by children and short health sermons.
Through the cooperation of 20 leading dentists, children in grade schools were given dental examinations. Special health exhibits were offered at the various schools. Films, Tommy Tucker's Tooth and Prevention of Diphtheria, were secured for showing.
Health talks were made in the high school by health authorities. Public health nurses gave demonstrations in baby care in department stores. Normal weight tags were distributed at the weight room of the Northern Indiana Public Service Co.
Girl Scouts planned special health sessions for their regular meetings while the girls displayed the house health built in a local food shop.
Programs were given at local community and social service centers and baby clinics were open and demonsrtations on baby care given. One display window was arranged by the girls' physiology class of the high school.
The indorsement of the city health board was supplemented by similar messages from the superintendent of schools and the mayor.
From Kokomo comes the report of a program of merchants' window displays, newspaper publicity-a special edition-health slides and films, plays at civic clubs, posters made by high-school children and health talks in all churches on May 1. All sororities and civic clubs, medical associations, churches, social service centers, and the day nursery sponsored these activities.
The school physician was the chief organizer of the Michigan City program, and the schools took the most active part in the celebration. Teachers had health programs each afternoon, culminating in a meeting in each school with health talks, slides, and the awarding of blue ribbons and good posture pins to grade children showing health improvements. Dr. A. A. Wilson, of the State child hygiene division, spoke on the value of a child health board. Parades of healthy boys and girls completed the program.
A mammoth parade was the most spectacular feature of the celebration of child health week in Whiting, Ind. Four thousand children marched in the largest children's parade ever held in the city. The procession was the climax of child health week which was marked, in addition to the parade, by addresses in the schools, motion pictures, and health clinics. Various health ideals were represented in the procession by the children in costumes and floats. One grade wore hatbands bearing toothbrushes and carried large tooth brushes to impress the necessity of brushing the teeth. Cleanliness was featured by another group. Still others represented vegetables, fruit, etc. A real cow headed the line of march and bore "drink milk” slogans. School bands accompanied the marchers.
All of Whiting's civic organizations were represented on committees which arranged for this event. Motion pictures and photographs of the parade were taken.
At the conclusion of the parade the children gathered at the community playground where maypole dances were held with eight groups of girls presenting the dances at eight maypoles which had been furnished by the American Legion.
Police of Whiting and Hammond volunteered their services in directing traffic. Merchants of the city cooperated with the committee in charge of the event and many of them decorated their store windows and store fronts in observance of the occasion. Others furnished floats for the parade and still others made money donations to defray expenses.
Local physicians and dentists delivered lectures in the schools on health topics. A free health clinic was held in the community center for adults as well as children.
Indorsements of child health day were made by the mayor and by the judge of the city court. The latter is of especial interest. He says in part:
“I am convinced that physical health and moral health are closely linked, poor health being the basic cause of criminality in many cases. This is especially true in children, poor health during youth being one of the greatest misfortunes that can befall a child. In my capacity of city court judge, many criminals of all degrees come before me. If good health weeks had been observed during the last several decades and the principles taught during those times observed at all times, the number of young men who come before me each week would be much smaller.”
East Chicago reports a program of plays, songs, games, pageants, parades, news notes, and health slides and films in the schools with child examinations and correction of defects. The Indiana Harbor Woman's Club, sponsor of these activities, plans a more complete program for next year.
A county-wide program centered at Auburn, Ind., in charge of the county nurse and the secretary of the Antituberculosis Society. Features were a parade of children from county schools and a community program attended by 700 persons with an address of welcome, presentation of May basket to the mayor, health talks, health drills, and plays, nutrition plays, health songs, and a Maypole dance. The merchants of Auburn decorated their windows with children's needs and the groceries with fruits and vegetables.
Child health day was observed in La Porte with a successful program of plays, pageants, and parades in the schools.
Newspaper publicity, talks in schools and churches, and poster displays are reported as part of the Marion activities during child health week. Cooperation was given by the dental association and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
Child health day in Crown Point took the form of a special child health examination at the Lake County Tuberculosis Sanatorium.
Noble County schools gave health programs on their “last days.” Some of the women's clubs gave health entertainments at May meetings. A special edition of the Noble Farmer summarized all the county health activities of the year since the last May day. A May clinic was conducted for crippled children.
The Elkhart Child Welfare Association arranged for merchants' window displays and poster and sign announcements to call attention to national child health day.
The Greater Mishawaka Exposition of the chamber of commerce arranged a baby clinic which was held on May 2.
With the slogan, “Joy in health for every child” the American Legion Auxiliary and the Public Health Nursing Association cooperated in the presentation of an interesting program of entertainment on health. Local physicians examined children at the regular monthly health conference. Dr. Ada E. Schweitzer, director of the State child hygiene division, spoke on a health subject. A pantomine and reading “Our baby up to date” was given by the Legion Auxiliary and a health play by the Big Sisters, Y. W. C. A., Indiana University. Demonstrations and exhibits were made by the Parent-Teacher Association, the home economics department of Indiana University, and other organizations interested in the health of the community and the welfare of children.
In the schools and churches, plays, pageants, and songs were given. The Indiana University student paper gave publicity.
Terre Haute is already planning a program for next year to excel this year's observance of child health day which was quite effective with plays, songs, and an exhibit of handwork done by the school children.
The school nurse at Logansport had the cooperation of the nursing association in arranging a program of news notes, health slides and films, window displays, poster displays, plays, songs, and parades. Proclamations were issued by the mayor and the county and city health boards.
The county nurse at Princeton writes that four towns in the county had attractive window displays featuring child health. These were arranged by people in each town. Libraries displayed posters and several of the schools had posters. Each county paper carried an article on child health. Department stores used the child health idea in their advertising.
From the community public health nurse at Speed, Ind., came the message:
“This community plans to do its part in bringing the ideal before the people this year with, first, a program given by the school children on May 2 at the community house demonstrating some of the health chores and rules taught in the schools. On May 3, there will be a preschool child clinic for the children who will be first year pupils next fall. This is conducted in order that it may be possible to send to school next September first-grade children as free as possible from remediable defects. If our May day. celebration is to reach its ultimate height, it must be only the beginning of permanent interest of the entire community for its year round responsibility for the health of childhood. Then, next year, May day will become the celebration of all that has been accomplished during the previous year.”
In Martinsville a combination observance of child health day and hospital day was the occasion for baby clinics and health plays.