Child Health Day
Child Health Day, also known as National Child Health Day, is observed on the first Monday in October. It recognizes the need for children to have adequate healthcare to remain healthy and grow up strong.
It is also a day to seek ways to improve access to healthcare for low-income families. The final reason for the creation of this holiday is to educate the citizens of the U.S. about the necessity of medical care for all children in the country.
The History of Child Health Day
In 1928, the U.S. Congress issued a joint resolution allowing the President of the U.S. to issue a proclamation annually to recognize Child Health Day. When this resolution was first passed, the holiday was set to occur annually on May 1st, and it remained that way for the next 32 years.
Then, in 1960, the date was changed from May 1st to the first Monday in October. An interesting fact about this observance, however, is that it was observed before Congress even issued the proclamation in 1928.
The American Federation of Labor and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs pressed U.S. President Coolidge to issue a Child Health Day proclamation while the bill was still winding its way through Congress.
Facts About Children’s Health in the U.S.
To illustrate the importance of this observance day in the U.S. and the need for better healthcare access for all children, we have researched and uncovered the following facts.
Children Die from Maltreatment Every Year in the U.S.
Every year, children die from maltreatment, and 80% of those children are at the hands of their own parents. In 2013 alone, over 1,500 children died from maltreatment.
Too Many U.S. Children Are in Poor Health
Approximately 3.1% of children aged 5-11 in the U.S. are in fair or poor health. About 4.6% of U.S. children miss 11 or more days of school over the current year because of illness or injury.
Obesity Among Children in the U.S.
In the U.S., approximately 20% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old are obese, according to the CDC.
Observing Child Health Day
This observance day can be marked by promoting proper child healthcare access for all children. People can share information about this holiday on social media using the hashtag #ChildHealthDay to spread awareness.
For those who want to be politically active in promoting this day, they can write to their representatives to lobby for better access to healthcare for all children. Another way to observe this day is by ensuring their children are healthy.
They can schedule their child’s next doctor’s visit, ensure that all their vaccinations are up to date, and schedule their next dental appointment. It is also a good day for parents to examine their children’s diet and activity levels to ensure they eat healthily and get the exercise they need.