For Kids Only: Child Health Day
Children are extensions of our hopes, our dreams and in some cases, our very future. Most parents recognize that and love and nurture their children and make sure they give them everything they need to lead healthy, happy lives. However, there are times when we’re unable to give them what they need, due to illness or financial considerations. Child Health Day is a day when the entire country joins in efforts to draw attention to children, their heath and their mental well-being, no matter what part of the country they’re from or which social strata they belong to.
President Calvin Coolidge was the very first president of the United States to issue a Child Health Day proclamation. In 1928, he responded to two powerful groups in the country, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and the American Federation of Labor, to address the issue of children’s health in America. Since that time, the date, which originally was to be observed on May 1st, has been changed to the first Monday in October. Child welfare organizations, school teachers, parents and other concerned adults take the day to ensure that children have access to anything they need, and that includes vaccinations, mental health professionals, food programs, both at school and at home, and protection against abuse, both in the home and in any other area of their lives.
Child Health Day is a time to recognize and address issues of child rising and care. This includes everything from prenatal care for mothers and providing them with information on how to give their unborn children a good head start in life to offering classes in newborn care and emotional support. It is also a day when schools around the country address child health issues such as vaccinations, eye and dental care, as well as enabling every child to have access to such. It’s a day when major organizations and groups get together to discuss child safety issues and local and national efforts to protect children both at home, at school and at public playgrounds.
Many communities take the opportunity on Child Health Day to address the issues of disabled children and their needs, both at community and national levels. The Public Health Department is out in full force on Child Health Day, ensuring that health needs of local children are being met. The public health department strives to insure that screenings and evaluations are performed in every school within their district to ensure that immunizations and other health concerns regarding children are addressed. These services are available throughout every county for services at home, school or even in the office.
Child Health Day is also a day that finds many schools addressing issues of substance abuse, physical and emotional abuse and topics such as bullying; anything that has to do with the wellbeing of children and their ability to defend themselves in an increasingly dangerous world. Most governmental health care providing industries, as well as schools and childcare programs throughout the United States observe the day. In more recent years, elementary, middle and high schools focus on child safety issues and teach children how to avoid danger when around strangers, at home alone or in other situations that thousands of children find themselves in every day.
There is a saying that children are our most valuable commodities, which is true, but they are also precious in the eyes of family as well. Children deserve to be safe wherever they are, whether at home, school or playing in the neighborhood. Child Health Day is a day when all adults must focus attention on the needs of children everywhere, not just our own.