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Child Health Day

Child Health Day, also known as National Child Health Day, is held on the first Monday of October of each year. As it is an observance rather than a federal or national holiday, the President of the United States must issue a proclamation each year in order for the observance to be official. It has been observed / proclaimed every year since its inception in 1928.


In 1928, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) asked President Calvin Coolidge to proclaim a Child Health Day. President Coolidge responded that the "promotion of Child Health Day is a highly commendable object". In April of 1928, he issued a proclamation that Child Health Day be set on May 1, and he invited agencies and organizations from all around the nation to participate in observing activities that promoted child health. Soon after, Congress passed a Joint Resolution stating that each year the President could issue a proclamation to set apart May 1 as Child Health Day (1).

In 1960, the observance of Child Health Day was moved to the first Monday in October, and has been observed each year since on the first Monday in October.

Each year, many organizations and agencies participate in National Child Health Day. Some of these groups include but are not limited to the Health Resources and Services Administration, the American Medical Association, and still the AFL and GFWC. Often times, Child Health Day will have a specific topic of interest for a given year, such as strategies to prevent child injury, prenatal care and immunization importance (2).

When is Child Health Day?

Child Health Day is a floating holiday, and is annually held on the first Monday of each October.

Day Date Year
Monday October 3 2011
Monday October 1 2012
Monday October 7 2013
Monday October 6 2014
Monday October 5 2015

Ideas for Child Health Day

Pack a healthy lunch - Plan to pack a healthy lunch for the day, week or month. Ideas include apples, lowfat milk, tuna sandwiches and string cheese. Donate healthy food to less fortunate.

Go to a city park or national park - A great way to enjoy the fall and participate in Child Health Day. As always be sure to exercise caution in heat or cold, and children should be with a parent.


1. HRSA, (Health Resources and Services Administration), Maternal and Child Health Bureau. "History of National Child Health Day."

2. HRSA, (Health Resources and Services Administration), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (2010). "All Aboard, For Children with Special Health Care Needs and Their Families."

3. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary (2010). "Presidential Proclamation - Child Health Day."

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