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This Bulletin Will Be Sent To All In The State Who Ask For It
W. W. GOLDEN, M.D., President - - - - - Elkins S. L. JEPSON, M.D., Sc.D., Secretary - - - Wheeling J. L. PYLE, M.D., - - - - - - - Chester J. H. SHIPPER, M.D., - - - - - Gerrardstown J. E. ROBINS, M.D., - - - - - - Charleston J. A. RUSMISELL, M.D.,
Buckhannon H. M. RYMER, M.D.,
- Harrisville W. J. DAVIDSON, M.D., - - - - - Parkersburg H. A. BARBEE, A.M., M.D., - - - - Point Pleasant H. A. BRANDEBURY, M.D., - - - - - Huntington G. D. LIND, M.D., Ph.D., - - - - - Greenwood GEORGE P. DANIEL, M.D., - - - - - Marshes
COMMITTEE ON BULLETIN
JOHN N. SIMPSON, M.D., Director
DIETRICH C. OUDSHOORN, Assistant Chemist
WM. H. SCHULTZ, Ph.D., Consulting Pharmacologist
This Bulletin will be sent to physicians, including County and Municipal Health Officers in the State. These officers should read the Bulletin carefully and preserve for future reference. Thus we
"Poor little mortal cast out on life's portal
Certainly. this baby should receive our tenderest care. The most helpless of all newly-born animals, it yet possesses possibilities of good or evil that can scarcely be measured. The crowned monarchs of the world, the presidents of this and other great countries, the scientists whose investigations have unraveled many of the mysteries of nature, the inventors who have given us the magnetic telegraph, the telephone, wireless telegraphy, and thousands of other forms of mechanism which have made lighter the burdens of the world and hastened its progress, were once “puling infants in their mothers' arms," vastly more helpless than the colt, the calf, the puppy or the kitten. But, oh! the possibilities of the infant, and because of these possibilities what tender care it needs, what direction, what training, what education! How infinitely better did all these thoughts receive serious consideration by the young men and women even prior to marriage.
“There was a wailing nine-months-old baby tossed by its mother into a life boat that will probably grow up without knowing who its parents were."
This little message was flashed over the land after the terrific Titanic disaster amid the sea of ice on the northern Atlantic a year or more ago. Whether the baby's sudden separation from a fond mother was the happiest fate or not depends largely on the character of the mother who but for the dread disaster would probably have reared it to manhood or womanhood. Not all parents are fit to beget or rear children. We are striving to lessen the number of the diseased, degenerate and altogether unfit parents of the world, and this is a work of years, or generations rather. But this is a better age for babies than any that has preceded it; and all over the civilized world are movements in progress for the alleviation of the ills of all sorts with which childhood has to contend. Ignorant parents, diseased parents, vile parents, degenerate parents, will
diminish in numbers as the years go by, because of the active efforts and charitable deeds of good men and women throughout the Christian world.
Dr. Stanley Hall has beautifully said that “everything is right that makes for the welfare of the yet unborn, and everything is wrong that injures them. To wrong them is to commit the unpardonable sin, the only one that nature knows. Every human institution—the home, the school, the State, the Church—is organized primarily to bring the children to the brightest possible maturity. The institutions of all science and civilization are graded and valued by just how much they can contribute to this prime end.” The trend of the times may be well illustrated by the action of the Indiana State Board of Health, which has adopted this Child Creed:
“Every child has the inalienable right to be born free from disease, free from deformity and with pure blood in its veins and arteries. Every child has the inalienable right to be loved; to have its individuality respected; to be trained wisely in mind, body and soul; to be protected from disease, from evil influences and evil persons; and to have a fair chance in life. In a word, to be brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.”
That the results here aimed at may be secured, we must adopt the suggestion of Dr. Holmes, and begin the training of children a hundred years before they are born; in other words, the parents and grandparents must be selected, trained and educated in the best possible way. There are movements on foot today that tend in this. direction, at least, so that the future of the child is to be made more safe, and the child of the future is to be a more healthy and a better trained child, and therefore a better and more useful citizen than are those of the present. To this end Boards of Health and Legislatures are moving as the years go by. The authorities of Indiana seem to be the most progressive in these matters. The law requiring the sterilization of criminals is a move intended to diminish the propagation of criminals and defectives. The Ohio law requiring the prospective bride and groom to appear together before the Probate Court which grants the license has a similar purpose. The movement toward legislation along this line in a number of States is spreading and meeting with very general approval.
Someone has said that infant mortality is the most sensitive index we possess of social welfare. But how very slow are the · people in realizing this fact. We have become so accustomed to hear of the excessive death rate among infants that we do not readily realize the possibility of materially reducing it by active efforts. But there are always some among us who are quick to appreciate the necessity of the time, and so there was organized, several years ago, “The American Association for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality," whose objects are:
"To study infant mortality in all its relations; to disseminate