OCR Interpretation

The day book. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 21, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 14

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-05-21/ed-1/seq-14/

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of age will be printed in these col
umns. Mothers, or prospective moth
ers, should read them. Editor.)
(Chief of the Children's Bureau,
United States Dep't of Labor.)
Washington, May 2f Dr. Cressy
L. Wilbur, vital statistician of the cen
sus bureau, estimated that approxi
mately 300-,000 babies die yearly in
the United States before reaching the
age of 1 year.
A calculation based on census fig
urea indicates that in the 10-year pe-
3aijy. Laittorop.
riod between the last two enumera
tions of the census more than 2,500,
000 of the children born in this coun
try died before they reached the age
of one year.
What do these figures mean? In
terms of total population, it is as if
Chicago, the second city of the United
States, were to be wiped out of exis
tence every 10 years, not a single life
being saved.
It means the annihilation each de
cade of a population as large as that
of the state of New Jersey, and great
er than that of such states as Ala-1
bama, California, Iowa, Kentucky,
Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennes
see, Virginia or Wisconsin.
In fact, only 10 states in the union
had each in 1910 a population as
great as the infant mortality for the
preceding decade. This mortality
nearly equaled the combined popula
tion of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming,
Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah
and Nevada.
A report of the International Con
gress on Prevention of Infant Mortal
ity, prepared under the direction of
Prof. Dietrich of Buffalo, said:
"It was formerly believed that the
rate of mortality among children who
had not reached the first anniversary
of their birth was a wise dispensation
of nature intended to prevent children
with a weak constitution from be
coming too plentiful. Today we
know that a great infant mortality is
a national disaster on the one hand
because numerous economic values
are created without purpose and pre
maturely destroyed, and on the other
because the causes of the high rate of
infant mortality affect the powers of
resistance of the other infants and
weaken the strength of the nation in
its next generation."
If none of those infant deaths was
preventable we should have no stim
ulus for trying to find a remedy. But
we are assured by the highest au
thorities that the number of deaths
can be greatly reduced if we apply
the best methods of the growing sci
ence of sanitation.
Indeed, one great authority says
that if children were well born and
well cared for the infant mortality
rate would be negligible. The New
York state department of health has
adopted for its legend these words:
"Public health is purchasable; with
in natural limitations a community
can determine its own death rate."
Is not this statement a challenge to
the patriotism of all public-spirited
If it can shown that birth registra
tion can aid in preventing infant mor-

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