National Child Health Day is the first Monday of every October, where we show our support for the health of children, families, and those who work hard to help them.
Family income is an important factor in children’s health both physically and mentally. Children in households below the poverty line have a higher rate of obesity than those above it, and since the epidemic is not slowing down, it is clear that there is more to do.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL CHILD HEALTH DAY
There were no facilities dedicated to treating children until the mid-19th century. They were treated at home and if that was not an option for the families, the children went to the municipal charities as their parents did. The understanding of children’s health was not defined at the time and abandoned and orphaned babies were often left in children’s asylums.
In the 1860s, the problem worsened until specialized child-care hospitals were developed to address the problem. There was a stigma around the sick and the poor and not enough was being done to stem the tide. Young children’s hospitals admitted these sick and abandoned children and offered them food, clothing and more to improve their health. The philosophy of these hospitals was that even if their parents made poor decisions, it was not the children’s fault.
At the end of the 19th century, the effects of these children’s hospitals became apparent throughout the country. The number of children admitted for welfare decreased over time, and children who were chronically ill or required surgery increased. More children were being cared for properly and that meant more comprehensive testing was being done to improve their medical care.
National Child Health Day became a day of observance in 1928 when President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation for the day and Congress enacted it. At first, May 1 was celebrated as National Child Health Day, and in 1960 it was changed to the first Monday in October. Since then, American presidents have issued proclamations that day in hopes of uniting the country in supporting children’s health.
NATIONAL CHILD HEALTH DAY SCHEDULE
1960s: change of dates
In 1960 the day was moved to the first Monday in October.
1928 – Proclaim the day
President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed National Child Health Day and it was celebrated on May 1.
1895 – Statistics
The number of children admitted to social assistance decreases due to children’s hospitals.
Early 19th century: sweet charity
Children are treated in municipal asylums for adults and sick children are abandoned in children’s asylums.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF NATIONAL CHILD HEALTH DAY
Is National Child Health Day an official holiday?
It is not an official holiday, but many schools and hospitals participate in the celebration of the day.
What can I do to protect my children?
Post a list of emergency numbers on the refrigerator and save the numbers for Poison Control, local police, fire department, your doctor, etc. and save the information to your phone.
Where can I donate?
You can donate at www.Childfund.org.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL CHILD HEALTH DAY
Invite the children you know to go out and exercise by going for a run. Make it fun by timing yourself and seeing how long it takes you to run a lap. You can even use this as an opportunity to exercise on a regular basis. Make it a weekly or monthly activity to promote physical fitness.
Participate in an event
It is okay to have guilty pleasures, but too much unhealthy food can be bad for you. Take a good look at your diet and see where you can make some improvements. Look online and learn about delicious and healthy options you can add to your diet. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to be smooth.
Donate and dance
Donate to The Miracle Network Dance Marathon, which is a healthy movement involving college, university, and high school students. In the program, students spend a year gaining leadership, teamwork, and non-profit entrepreneurial experience and raise funds and awareness while having fun dancing. When you make a donation to this charity, 100% of the proceeds stay in place to support the children.
FIVE FACTS ABOUT NATIONAL CHILD HEALTH DAY
The motto for Child Health Day 1939 was: “The health of the child is the power of the nation.”
You are what you eat
Your child’s eating habits should include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, foods with proteins, and oils.
Many everyday kiddie snacks are surprisingly unhealthy, like applesauce and yogurt.
A good diet can improve academic performance.
An estimated 82% of children in the US are in good health.
WHY NATIONAL CHILD HEALTH DAY IS IMPORTANT
Children are the future
Children are the most vulnerable people in our society. Knowing how to better ensure your health secures our future for a brighter tomorrow. The next generation needs to develop good health standards and it starts with us.
A necessary occupation
It may seem incredible now, but at one point, there were no children’s hospitals. Children were once overlooked and that critically damaged society. As we continue to support children’s health, a message is displayed that it is here to stay.
Families need support
It can be a daunting task to keep up to date on all things healthy for your kids. It’s so much easier when families know they have advocates willing to spread the word and fundraise to make sure their children have the right information and tools to stay healthy. The more a health-conscious ideology becomes the norm, the more likely children are to follow suit.