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Children in W artime No. 2
Bureau P u blication N o . 283
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Children’s Charter

W artime
We are in total war against the aggressor nations. We are fighting again for human freedom
and especially for the future of our children in a free world.
Children must be safeguarded—and they can be safeguarded in the midst of this
total war so that they can live and share in that future. They must be nour­
ished, sheltered, and protected even in the stress of war production so that they
will be strong to carry forward a just and lasting peace.
Our American Republics sprang from a sturdy yearning for tolerance, independ­
ence, and self-government. The American home has emerged from the search
for freedom. Within it the child lives and learns through his own efforts the
meaning and responsibilities of freedom.
We have faith in the children of the New World—faith that if our generation does
its part now, they will renew the living principles in our common life and make
the most of them.
Both as a wartime responsibility and as stepping-stones to our future—and to theirs—we call
upon citizens, young and old, to join together to—

Guard children from injury in danger zones.

II. Protect children from neglect, exploitation, and
undue strain in defense areas.
III. Strengthen the home life of children whose par­
ents are mobilized for war or war production.
IV. Conserve, equip, and free children of every race
and creed to take their part in democracy.
1 6 -279X2-1
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

A Children’s Charter in Wartime
— Put in terms of the children of the United States


“Guard children from injury in danger zones”

These danger zones line our coasts along the A tlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf—especially where there are
military targets, industrial plants, business centers, oil tanks, or the like; also, closely built home areas which might
be bombed in an effort to break the morale of defense production workers.
These zones are a first charge on our Civilian Defense program but there is no certainty that inland districts
and communities w ill not be subject to air raids or other forms of attack.
C h ild re n f ir s t in all plans for protection. The first step is their
registration and identification.
E v a c u a tio n o f c h ild re n fro m su c h zones, if needed, as a
sound precaution; advance plans for adequate reception and care in
their places of refuge. Mothers to go with their children whenever
“ W a r v a c a tio n s” f o r c ity c h ild re n .— By the expansion of
summer vacation camps conducted under proper supervision, staffed
in part by volunteers, and utilizing surplus commodities and other
aids, great numbers of children can be removed from exposed dis-



tricts at relatively little expense. These camp demonstrations would
be an admirable test of evacuation methods and an investment for
A p p ro p ria te im m u n iz a tio n of all children against communicable disease.
H e lp in g c h ild re n t o m e e t t h e a n tic ip a tio n s a n d re a litie s
o f w a r tim e .— Childhood anxiety can be as devastating as disease.
Not only parents, but doctors, nurses, teachers, recreation leaders,
settlement workers, child-welfare and child-guidance workers can
help to preserve the child’s sense of security, which is his greatest


“Protect children from


exploitation,a nd undue strain

V ital to the cause of the United Nations is an ever-increasing stream of guns, tanks, and planes and other war
equipment and materials from the United States. A thousand communities are involved in their production. Broken
working time, due to sickness of the worker, or his w ife or child, or to disturbed family life, handicaps production at
countless points.
Therefore, the following are essential :
A d e q u a te h e a lth , e d u c a tio n , a n d w e lf a re serv ices
must be maintained for children and their parents in each of the
thousand communities where war production or military camps are
established. To accomplish this will require proper staffing with
doctors, health officers, nurses, social workers, teachers, recreation
leaders, and librarians. It will call for adequate hospitals, clinics,
schools, playgrounds, recreational facilities, and day-care centers.
Each of these communities will need to mobilize all of its resources
within a coordinated plan. Many will need assistance to supple­
ment existing staff and equipment.
T h e assig n m en t o f o b ste tric ia n s a n d p e d ia tric ia n s to
d efen se areas should be given special consideration.
C h ild -g u id an ce clinics should be provided wherever possible




to help parents and children overcome insecurity associated w ith
dislocations in family life. Such dislocations exaggerate the normal
anxieties of children and create situations that require special service.
School o p p o rtu n itie s must be expanded to meet the new
demands of expanding populations. This should include nursery
schools for young children.
R e c r e a tio n leaders, g ro u p w o r k e r s , a n d c h ild -w e lfa re
w o r k e r s are urgently needed in defense communities, where
crowded conditions mean overtaxing of facilities for play of little
children and of recreation centers for older boys and girls; increase
in harmful employment of children; and mounting juvenile delin­


“Strengthen the home life of children whose parents are mobilized fo r war or war production ”
T o children in wartime the home is vital as a center of security and hope and love. To our fighting men the
safety and protection of their families is the center of what they fight for. T o men on the production front the welfare
of their families and homes is basic to morale.
M igration to new and crowded communities, the absence of the father in military service, priorities unemploy­
ment on the one hand, and the employment of mothers on the other, are creating problems in homes that affect
Digitized forevery
member of the family.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

18— 27912-1

C h ild re n o f o u r fig h tin g m e n .—Full provision must be
made for the economic needs of children whose fathers are in the
service and for medical and hospital care for wives and children.
A G o v e rn m e n t in s u ra n c e p ro g ra m for civilians injured or
killed as a result of war activities should supplement our social'
security program.
A d e q u a te h o u sin g is essential to the protection of home life.
In housing projects, facilities should be provided for health services
and group activities for children.
E m p lo y m e n t o f m o th e rs a n d d a y ca re o f c h ild re n .—
As plans develop for the participation of women in war industry,
it must be recognised that the care of young children is the first
responsibility of mothers. For children whose mothers are employed
or planning to enter employment, it is the responsibility of the com'
munity, through adequate planning and support, to see that parents
have assistance in planning for their needs and that the children have
the best possible care—not forgetting health supervision, oppor'
tunity for nursery education and play for the youngest, recreation
outside of school hours for those who attend school.
D a y c a re f o r c h ild re n i n c ro w d e d areas w h e r e h o m e
facilities a re lim ite d .—Such children should have opportunities
similar to those provided for children of working mothers.
E conom ic s e c u rity .— To all parents economically unable to
maintain a home for their children, Government help should be ex'
tended through such measures as aid to dependent children, general
assistance, and benefits for temporary and permanent disability.
School a n d w o r k .— I t is essential that children and youth be
sound and well prepared in body and mind for the tasks of todhy and
tomorrow. Their right to schooling should not be scrapped for the
duration. Demands for the employment of children as a necessary
war measure should be analyzed to determine whether full use has

been made of available adult manpower and to distinguish between
actual labor shortage and the desire to obtain cheap labor. The
education and wholesome development of boys and girls should be
the first consideration in making decisions with regard to their em'
ployment or other contribution to our war effort. This means that
no boy or girl shall be employed at wages that undermine the wages
for adult labor; none under 14 years of age shall be part of the labor
force; none under 16 shall be employed in manufacturing and mining
occupations; none under 18 in hazardous occupations.
H e a lth a n d e d u c a tio n .—A measure urgently needed at this
time is complete médical examinations of all boys and girls of high'
school age at regular intervals, with provision for correction of
remediable defects. Provision should be made for a N ationw ide
extension of health services for school children, including medical
care as needed and health instruction, developed through the CO'
operation of health and education authorities. The need for health
supervision and medical care for youth has been demonstrated until
there is no longer any possibility of disregarding it.
Y o u n g c h ild re n .— In the war period special consideration
should be given to the needs of all young children for security in the
home and for opportunity to grow through association w ith other
children in play and through the reassurance given by adults who
have learned to understand their needs. Opportunity for nursery
education should be made increasingly available to help meet situa'
tions created by the war.
C h ild re n i n r u r a l areas.— More than half of the children of
the Nation live in country districts. Far more than city children
they are likely to be handicapped by early and harmful employment,
inadequate schools, and lack of other community facilities. The war
effort must not increase these handicaps.
P a rtic ip a tio n i n c i v i l i a n - m o b i l i z a t i o n . p ro g ram s.—
Boys and girls should participate in home and community efforts
for the war through activities appropriate to their age and ability.

Every city county, and State should review the needs of its children and youth in the light of these principles
through a children’s wartime commission or council or an existing o
r g a i t o K
and should devise means to meet evident needs through the cooperative action of Federal, State, and local govern
merits and private agencies.
r i .11
Everv effort should be made to keep the public informed of activities and needs in all phases of service for children
and to provide for participation of professional associations organised labor, farm groups, and other organisations o f
citizens concerned w ith children, in the planning and development of these programs.
Provision should be made as rapidly as possible for tou ting the professional workers needed to provide for
extension of community programs to increasing numbers of children.
There should be no State lines nor barriers of race or creed impeding what w e do for children in our war effort.
They may not live in danger sones or defense areas; they w ill still be subject to the strains of these times. They
should not be forgotten Americans. Their future is our future,






Conserve, equip, and free children o f every race and creed to take thetr part tn democracy

The Children’s Charter drawn up at the W hite House Conference in 1930 and the recommendations of the
1940C o 5 « en ce are still a challenge to the people. Here it is only in point to single out certain factors that take
on new significance in the present war crisis.
H e a lth a n d c h ild re n .— Good health in childhood lays the
oundation for good health in later life. Children should have health
upervision from the prenatal period through adolescence, special
banning is needed to overcome present and future shortages of don
■ors and nurses. As soon as possible every county in the United
states should have public'health'nursing service, prenatal clinics,
delivery care, child'health conferences, and clinic and hospital service
:or sick children.
F ood fo r c h ild re n .— The needs of children must be considered
arst in the event of national or local shortages of foods, especially or
milk and the other protective foods. If our country is to be strong,
all children must have the food they need for buoyant health and
normal growth, and information must be available to parents con'
ceming the family food requirements. Family incomes should be
Digitized for sufficient
FRASER to assure to each member of the family the right amounts
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

and the right kinds of food. School meals are an effective means of
supplementing home nutrition and educating children and their
families in good food habits. The extension of penny milk to all
children is an important aid in assuring to them their full share ot
this essential food.
Social serv ices f o r c h ild re n .—C o m m u n i t i e s s h o u l d b e
equipped to supplement the care and training given by home and
school when the welfare of the child demands it. Child'welfare and
child'guidance resources of the State, county, and city governments
should be expanded to provide appropriate service and care tor all
children w ith special needs.
T h e r i g h t t o p la y .—More than ever in wartime, recreation
must be assured for children and youth through the full use and
expansion, as needed, of all public and private leisure'time activities.
___0 *7 0 1 0 —1

Children’s Bureau Commission on Children in Wartime
The Commission held its first m eeting March 16-18, 1942, adopted the Charter, and made plans for
continuing work to make it effective
[Members of the Commission as of March 1942

Chairman, Leonard W. Mayo,
Cleveland, Ohio.
Edith Abbott, Chicago, HI.
Fred L. Adair, M. D., Chicago, HI.
David C. Adie, Albany, N. Y.
Frederick H. Allen, M. D., Phila­
delphia, Pa.
Mrs. Rose H. Alschuler, Wash­
ington, D. C.
Mildred Arnold, Indianapolis, Ind.
Reginald M. Atwater, M. D., New
York, N. Y.
Leona Baumgartner, M. D., New
York, N. Y.
M. O. Bousfield, M. D., Chicago,
John Brophy, Washington, D. C.
Robin C. Buerki, M. D., Philadel­
phia, Pa.
Charlotte Carr, Chicago, 111.
Henry P. Carstensen, Seattle,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Children’s Bureau

Horton Casparis, M. D., Nashville,
Elizabeth Woodruff Clark, New
York, N. Y.
Grace L. Coyle, Cleveland, Ohio.
Courtenay Dinwiddie, New York,
N. Y.
Loula Dunn, Montgomery, Ala.
Mrs. Gladys Talbott Edwards,
Jamestown, N. Dak.
Marshall Field, New York, N. Y.
Homer Folks, New York, N. Y.
Willard E. Givens, Washington,
D. C.
Mrs. Sidonie M. Gruenberg, New
York, N. Y.
Percy F. Guy, M. D., Seattle,
Henry F. Helmholz, M. D., Mayo
Clime, Rochester, Minn.
Fred K. Hoehler, Chicago, 111.
M rs. Anne Sarachon Hooley,
Washington, D. C.

Howard W. Hopkirk, New York, Mrs. Horace B. Ritchie, Athens.
N. Y.
Mrs. Harriet Houdlette, Wash­ Mrs. Charles W. Sewell, Chicago, I
ington, D. C.
Ruth Houlton, New York, N. Y.
DeWitt Smith, Washington, D. C.
Mrs. J. Horton Ijams, New York, Richard M. Smith, M. D., Boston,
N .Y . ‘
Charles S. Johnson, Nashville, J. Edward Sproul, New York, N. Y.
George S. Stevenson, M. D., New
Paul U. Kellogg, New York, N. Y.
York, N. Y.
Mrs. William Kletzer, Portland, Mrs. Nathan Straus, New York,
N. Y.
Mrs. Clara Savage Littledale, New Carroll P. Streeter, Philadelphia,
York, N. Y.
Mrs. Betty Eckhardt May, New Linton Swift, New York, N. Y.
York, N. Y.
Felix J. Underwood, M. D., JackFrieda Miller, New York, N. Y.
son, Miss.
Neville Miller, Washington, D. C. Robert J. Watt, Washington, D. C.
Ellen C. Potter, M. D., Trenton, Albert W. Whitney, New York,
N. J.
N. Y.
Emma C. Puschner, Indianapolis, Herbert D. Williams, Warwick,
N .Y .
Floyd W. Reeves, Washington, Archibald B. Young, Pasadena,

United States Department of Labor


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. Price 5 cents each.

Washington, 1942