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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, July 14, 1918, Image 43

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Ortbune Sistjtftftute
Cftbttttc 3?nj3tttute 1
14, li)18
Citizen Mothers?Have Your Babies Tested!
Dr. s. Josephine Baker, who has done more
mr the children <>f Vew York City than any
other one person. W h\ not n New ) ork
State Child U eifere Board, with Dr. Baker
.n it-, head?
ri "*i logan thai Dr, S, Josephine
of ?? ? Bui au of Child ll>
' our city Board of Health, ha
? ?>?, ork in the Federal ? hildren's
B n to save 100,000 babj lives
during 1018
'?? ,? Dr Baker wants to em
Fact thai this campnign is not n
or nmong ! he poor it
a drofi ? ?.' of children of .-ill classes under
i. m*.' us l '-u'v ?Ir.'ifi i for
o ?? of the children's
a!," them fil i" die for (heir
. l?ut tt> make them tit to live for it.
? ?' ! it will be ' a? include * 10(1
il of the ? country. The
of chil , , pooh ! ju it as t h ? ? i r
m i pooled, for tl of infant
and those of ? ediuni v. call b as they
rubor th.ur ? ' - t hat
I from Third Av? nue to Fifth, from the
child tu t he ? hild of the millionaire
who bought his groceries, and from the care?
fully guarded blond darling in her suburban
home to the little dark-eyed foreigners fresh
from Ellis Island.
American Mothers Don't D? Their Share
"Years ago," says Dr. Baker, who is chair?
man of the committee on health of the Mayor's
Committee of Women on National Defence,
"infant mortality was highest in the foreign
population. Now for the past ten years the
children of these very poor have been receiv?
ing the care that was previously available only
to the very rich?because the poor are willing
to accept the free services offered them by the
Board of Health and the various hospital clin?
ics, whore child welfare and the supervision
of expectant mothers are every year claiming
a larger share of attention.
"Who but the wealthiest women are under
the care of a trained nurse during the entire
period of their pregnancy? The poorest. But
that is because they accept such service free.
"Who but the babies of the very rich are
weighed and examined by experts every week
during the first year of life? The babies of
immigrants and the very poor?but not these
of small and moderate incomes, because the*y
do not avail themselves of the free clinics
Good medical care, if paid for at all, is paie
for at a very high rate, and moderately pool
women are unable to pay for it and dis
inclined to accept it Tree. Therefore the*,
da without."
Of all deaths under the age of one year 4(
per cent are deaths of infants under one
month, due to congenital causes. Ten year:
atrd, before Dr. Baker began her magniii
cent work as head of the Bureau of Chili
Hygiene here in New Y'ork City, the majority
of the deaths were among the foreign popu
Ttxt* ?QTribtttte
Sin the A?6rld of Winnen
lation?which is the poorest in the city. The
free milk stations, elinics, diet kitchens,' and
the supervision by district nurses of expectant
mothers among the poor have reduced the mor?
tality to such a point that now it is those
mothers who are financially a little better off
?that is, the native born?who furnish the
largest figures in deaths of their children. In
the analysis that was made in 1915 of baby
mortality from congenital causes 544 babies
died per 10,000 reported born of American
parents, 295 per 10,000 of Italian parents, 320
of Russian and 284 of Austro-Hungarian
Wanted: Good Care at Moderate Cost
The pendulum has swung the other way.
There are nearly twice as many American
babies dying in this country as of any one
of those three nationalities because their
mothers do not want free care and cannot
afford to pay for it.
"And the solution of this problem," says
Dr. Baker, "is the establishment of pay clinics
and baby health stations where a moderate
fee will be. charged. It costs the city about
one dollar a month per baby to care for babies'
? health and welfare. A small charge to moth?
ers who want to pay would amply cover this
and remove the stigma of philanthropy.
"But even when this care is given free it
should not be called philanthropy," Dr. Baker
The New Citizen is inclined to consider it a
national necessity and no more an insult to
the dignity of the individual than cleaning
the street in front of his house, furnishing
pure water for him and maintaining public
schools. Why is it any more an acceptance
of charity to go to a free clinic for health than
to a free school for knowledge?
The young babies of the poor are looked
after; and the children of school age have
been receiving for years medical supervision in
the schools. But there is a period in between
(luring which the majority of children are left
under the sole direction of more or less igno?
rant relatives without the advice of experts.
Perhaps that is one reason why 21 per cent
of the children of the city are undernourished.
"The American Red Cross," says Dr. Baker,
"has established five canteens in London for
undernourished children, and the number of
the undernourished now has been brought un?
der 7 per cent over there. I would not for
the world suggest that this work be stopped
in London in order that we may do it here?
bat I don't see why it cannot be done here, too!
Do Your Bit?Have Baby Weighed
"All we need is to have the necessity for
Six Million Baby Tests
The results of !he national baby tesfc have been so important that the Children's Bureau announces an enlarge?
ment of its original programme and an increase of its issue of five million record cards.
Already approximately six million children under six years old have been weighed and measured. Every state
and the territories of Alaska and Hawaii are participating in the work of this Children's Year.
The information recorded on these millions of cards has not yet been tabulated and interpreted, but even now
from the reports of the thousands of cooperating committees facts of vital significance to the nation have been ascer?
A very large number of children have been found to be undernourished. Many others, it has been discovered,
were the victims of diseases which might easily be remedied by competent medical treatment, but which if neglected
would produce serious after effects. In several large cities rickets has been found to be increasingly prevalent, and
the "starchy" baby who has been deprived of milk is seen in the clinics.
In many states and cities local groups, aroused by the situation revealed through the baby test, have attempted to
follow up the weighing and measuring with appropriate remedial measures. In particular the usefulness of pure milk
in keeping children healthy has been pointed out.
Plans of nation-wide significance are being developed. These include the employment of public health nurses, con?
sultation centres for well children, better hospital care, and the conservation of milk for children.
From tli> Committee on Public Information, Division on Women's War Work, Washington, D. C.
such measures made plain?and the measures
themselves made popular! And in this we have
learned our greatest lesson from Truby King.
"Truby King is at the head of the child wel?
fare work in New Zealand?the country with
the lowest child mortality in all the world. He
began with the same methods that we were
using in this country, with this one difference:
he realized that he could not work with the
poor alone.
"He went first to the wife of the Governor
General, Lady Plunkett?a woman with small
children of her own?and gained her interest.
The result was that Lady Plunkett and her
friends formed a group for the study of child
welfare and prenatal work, under the instruc?
tion of a district nurse. After they had start?
ed the work among themselves it became the
fashion. Women of moderate incomes formed
similar classes and contributed their share
financially. And with this support more and
more nurses were engaged and paid until prac?
tically every mother and child in New Zealand,
rich or poor, was properly cared for."
Perhaps patriotism in the present world
crisis does not begin at home?but at least it
should exist r.t home!
It is the patriotic duty of every woman in
the United States who has children under five
years of age to apply to the Board of Health
for the registration cards that are given out
there. She should then go to a hospital clinic
or to her own physician and have her children
weighed and measured, and the record sent to
the authorities as the card requires.
It doesn't matter who you are, you must do
this, and try to make your neighbors do it.
Remember: No mother's baby is safe until
every mother's hahv v: safe..
Weighing one of to*morrow's citizens at the tree clinic iur mothers and babies of the
A'ew York l\'ursery and Child's Hospital
Headwork Versus Handwork?An Idyll
of Industry
Ai 11W daj - ago ?.*. e came i o t he eon
tl i we must do something
i;?- toward winning the war.
? ? ? ion ? ems very trivial and un
porti ? his, and our friends,
i"i were only too anxious to advise, were
divided to t\\o ? las es lina.:;- who believed
m regular war work, such as rollin : bandages
and working in factories, and
mu believed in continuing your regular
i - the proceeds to Liberty bonds
I hi ?ft SUimp .
latter ? our te, v. hile it appeared
ound theoretically, presented a disadvantage
in the facl that our regular salary, after it
had been stretched to ?-over rent, food, car
and the few clothes that modesty and the
?Vl*. York fashions demand, left lit? surplus
for -h mm ii as a single thrift stamp. Indeed,
WC have known what it is to lie awake nights
over the problem of unpaid Liberty bonds
; what would happen if the debt descended
to the third and fourth generation!
So we decided to work in the gas mask
tv, thus doing our bit in both senses of
? word. That we could find work there we
? ? r once doubted. Kvelyn was sure that
?hey would receive us with open arms, figura?
tively speaking. "After all," she said proudly,
"we are ladies anil, after a fashion, educated."
"I suppose ability to use your hands is
more important than either of those qualities
making gas musk-," we reminded her, with
? ret sinking <>f the heart.
\bilitj to use our 'hands has never been
our strong point. Hut Kvelyn interrupted our
thoughts. "You can use the typewriter, and
look what you can do to the piano." We gazed
?I her coldly. Somehow we had never thought
of the piano as an instrument of manual dex?
terity, but perhaps it is.
At any rate, we were very enthusiastic and
?tarted early the next mo>rning after a 7
? clock breakfast. We debated as to whether
wi should tro disguised as factory girls, and
if so, what to wear.
"They arc really much better dressed than
we arc," said Evelyn gloomily, "so we can't,
anyway; and, besides that, a factory girl al?
ways wears high white kid shoes. It is the
unfailing mark of the profession, and neither
of us has any."
Judge Not! It's War Time
It took only fifteen minutes to get to the
factory by subway, and we arrived at the
time when we are usually just beginning to
think of getting up. At a side entrance hung
a sign, "Employment Bureau," and toward
this we directed our steps, plunging through
vast whirlpools of young men who were there
apparently on the same errand.
We found ourselves in a long passage
blocked by a tall inspector. There was no
mistake about his being an inspector, for he
was marked such by a wide brass badge
damned upon his lapel, and beneath the lapel,
just above his heart, lay a picture of himself
encircled in a tin frame.
It was such a quaint fancy that we paused,
fascinated. When we have a picture taken
of ourself it is all we can do to endure it
in the same room. And, as Evelyn pointed
out. it wasn't as if he were a handsome man,
either. lie was really very plain; in fact,
one of the plainest we have ever seen.
But after we had encountered divers men
wearing the same device we realized that it
was a government regulation and did not nec?
essarily indicate personal vanity on the part
of the wearer. We questioned him, and he
did not seem to see us, but with his eyes fixed
on the distant wall and without removing
either the hat from his head or the cigar from
ins mouth, he waved his hand in the direction
of a large room, which bore every resemblance
to an amplified schoolroom, the kind one sees
on the stage. It was very large and crossed
by long wooden benches.
On the benches as far as the eye could
see were women of every age, size, color and
description. Their eyes with one accord swept
toward us, and then, seeing that we were noth?
ing but women, ourselves, swept back again.
We humbly took our places on a front bench.
It came upon us as we firmly asked for a
certain man and were as firmly rebuked that
this is how one seeks a job in the industrial
Protecting the Citizens of To-Morrow
of the New York Bar
THE problem of making laws to tit the
multitude of cases arising under our
complex social conditions is difficult.
There must inevitably occur individual hard?
ship, though the way be found to the most
perfect legal system conceivable. But it must
be conceded that women have a more intimate
understanding of the needs of women and chil?
dren than the sex which has made the laws
from the beginning.
It is neither the oft imputed "feminine hys?
teria" nor is it a mania for reform which has
brought about the agitation among clubwomen
for better laws along the lines of child welfare
in New York State. It is because, among other
things, the penal code is the only legal Bae?
deker to locate crimes and misdemeanors. To
cases which our penal code does not cover the
old common law of England must be applied.
This rule holds in the matter of the commis?
sion of a capital offence by a child, as, for ex?
ample, Paul Chapman, the sixteen-year-old boy
in the death house at Sing Sing. The penal
code does not contemplate any minimizing of
offence by reason of immature minds. Murder,
for instance, is murder, whether committed by
an adult with malice prepense and afore?
thought, or by a child seven years of age.
There is exemption for the child of less than
No person shall be excused from disobedience
to the laws unless he is exempt by the laws
themselves. The written laws of New Yrork
State provide for the trial of children charged
with offences less than capital in a special
court, and for their incarceration in county
jails instead of the state penitentiary: but we
must look to the old common law for direction
when the act which constitutes murder is com?
mitted by a child. It says:
"Within the age of seven years an infant
cannot be punished for a capital offence, what?
ever circumstances of a mischievous discretion
may appear, for ex presumptione juris such an
infant cannot have discretion; and against this
presumption no averment shall be admitted "
Russell on Crime, page three, says:
"An infant of eight years old may be guilty
of murder, and shall be hanged for it; and
where an infant between eight and nine years
old was indicted, and found guilty of burning
two barns, and it appeared upon examination
that he had malice, revenge, craft and cunning,
he had judgment to be hanged, and was exe?
cuted accordingly."
The same authority relates the case of a girl
of thirteen who was burned for the killing of
her mistress.
Wherefore, the preceding principles in old
English cases considered, it would appear that
there has long been need of women in law
making to temper justice with sympathy and
understanding; and it would appear that with
the great mountain of legislative acts and
amendments which have been passed by New
Y'ork, minus legal protection for children, it is
time to establish a state child welfare board,
with a woman like Dr. S. Josephine Baker
at its head. It is the point on the turnpike for
turning from a long road of indifference to
the prime need of protecting in the broadest
way the citizens of to-morrow.
And it might prove well worth while to sur?
vey the Children's Code of Minnesota, with its
provision for punishment of any person who
cruelly punishes a child under sixteen years
old; and Michigan's law to give to the "other
mothers" the same monthly stipend for the
support of indigent children which it grants to
children born in wedlock. It is the woman's
hour for action, in order that the charge may
not be made that she "has left undone those
things which she ought to have done."
world. In our own profession we are accus?
tomed to enter an office, hand a card to the
office boy, sec the boss, finish our business
and go out.
But this was a different world. We realized
it fully when we looked around and entered
into conversation with the woman at our left,
who had been, as she said, a "fancy cook" in
Garden City. She wore a bright pink blouse,
red beads and a picture hat.
"You don't look over strong," she remarked
critically; "about half as big as me, I should
This was undeniably true, so we said noth?
ing, and she turned to talk with a friend of
hers, who was clad in dotted Swiss muslin.
Opposite us was a middle aged woman in
mourning;, with chapped and scarred hands,
near her a plump row of little factory ?iris,
painted, high heeled and pretty, and two
women with shawls on their heads.
We felt conspicuous for the exceeding plain?
ness of our clothes. High white kid shoes, as
Evelyn had prophesied, were everywhere,
chains glittered and tinkled, hats towered in a
variety of brilliant colors. Hands, ungloved
(and, for the most part, unwashed), were gen?
erally broad and strong and freckled, with
wide, flat fingers and heavy wrists. Our own
looked sadly inadequate.
in the Herd, but Not of It
At intervals an official entered, joked, sepa?
rated women into ?roups and led them through
a plank door into an inner office. He looke?!
at us with candid, appraising eye. We felt
ourself grow hot under this look. It was not
a look we were accustomed to. But no one
else seemed to resent it, and he was apparentlj
a kind man, smoking enormous cigars am
wearing a broad brimmed felt hat.
Machine operators, he gave us to under
stand, were the most needed. We envied the
large, broad hipped girls who stood up in re
sponse to this appeal. Next came other kind:
of factory labor, mentioned in terms we hat
never heard before and did not understand
Then, after two hours' waiting, we penetrated
with three other girls, the plank door. W?
passed throe men barricaded behind board!-?
like those used for sheep along the railroad
tracks. By this time we felt so like sheep
ourselves that they seemed vaguely in keep?
ing. A young- man with an ingrowing chin
asked us questions. He asked them rapidly
and rudely.
"You are not a factory girl?" Again the
sweeping, appraising look, which we resented.
The question was so obvious that he did not
even pans?* for an answer. "Have you ever
worked before?"
We nodded.
"What kind?"
We said journalism, and he looked so per?
fectly blank that we hastened to elucidate, or
tried to. It was hopeless. We might as well
have been speaking a foreign language. Ap?
parently we were. Something about our ac?
cent seemed to irritate him.
"Why did you leave your work?"
We tried to explain that ours was the kind
of work that, could be left, that it was a mat?
ter of assignments and not of time clocks,
lie interposed :
"Ever done any lifting?"
We never have, except the typewriter when
there isn't any one around to lift it for us
ami, occasionally, a baby brother. He saw it
in our eye.
If there had been any use lying about it
we might have been tempted to do so, but
there isn't; it is too obvious. So we pleaded
to a scant ninety-eight. The look of disap?
proval on his face deepened, if anything can
be said to deepen which is already ingrown.
"Give mo your band." This was not, as
might be suspected, an overture of friendship.
We laid it timidly on the table. Certainly,
the brawny hand of the woman ahead
of us and the square one of the machine
operator behind us. it looked strangely fragile.
"No use." lie said. "Too delicate. Only
strong women wanted 1?re. Husky. Much
straining and lifting. Long hours. Nothing
We stumbled out.

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