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Children’s Year
A brief summary of work done
and suggestions for
follow-up work

Children’s Year Follow-up Series No. 4

Bureau Publication N o. 67

U. S. Department of Labor
Children’s Bureau
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Children’s Y ear campaign______________ _____ ________ _________ _______
A war measure,___ _ ___________________ ____ ________ ___
Organization___ __ ____ _____________ _______________ _
Response of country__________ __ __ ________ ___________________
Library -cooperation......... .......... ,.................................................................
Weighing and measuring._____________ ____ _______ __________________
Recreation___ ______ ________ ______ _____________ ' ____
Back to school, ,____ _________ __________ '____________________ __
Results of Children’s Year, . . . , _____ __ _________ ________________ ^ _
H*ew measures for child health___ .
...-............... ....... ..................................
Recreation a public responsibility________ _____ _______ _______ ______
Higher standards of education required., . . , ____________________
Conference on standards__ _______ ____ ___ ______________________
Children’s Year ifollow-np._______ ___ ______________ __ _____ .
Protectien of maternity -and infancy,, , , __ _____ ___ ___________ ______
Protection of working children______ _______________ _____ ____ _____
Protection of -children bom out of wedlock-____________________ ______
Program of Children’s Year follow-up_________ _____ __ _____________ ____

States organized for follow-up work, April, .1920_____ _____________________
States included in the birth-registration area, April, 1920,____ _____________
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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Children’s Year.

»The Children’s Year campaign was formally inaugurated on April
6, 1918, the beginning of the second year of this country’s participation
in the war. The campaign was carried on in cooperation with the
Child Conservation Section of the Field Division of the Council of
National Defense as a distinct war measure. European experience
showed that war-time conditions affect children adversely, even disas­
trously, and that the protection of its children is a primary essential
to a nation at war. It also demonstrated that even under these con­
ditions determined effort can accomplish much toward shielding
children from the effects of war. The Children’s Bureau, therefore,
felt that it could offer no more valuable contribution to the country
during the war than to assist in stimulating and coordinating public
and' volunteer effort for child welfare and to put its experience at
the service of the Council of National Defense and other agencies
undertaking work in behalf of children.
The importance of this campaign as a war measure was imme­
diately recognized. In a public letter, President Wilson expressed
his conviction that such work was “ second only in importance” to
supplying the immediate need of the combatants.

The Woman’s Committee of the Council of National Defense
offered full cooperation through its Child Welfare Department (later
known as the Child Conservation Section of the Field Division),
whose executive chairman was Dr. Jessica B. Peixotto, of the Univer­
sity of California. In January, 1919, Dr. Peixotto was obliged to
return to the University of California and was succeeded by Mrs.
Ina J. N. Perkins. This department worked with untiring zeal in
carrying out the program outlined as follows in the Fifth and Sixth
Annual Reports of the Children’s Bureau :
If Public protection of maternity and infancy.
2. Mothers’ care for older children.
/ 3. Enforcement of child-labor laws and free schooling for all
children of school age.
4. Recreation for children and youth, abundant, decent, pro­
tected from any form of exploitation.
1 Practically all the material in this leaflet has been taken from the Seventh Annual Report of the
Chief, Children’s Bureau, IJ. S. Dept, of Labor, Washington, 1920.
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c h il d r e n ’s year .


The response to the appeal made by the Children’s Bureau and the
Child Conservation Section of the Council of National Defense was
mmediate and generous. Three months from the date of the first
circular of organization, January 25, 1918, all but 10 States had
State chairmen of child welfare already at work. At the official
close of Children’s Year on April 6, 1919, all but 2 States were par­
ticipating in Children’s Year; 1 of these had dissolved its State
Division of the Woman’s Committee, and the other was carrying on
its own child-welfare program formulated before the war. Alaska,
Hawaii, Porto Rico, and the Philippines joined in with the States
and carried on some form of child-welfare work.
The committees thus set up in the States were drawn from many
women’s organizations of social, civic, economic, religious, or cul­
tural type. I t is estimated that at least 17,000 committees were
organized with a total membership of 11,000,000 women. The gen­
erosity and effectiveness with which these women gave themselves,
and the splendid unselfishness of the doctors, nurses, social workers,
and others who gave freely expert services, can not be too highly
Two signal contributions different in character from these services
and worthy of special mention were given by F. Luis Mora and
Chester Beach.
Early in Children’s Year Mr. Mora generously designed and gave
a charming poster in color bearing the caption “The health of the
child is the power of the nation.” This poster was widely distributed
throughout the country.
Commemorating the work of Children’s Year, Mr. Beach designed
and executed a beautiful medal. At the end of Children’s Year
a small bronze replica of this medal was distributed to each State
chairman by the Child Conservation Section of the Council of
National Defense, together with a letter expressing the gratitude
of the council and the bureau for the “ high humanitarian and
patriotic service rendered in the execution of the Children’s Year

In addition to the other agencies cooperating with the Children’s
Bureau particular mention should be made of the public libraries.
The bureau conducted “ a library campaign for the nation’s children”
for which a mailing list of over 4,000 libraries was prepared, and
State agents, were appointed in 26 States. Libraries were supplied
with bureau publications and special articles so that they might help
acquaint the public with the best available material on the subject
of child care and general child welfare. The cooperation given by
the libraries was most gratifying.
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As an aid to the furtherance of this work cooperation was sought
from and generously given by the States Relations Service of the
United States Department of Agriculture, the State superintendents
of public instruction in the 48 States and island possessions, and the
home economic teachers throughout the country.

As generously as the workers responded to the appeal of the Child
Conservation Section and the Children’s Bureau did the country
respond to the program outlined. The Weighing and Measuring
Test of infants and children of preschool age was the opening drive
of Children’s Year, and it aroused a swift and widespread interest.
The first edition of 500,000 cards for this test was augmented within
three months to over 6,000,000 cards. The final number distributed
by the Children’s Bureau, all in response to local requests, was
7,606,303. Up to May 4, 1919, 16,811 cities and towns, villages,
and rural communities had conducted weighing and measuring tests.
These were for well children, and no medical advice, or treatment was
given, but in many instances the presence of physical defects was
disclosed which medical care might remove or lessen, and mothers
were constantly advised to consult physicians for their children.
In a vast number of instances the weighing and measuring was
necessarily done by laymen; but in many cases it was done under
the supervision of specialists. In many localities where local chair­
men could effectively organize their work much more was done, than
simple weighing and measuring. Many thousands of children in such
localities were given complete physical examination by physicians.
In one far western State where 40,000 children had such examinations
tabulations of the results showed 47 per cent correctable physical
Rural communities as well as urban benefited from the Weighing
and Measuring Test. In three States extraordinary effort was made
by means of “ Baby specials” to bring the message of child health
to the country; thus, in Ohio the city of Cleveland sent a wellequipped truck to outlying districts around the city; Connecticut
fitted up a truck; and Michigan an interurban car which touched
all rural communities on the interurban lines of that State.

The Recreation drive, second of the Children’s Year campaign,
met a response from many communities. Programs were sent out in
June and July, 1918, and committees all over the country organized
to prepare and protect the play of older children. The Playground
and Recreation Association of America and 16 other national societies
and the Department of Agriculture club and demonstration directors
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cooperated with the Children’s Bureau and the Child Conservation
Section in celebrating a patriotic play week in the autumn of 1918
and furthering the interest of healthy play.

The third campaign of Children’s Year was the Back-to-School
drive. This was a measure adopted to decrease child labor. The
war conditions of abnormally high wages, relaxed parental control,
and natural patriotic impulse had induced children in ever-increasing
numbers to leave school for work.
Forty-five States, New York City, the District of Columbia, and
Hawaii undertook vigorously the campaign to get these children
back into school. In general, the organization and work suggested
by the Children’s Bureau were closely followed, with full cooperation
from school and labor officials. As an instance of successful local
effort: In one small town the teachers were able to furnish the
child-welfare committee with a list of some 70 children who were
at work on permits, and all but one of these children were persuaded
to go back to school. Some of the methods and expedients found
useful in coping with the situation were scholarships for children,
visiting teachers, continuation and part-time schools, vocational
training courses, and vocational guidance bureaus or placement
The Back-to-School drive was inaugurated on October 17, 1918;
and the armistice a month later added another argument to its
strength—an argument expressed by a popular poster issued by the
bureau which reads, “ Children Back in School Means Soldiers Back
in Jobs.” On February 11, 1919, a Stay-in-School campaign was
started to clinch the work of the drive by persuading children who
might be planning to leave school early to stay and increase their
prospect of future usefulness and happiness by so doing.

I t is obviously impossible to estimate the exact results of Children’s
Year. The result of the effort to save the lives of 100,000 babies can
not be known even partially at this time. What is certain is that
the activities set in motion by that effort form a great permanent
and growing protection for infant life and will in time reduce our
child deaths by many more than 100,000 annually. Millions of
adults in this country have learned through the Weighing and
Measuring Tests alone that weight in relation to height and age gives
a rough index of normal development; that hundreds of thousands
of children are undernourished and suffering from other defects
which are preventable or remediable; that child welfare is, in short,
an important national problem.
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The awakening to the problem brought action, and many con­
crete results in public welfare may be ascribed to Children’s Year.
I t is not an exaggeration to say that the following experience of
California is typical of the good work done by many communities.
In this State 53,462 children were weighed and measured and 40,000
of that number had complete physical examination by physicians.
Subsequent examinations were provided for to reach a larger number
of children and to demonstrate the value of periodic physical exami­
nations. As a result of the findings of the 40,000 examinations,
17 permanent county health centers were established; 10 county
public-health nurses were employed; legislative action was taken to
provide dental hygienists for children; 120,000 dietaries, besides
30,000 Children’s -Year bulletins, were distributed throughout the
State; the State university inaugurated a correspondence extension
course on scientific motherhood. The work culminated in the estab­
lishment of a division of child hygiene under the State board of
health with an appropriation of $20,000.
Legislation creating child-hygiene divisions was planned in a
number of States as the climax to the State child-welfare program.
Before the announcement of the Children’s Year campaign 9 States
(New York, Kansas, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Louisiana,
Illinois, Indiana, and Montana) had child-hygiene divisions. During
1918 four additional States (Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and
North Carolina) provided child-hygiene divisions; and, since January,
1919, 19 additional States (South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia,
Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Texas, California, New Mex­
ico, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, Virginia,
Georgia, Maine, and Michigan) have secured such divisions, making
a total of 32 States with child-hygiene divisions—May 1, 1920.
New public-health nurses and children’s health centers have been
reported from 24 States, with 137 nurses in 10 of these States and 134
health centers where mothers may be given advice and instruction
concerning the care of their children. Other centers for child-welfare
work, such as prenatal clinics, nutritional clinics, milk depots,
etc., are logically developing around these health centers.
The public-health nurse, the keystone of child-welfare work, is
being called upon in ever-increasing numbers. To enlarge the
inadequate numbers of nurses available special means have been
taken by various communities. One State in New England has
provided scholarships for nurses during their special training, on
condition that the nurses fill for at least one year vacancies in their
own State. I t is hoped that by these scholarships a public-health
nurse may be placed in every town. Another New England State
has a similar program of “ a health center and a public-health nurse
174643°—20----- 2
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c h il d r e n ’s year .

for every township. ” The American Red Cross has stimulated this
movement by the distribution from national headquarters of $100,000
and an uncomputed sum from local chapters for scholarships for
post-graduate courses in public-health training.
In New Orleans the business men supported a campaign which
raised $45,000 for child welfare during Children’s Year. With this
money a trained supervisor was placed in charge of public-health
nursing, and the nursing staff was increased from 8 to 33. Twentynine new health centers were established in the city during the year,
through Which well organized intensive child-welfare work is being
carried on.

Through Children’s Year clean amusement and vigorous outdoor
play have been more widely understood as indispensable factors in
giving children and young people their rightful chance, both physi­
cally and morally. To furnish suitable opportunities and to assume
responsibility for the decency of commercial entertainment are recog­
nized increasingly as civic duties. The increased number of play­
grounds in many towns this year and the growing recognition that
playgrounds and parks require skilled supervision and direction are
indications of the growth of the movement to which Children’s Year
has contributed.
Many new playgrounds were reported in 16 different States as a
result of the Recreation drive. The necessity for wholesome and
supervised recreation for children has been emphasized throughout
the country, especially in rural communities where, with the natural
advantages and simplest of equipment, community and school play
may be made a new and vital thing.

The Back-to-School drive—and the Stay-in-School campaign,
which was a part of it—have resulted in efforts to awaken a civic
sense of the importance of thorough education. Typical of such
efforts are some undertaken in Ohio, where all the sixth, seventh,
and eighth grade school children in the entire State wrote essays
on “ Why go to high school?” prizes being given by the State com­
mittee for the best essays, and where ministers in many communities
set aside a Sunday on which to preach on the value of education.
Another State utilized the motion-picture houses to present a slide
giving the number of illiterates in the State and the number of
children, 10,895 in all, who had failed to enroll in any school during
the preceding year, and urging parents to send their children to school.
In Texas, where the Parent-Teacher Association had charge of the
Back-to-School drive, a school-welfare department was established in
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the association to make the work permanent. “ No illiteracy in this
State in 1920” is the slogan of this department.
I t is encouraging that committees who have worked on this phase
of child protection have found out that certain things are necessary
for effective reforms and are continuing their work to accomplish
them. Briefly they are as follows:


Better enforcement of school-attendance laws.
More attendance officers. (Some States are working for one for every county.)
Richer and fuller type of education.
More schoolhouses. (In one State the school superintendent did not favor a
Back-to-School drive because there were not enough buildings: “ If all children
of school age were sent to school 40 per cent of them would have to stand.” )
More and better trained teachers with higher salaries.
A longer school term (for the benefit of rural children).
Better child-labor laws and better enforcement of them.
Provision for scholarships.
Provision for visiting teachers.
Provision for advising children and assisting them in finding suitable employ­
ment, vocational guidance, and placement.

By such aids and the careful extension of educational work in
continuation schools, part-time schools, and other devices, many
States hope to destroy the illiteracy which is still alarmingly preva­
lent in certain rural districts and which is always found accompany­
ing rural child labor.

As the concluding activity of Children’s Year it was decided to
hold a conference on child-welfare standards, with the aim of setting
forth by a consensus of expert opinion minimum standards of child
welfare as suggested by President Wilson in his letter approving
Children’s Year as a war activity. This conference was held under
the auspices of the Children’s Bureau during May, 1919. Because of
the extraordinary work for the protection of childhood carried on
abroad under war conditions whose severity this country happily
escaped, it was decided to invite a small numbfer of foreign experts
to attend the conference, in the belief that no other authorities
could afford us such incentive and inspiration.
The following guests from abroad attended the conference at the
invitation of the Secretary of Labor:
Sir Arthur Newsholme, -late principal medical officer of the Local
Government Board, England.
Mrs. Eleanor Barton, of the Women’s Cooperative Guild, England,
an organization of the wives of British wage earners.
Mr. Roland C. Davison, director of the juvenile labor exchanges
of England.
Sir Cyril Jackson, board of education, England.
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c h il d r e n ’s year .

Dr. Clothilde Mulon, war department, France, who has done
special work in the supervision of industrial crèches during the war.
Dr. René Sand, professor of social and industrial medicine at the
University of Brussels, and adviser on medical inspection of the
ministry of labor.
Miss L. E. Carter, principal of High School C, Brussels.
Mr. Isador Maus, director of the division of child protection,
ministry of justice, Belgium.
Mr. Takayuki Namaye, department of interior, Japan, in charge
of reformatory and relief work and the protection of children.
Dr. Radmila Milochevitch Lazarevitch, from Serbia, a physician
and leader in social service activities.
Dr. Fabio Frassetto, professor of anthropology at the University
of Bologna, Italy.
Their coming to this country to attend the conference gave signal
proof of the new international sense of responsibility for child wel­
fare. The generosity and graciousness with which each individual
assisted the conference is gratefully recognized.
This conference consisted not of a single meeting but of a series
of regional conferences, eight in number, beginning with one in
Washington, May 5, 1919.. Following the Washington conference,
meetings were held in New York, Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, Den­
ver, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Minimum standards for the health, education, and work of normal
children and for the protection of children in need of special care in
the United States were adopted at the Washington conference. They
haye been considered by certain of the regional conferences and by
many individuals, and have been revised by a special committee
appointed for that purpose.2

The activities begun in Children’s Year are not at an end. On the
contrary, many communities are continuing their work, sometimes
at the request of public authorities, and are working for further legis­
lation and provision for children.
That the country is alive to the need for continuing its vigilance
in caring for its children is evidenced by the action taken at the close
of the child-welfare conferences. Chairmen of Children’s Year
committees have formed an advisory committee of the local chair­
men of Children’s Year, and 38 States (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan,
s Minimum Standards for Child Welfare. Adopted by the Washington and Regional Conferences on
Child Welfare, 1919, U. S. Children’s Bureau. Publication No. 62, Conference Series No. 2, Washing­
ton. 1919.
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Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio;,
Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee;
Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming), the District of
Columbia, and Hawaii are continuing their child-welfare efforts.
pr o t e c t io n o f m a tern ity and in fan cy .

Much interest has been shown in the child-welfare standards, and
it is hoped that they may prove a strong influence in securing atten­
tion for further needed legal protection for children by the Federal
and State Governments.
The Children’s Bureau series of reports on infant and maternal
mortality in urban and rural areas has for the last seven yearn
steadily accumulated evidence of a high degree of annual wastage of
life and vigor. The studies show that poverty and ignorance are
yokefellows and that civic responsibility for decent conditions of
living is only beginning to reach an expression which can help to
ease the burden.
More than 17,000 mothers die yearly from causes incident to child
bearing, and ill health is suffered by a vast number of others from
the same cause. These deaths and disabilities are now known to be
needless in large measure, and among women who can command
adequate care their proportions are already greatly reduced. Over
200,000 babies less than a year old die annually. These infant deaths
are controllable almost without exception. Poverty is a constant
condition of the highest infant mortality rates, and the rates steadily
improve as income increases to a good living standard. In the
interest of humanity and of sound national economy adequate care
for maternity and infancy should be universally available. The
lessening rates of infant mortality in the United States for the last
few years are encouraging. They indicate the effect of many scat­
tered public and volunteer activities for infant welfare, but the
reduction is far too slow. New Zealand still shows a much lower rate
than our best States, and the United States is still eighth from the
head of the list of countries judged by the favorable character of
their infant mortality rates. The best available world figures for
maternal mortality show that the life of the mother is safer in 14
other countries than in the United States. The neglect of maternity
is shown by the fact that in a 13-year period during which deaths
from communicable diseases have been reduced—typhoid fever
deaths cut in half, croup and diphtheria reduced two-thirds—the
deaths of mothers from causes incident to childbirth show no diminu­
tion, although these causes are also known to be in great measure
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c h il d r e n ’s year .

Based upon American studies and upon the experience of various
other countries, a measure was proposed in the sixth a n n u al report
of the Children’s Bureau which it is believed offers a practicable
plan for reducing the present losses of life and vigor. The
essential feature of the proposed plan is that the United States
Government shall cooperate with the States in providing a joint
fund in each State to be used so as to afford effective means for the
protection of maternity and infancy. Mothers and babies are the
same in the rural community and the city areas. They need the
same care. The rates of death are approximately the same. The
proposition therefore is of general application.
The principal features of such care are:
1. Public-health nurses.
2. Accessible hospital care and medical attention.
3. Teaching and practical demonstrations for mothers of the
hygiene of maternity and infancy and of the household
arts essential to the well-being of mother and child.
4. Accessible consultation centers or well-children’s clinics for
the periodical examination of young children in order
to secure their most vigorous development.
I t will be seen that such a program involves more than medical
and nursing care. For example, the State university extension
divisions and departments of home economics are already doing
excellent pioneer work and can greatly assist the plan. The public
libraries, especially those in smaller towns and the traveling libraries,
are already undertaking an educational function in the careful
distribution of pamphlets and literature for mothers.
Such a partnership between the Government and the States already
serves agriculture through the Smith-Lever Law, already serves
vocational training through the Smith-Hughes Law, is creating
through the joint work of the Government and the States a new and
cleansing knowledge of social hygiene, and is slowly removing the
isolation of the remote ranch and farm family by the good-roads act.
On exactly the same plan of Federal aid stimulating and standardiz­
ing State and local activities, the well-being of mother and child,
a basic national economy, may be secured.
In this connection Australian parliamentary reports of 1917 are
of interest. For the last seven years the Australian Commonwealth
has allowed for each living birth the sum of $25, and the acceptance
of this allowance is general. Yet the report on infant mortality
submitted to the Australian Parliament in June, 1917, by the com­
mittee concerning the causes of death and invalidity in the Com­
monwealth strongly urges the adoption of a general scheme of
practical measures, such as are in force in New Zealand and else­
where, as a means of lessening the infant mortality rate. In August,
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1917, the same committee submitted a report on maternal mortality
in childbirth. Figures are given, to show that, although there was
a decrease in the death rate after the introduction of the maternity
bonuses, this decrease was not so great as it had been during the
preceding years.
The experience of England seems to show that a general measure
of such character as that outlined above is absolutely essential in a
countiy of modern standards of health and comfort even when health
insurance with maternity benefits is in operation. In many other
European countries such measures exist. In these countries, as in
England, experience indicates the need of basic governmental responsi­
bility for maternity and infancy.
The health-insurance law of the United Kingdom went into opera­
tion in 1911. I t provides a benefit of $7.50 upon the birth of a child
for the wife of an insured man and double that sum if the wife her­
self is insured and the wife of an insured man.
Yet since the insurance law went into effect two measures have
been passed by Parliament permitting grants in aid to sanitary dis­
tricts for the protection of maternity and infancy. The second was
passed in August, 1918, and sanctions increased expenditures. I t
specifies the objects for which funds may be spent and is clearly an
expression of a belief that no provision already in existence is
As applied to the United States, it may be said with certainty that
any public provision for safeguarding maternity and infancy must
be universal. I t must afford a dignified service which can be utilized
with the same self-respect with which the mother sends an older
child to the public school. I t must not be compulsory.

The imperative need of physical tests for children about to enter
employment and of continuous supervision over the health of children
at work has received national recognition in the organization by the
Children’s Bureau of a permanent committee to determine physical
standards for working children.
Little has been done up to the present time in the United States
to prevent children from going into work for which they are physically
unfit, and practically no study has been made of the effects of early
labor on the growth of the body. Yet the children who begin work
between the ages of 14 and 18, and in many instances as early as
12 or even younger, are the children of least resistance in the commu­
nity. They are in general the children of the poor , and, in consequence,
are likely to be the ill nourished, the undersized, and the anemic.
Already handicapped, their growing bodies can put up no resistance
to the exacting demands of industry on muscle and nerves, ; During
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these maturing years they are peculiarly liable to injury from over­
strain and peculiarly sensitive to all sorts of industrial hazards.
A great deal of the work done by children is, moreover, totally
unfit for them. I t often involves too much sitting or too much
standing, the carrying of weights beyond the child’s strength, the
overexercising of one set of muscles at the expense of another, and,
in certain occupations, the loss of sleep. Foreign investigations
have shown that the sickness rate among juvenile laborers is alarm­
ing, especially during the second year of working life when the
injurious effects of early labor upon already undeveloped bodies have
had time to make themselves felt.
The “ physical minimum” for children entering employment
adopted by the Child Welfare Conferences declared that “ A child
shall not be allowed to go to work until he has had a physical exam­
ination by a public-school physician or other medical officer espe­
cially appointed for that purpose by the agency charged with the
enforcement of the law, and has been found to be of normal devel­
opment for a child of his age and physically fit for the work at which
he is to be employed.” I t provided also for annual physical
examinations of all working children under 18 years of age.
What constitutes normal development for boys and girls of differ­
ent ages, and what indicates that a child is “ physically fit” for the
employment which he is about to enter can be determined only
through exact observation and measurements.

At least 32,000 white children are born out of wedlock in the
United States each year, and probably not more than 70 per cent of
these children survive the first year of life.
The children who do survive infancy are likely to be deprived of
normal home life and a mother’s care. Rarely do they receive from
their father the support to which they should be entitled. In a large
proportion of cases the public must assume the burden of the support
of these children.
The English common law, which regards the child born out of
wedlock as the “ child of no one,” still prevails in some parts of the
United States and deprives the child not only of a name but also of
the substantial rights of inheritance and support. Advanced legis­
lation in some States has in recent years altered the common law by
provisions more favorable to the child, but the need for uniform leg­
islation designed to protect rather than punish is evident.
Legislation bearing on the father’s obligations has been particularly
backward. In one State laws enacted as far back as 1793 have
remained practically unaltered, and these in turn are modeled on the
English bastardy law of 1575. Six States and Alaska still have no
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provision whatever for compelling the support of a child by its
natural father. Where provision is made it is in many cases entirely
inadequate, for when the payments are not too low, the period of
support is too brief, extending sometimes only to the tenth or eleventh
Minnesota, through legislation passed in 1917, affords a greater
amount of protection to children born out of wedlock than does any
other American State.
In February, 1920, two regional conferences were held under the
auspices of the Children’s Bureau to consider standards which should
govern legislation for the protection of children born out of wedlock.
In these conferences representatives from almost half the States
participated. While the conferences were not a direct outcome of
Children’s Year, they were suggested by the work of the Child-Welfare
Conferences. Resolutions were adopted by the regional conferences,
and a committee has been appointed to prepare a single statement of
principles, based on the resolutions.
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Throughout almost the entire country there is an obvious need of
the continuance of certain activities which may be said to constitute
a Children’s Year follow-up program. The following measures are
1. Better .birth registration. The year has shown afresh the value
to the child of prompt public record of birth.. Twenty-three States
and the District of Columbia now keep records good enough to receive
the sanction of the Bureau of the Census, and, hence, to be included
in the birth-regbtration area. The States are California, Connecticut,
Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland,, Massachusetts, Michi­
gan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Khode Island., South Carolina, Utah, Vermont,
Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Twenty-five States are not so
recognized. They are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Dela­
ware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico,
North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West
Virginia, and Wyoming. Vigorous effort for one year would place
all the States in the recognized list of the Bureau of the Census.
The Children’s Bureau has prepared a simple test plan which can
1 ; bo used in any community in which there is a good law but where,
because of nonenforcement, the State is not in the birth-registration
area. In other States campaigns for adequate legislation should be
2. Establishment of health stations.
(a) Prenatal and infant-welfare stations for keeping mothers
and babies well and for securing proper care.4
( b ) Well-children stations for children of preschool age.
are natural developments from inf ant-welfare stations
and may he conducted with them or independently.
3. Protection of health and development of school children by
weighing and measuring tests, open-air classes, nutritional clinics,
and other measures.5
4. Protection of children from illiteracy and premature work by
Back-to-School and Stay-in-School campaigns.6
3 See Bureau Publication No. 54. An Outline for a Birth Registration Test.
4 For desription of methods of conducting, see Bureau Publication No. 45, Children’s Health Centers.
5 See Bureau Publication No. 60, Standards of Child Welfare, p. 228, “ Nutrition Clinics,” by Dr. Wil­
liam R. P. Emerson.
6 See Bureau Publications Nos. 49,50, 51,53,55,56 on the Back-to-School and Stay-in-School campaigns.

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c h il d r e n ’s year .

5. Public provision for wholesome play and recreation, under
trained leadership, and supervision of commercial amusements.7
6. Continued study by each community of local needs and local
resources, as related to the care of handicapped children, and the
endeavor to bring the care of these children in line with the stand­
ards which have been found practicable in this field.8
7. Study of present laws and local needs in order to effect neces­
sary revision of existing laws and to further new legislation for the
care and protection of children.9
8. Study of the standards adopted by the 1919 Child-Welfare Con­
ferences. These standards set forth the careful judgment of many
experienced persons. Certain of these standards have been already
attained in various communities; others are attainable by the ex­
pression of public opinion; others will require legal enactments.
Study of local needs and present laws should precede, of course, any
effort for new legislation.9
See Bureau Publication No. 44, Patriotic Play Week.
s See Bureau Publication No. 60, Standards of Child Welfare, Section IV, “ Children ih Need of Speeial
« See Bureau Publication No. 60, Standards of Child Welfare.

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