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Bureau Publication No. 36


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% 36
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

April 6, 1918—April 6, 1919.
The second year of the war should be marked by. determined Na­
tionwide effort on behalf of childhood. Other warring countries
have learned that national security requires the protection of chil­
dren. They are proving their conviction by extraordinary effort and
large expenditure. The Children’s Bureau of the United States De­
partment of Labor and the Child Welfare Department of the Wom­
an’s Committee of the Council of National Defense are therefore
calling upon the United States to heed the experience of Europe and
to make the second year of the war, in fact as well as in name, a Chil­
dren’s Year throughout the country.
Careful study of the available sources of information about child
welfare in the principal warring countries reveals striking develop­
ments of work to save the lives and health of mothers and babies, and
to maintain family life and home care of children. For example,
England during the second year of the war reduced her infant mor­
tality rate to the lowest point in her history, and a special report
issued in 1917 by the medical officer of the local government board of
Great Britain sets forth the simple methods by which this was accom­
plished. The new war-orphan laws of France and Italy make special
provision for children whose homes have been broken up by the casu­
alties of war.
The importance of community work for older children is also
emphasized. Many of the exemptions to child-labor laws permitted
by England and France in the early months of the war have been
abolished. Bills to provide fuller education, physical training, and
occupational teaching are pending in the parliaments of England
and France. England has for the last 12 months allowed Govern­
ment funds for the support of children’s play centers.
The volunteer effort which must usually precede constructive ac­
tion by the Government has been even more extended. In each
country special work to save babies’ lives and to provide for chil­
dren’s care has been carried on since the beginnig of the w ar; and
as the war has progressed, provision for children’s recreation and
for protection against delinquency has received increasing attention.
Foreign authorities agree that child-welfare work must be de­
veloped now, in the midst of exhausting war; the future of each
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nation makes this imperative. As examples of official statements
which are found in the reports from every country, we quote only
two. The first is taken from the last annual report of the chief
medical officer of the British Board of Education.
The European war has given new emphasis to the importance of the child as
a primary national asset. The future and strength of the nation unquestion­
ably depend upon the vitality of the child, upon his health and development,
and upon his education and equipment for citizenship. Great and far-reaching
issues have their origin and some of their inspiration in him. Yet in a certain
though narrow sense everything depends upon his physique. If that be sound,
we have the rock upon which a nation and a race may be b uilt; if that be im­
paired, we lack that foundation and build on the sand. It would be difficult
to overestimate the volume of national inefficiency, unfitness and suffering, of
unnecessary expenditure, and of industrial unrest and unemployability to which
this country consents because of its relative failure to rear and to educate a
healthy, virile, and well-equipped race of children and young people. There
is no investment comparable to this, no national economy so fundamental;
there is also no waste so irretrievable as that of a nation which is careless of
its rising generation. And the goal is not an industrial machine, a technical
workman, a “ hand,” available merely for the increase of material output and
the acquisition of a wage at the earliest moment, but a human personality,
well grown and ready in body and mind, able to work, able to play, a good
citizen, the healthy parent of a future generation.

Again, in France, the Minister of Public Instruction says:
The question of school attendance was never more pressing; never was the
diligence of our pupils more necessary; but never were there more obstacles
in its way. Double will be to-morrow the task of the pupils of to-day; twice
as intense, therefore, should be their preparation for this task, and it is pre­
cisely at this hour that, in the absence of their mobilized fathers, they run
the risk of escaping all educational influences. Therefore, more than in time of
peace, we should fight now against the obstacles in the way of school attendance.


I f argument were needed for greater attention to the physical care j
of children in the United States, it is found in the result of the j
first draft with its rejection of one-third of the men as not physically j
sound. We are told that a large proportion of the rejections were for j
causes dating back to infancy and early childhood which could have j
been removed had they been recognized and treated properly at the j
right time. The Weighing and Measuring Test mentioned in this j
circular is intended to aid in forestalling like deficiencies in the yoiina*!
of to-day.
The Program.
A working program for Children's Year has been prepared by
the Children’s Bureau. Through the Child Welfare Department
pf the Woman’s Committee of the Council of National Defense and
through the State and county councils of defense, this program is
being placed before the child welfare committee of each local council.
Upon the activities of these local committees and the response and
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cooperation of individual people in each community the success of
Children’s Year depends. Those who wish to further the work for
Children’s Year should therefore get in touch with their loeal council
of defense.
Everyone can help: Not only mothers and fathers, teachers, phy­
sicians, infant-welfare nurses, and other social workers who have to
do with children, but men and women experienced in organization,
and young people with leisure and good will—in fact, all who want
to do their bit in Children’s Year—will find some way to serve their
local committees.
For practical convenience the work proposed for Children’s Year
is grouped under certain topics, four of them concerned primarily
with the needs of normal children living in their own normal homes,
and a fifth concerned with the special problems of children whose
homes have broken down, or who for any reason need unusual care:
I. Public protection of mothers, infants, and young children.
II. Home care and income.
III. Child labor and education.
IV. Recreation.
V. Children in need of special care.
Public protection of mothers, infants, and young children.—As
a definite goal in the protection of mothers, infants, and young chil­
dren, it is proposed to save the lives of 100,000 young children during
Children’s Year. About 300,000 children under 5 years old died in
the United States during the first year of the war, and it is esti­
mated that at least one-half of these deaths might have been pre­
vented by proper care. An analysis of the gains made during recent
years in certain American communities and the striking decreases
in infant mortality in England during her second year of war indi­
cate that the proposal to save 100,000 lives is a reasonable under­
Many of the activities suggested for Children’s Year will not re­
quire money. Physicians and nurses and trained workers in other
fields will give generously, as they have always done, of time and
service; and much assistance can be given by untrained volunteers.
But in all the plans thus far devised for the saving of mothers and
babies the regular, full-time work of the public-health nurse is in­
dispensable. And war time, with its heavy drain upon the services
of physicians and nurses, will more than ever place upon the salaried
public-health nurse the actual work of helping mothers to give their
children better care.
The first community activity of Children’s Year will be a Nation­
wide Weighing and Measuring Test of young children, carried on
between the 6th of April and the 6th of June by the local committees
of the Council of National Defense in cooperation with the Children’s
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Bureau. Weight and height are a rough index of the health of grow­
ing children. When these are found to be seriously below the aver­
age, whether in individual cases or in certain sections of the com­
munity, the test should be followed by intensive^ care. In fact, the
test can be of permanent value only as it leads to some permanent
development of work for protecting mothers and young children in
each community.
II. Home care and income.--How mothers may be enabled to care
for their own children at home with an income sufficient for family
needs, instead of going out to help in earning their children’s daily
bread; how information about the best modern standards of house­
keeping and the home care of older children may be popularized
and made available for a ll-th e study of these problems in their practica bearing is the aim of the work suggested under the subject,
Home care and income.” For the saving of 100,000 lives of babies
and little children this work is of great importance.
The infant mortality rates among babies of working mothers are
found m studies made by the Children’s Bureau to be considerably
higher than the mortality rates among babies of mothers who do not
go out to work. But older children, too, pay a penalty when the
mother is obliged to go out to work. Too often both health and be­
havior suffer from such a lack of home care. In fact, the increased
employment of mothers during the war is constantly referred to bv
oreign writers as one of the chief causes of the increased delinquency
among children.
III. Child labor and education,—The burden of family support
should not be placed upon young children. In some ways the country
has started well. The Federal child-labor law became effective on
September 1 , 1917, and outside .of one North Carolina district in
which a test ease was raised, it is being enforced without exemptions.
-1 tV f a“d Navy A partm ents are requiring that the standards of
le Federal law be enforced in all their reservations, camps, and
yards. But this is not enough. Communities should be on their
guard against permitting special war-time exemptions from State
child-labor and school-attendance laws, and they should develop con­
structive measures to meet the conditions which lead to the emnlovment of children.
IV. Recreation. Again, we have the testimony of foreign writers
not only that during war time there is danger of overwork and of the
leaking down of home life'; but that the maintaining and developing
of recreation are especially important. The neglect of children’s
recreation is frequently cited by authorities in England and on the
continent as a cause of delinquency. If we are to avoid repeating the
preventable wastage which other countries are now bending every
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effort to repair, recreation for children and young people should have
special attention during Children’s Year.
Children in need of special care.—Then, there are the children
with special needs. There are many dependent children who are in no
wise different from other children except that unfortunate ciicumstances have thrown them upon the community for support and
nurture. There are, besides, the handicapped children who, by rea­
son of physical or mental defects, can not respond to the training
offered in the ordinary school, or whose infirmities require institu­
tional care. The delinquent children are, again, not very different
from other children. With proper supervision and guidance they
may frequently become good citizens 5 without wise action by the
community they drift into a life of crime.
Children’s Year Material.
In each of these five phases of the years activities, the w01 king
program of Children’s Year includes, first, definite questions by
which the situation in a community may be reviewed, and, second,
definite suggestions for work to be done. Copies of the working
program and other.Children’s Year material described below will be
supplied, upon application, by the Department of Child Welfare of
the Women’s Committee of the Counsel of National Defense, 1814 ,N
Street NW., Washington, D. C. The other material includes:
Record cards for the Weighing and Measuring Test, Local chair­
men, in asking for record cards, should give an estimate of the num­
ber required for reaching all children in their neighborhood. I t is
especially desirable that in rural communities local chaiimen should
distribute cards to parents who live too far away to biing their
children to a central place for the test.
Leaflets explaining the methods for carrying out the activities
suggested. For example, two leaflets on the Weighing and Measur­
ing Test, with suggestions to committees and suggestions to exam­
iners, are ready for distribution, and another leaflet on community
work for the protection of mothers and young children is in press.
Press articles for use by local committees. In connection with each
of the main topics 01 the working program, a series of press article:
will be prepared for the exclusive use of Children’s Year committees.
Copies of the goneral publications of the Children s Bureau can
also be secured through the Department of Child Welfare of the
Woman’s Committee, 1814 N Street NW., Washington, D. C., or
directly from the Children’s Bureau, United States Department of
Labor, Washington, D. C. The following list indicates the publica­
tions of the Bureau which would be of special use in connection with
the work of Children’s Year.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Children's Tear, General:
Child-Welfare Exhibits: Type® and Reparation. Bureau ptfifileatlon No. 14.
IPuJMc protection of mothers, 'infants, and young children,:
(1) Bulletins addressed to the individual mother ¡and telling her how
to care for herself during pregnancy and for her children under
-.6 years of age.
Prenatal Care, Bureau publication No. 4.
Infant Care, B urea u pub 1ication No. 8.
Child Care, Bureau publication No. 80. f in press.)
Milk. I he Indispensable Food for -Children, Bureau publication
No. 35.
(2) Bulletins concerned with social measures especially affecting
infant welfare .and the health of .children.
B iith Registration. An aid in protecting the lives and rights of
children, Bureau publication No. 2.
New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and. Children: An
example of methods of baby-saving work in small towns and
rural districts, Bureau publication No. 6.
Baby Week Campaigns (revised edition), Bureau publication
No. 15.
A Tabular Statement of Infant-Welfare Work by Public and
Private Agencies in the United States, Bureau publication
No. 16.
How to Conduct a Children’s Health Conference, Bureau publica­
tion No. 23.
Infant Welfare Work in War Time, Reprint from American Jour­
nal of Diseases of Children.
(3) ^Bulletins discussing causes of mortality and briefly describing
social measures to promote the health of mothers and young
Infant Mortality: Results of a field study in Johnstown, Pa.,
based on births in one calendar year, Bureau publication No. 0
Infant Mortality, Montclair, N. J . : A study of infant mortality
in a suburban community, Bureau publication No. 11. Maternal Mortality from all Conditions Connected with Child­
birth in the United States and Certain Other Countries, Bureau
publication No. 19.
Infant M ortality: Results of a field study in Manchester, N. H.,
based on births in one year, Bureau publication No. 20.
Infant Mortality: Results of a field study in Waterbury, Conn.,
based on births in one year, Bureau publication No. 29 (In
Maternity and Infant Care in a Rural County in Kansas Bureau
publication No. 26.
II. Home care and income:
Care of Dependents of Enlisted Men in Canada, Bureau publication
No. 25.
Governmental Provisions in the United States and Foreign Countries
for Members of the Military Forces and their Dependents Bureau
publication No. 28.
Juvenile Delinquency in Certain Warring Countries, Bureau publica­
tion No. 39. (In press.)
III. Child labor and education:
Child-Labor Legislation in the United States, Bureau publication No.
10. Bureau supply of complete volume is exhausted, but reprints from
the above can be obtained as follow s:
Child-Labor Legislation in the United States : Separate No. 1
Analytical Tables.
Child-Labor Legislation in the United States: Separates Nos.
2 to 54, Text of laws for each State separately.
Child-Labor Legislation in the United S tates: Separate No, 55
Text of Federal Child-Labor Law.
Summary of Child-Welfare Laws passed in 1916, Bureau publication
publication No. 21.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

III. Child labor and education—Continued.
Administration of Child-Labor Laws:
Part 1. Employment-Certificate System, Connecticut, Bureau pub­
lication No. 12.
Part 2. Employment-Certificate System, New York, Bureau pub­
lication No. 17.
List of References on Child Labor, Bureau publication No. 18.
IY. Recreation:
Facilities for Children’s Play in the District of Columbia, Bureau pub­
lication No. 22.
Juvenile Delinquency in Certain Warring Countries, Bureau publica­
tion No. 39. (In press.)
V. Children in need of special care:
A Social Study of Mental Defective in New Castle County, Del., Bm*eau
publication No. 24.
Norwegian Laws Concerning Illegitimate Children, Bureau publication
No. 31.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis