National Child Health Day is on the first Monday of every October where we show our support of children’s health, family, and those that work hard to help them. Family income is a major factor in the health of children both physically and mentally. Children from households below the poverty line have a higher obesity rate than those above it, and with the epidemic not slowing down, it’s clear that there’s more that we need to do.
History of National Child Health Day
There weren’t any facilities dedicated to the treatment of children until the mid-nineteenth-century. They were treated at home and if that wasn’t an option for families, children went to municipal almshouses just like their parents did. The understanding of children’s health wasn’t defined back then and oftentimes abandoned and orphaned babies were left in infant asylums.
By the 1860s, the problem worsened until hospitals that specialized in the care of children were developed to address the issue. There was a stigma surrounding the sick and the poor and not enough was being done to stem the tide. The early children hospitals would admit these sick and abandoned children and offer food, clothing, and more to better their health. The philosophy of these hospitals was that even if their parents made bad decisions, it wasn’t the fault of the children.
In the late nineteenth century, the effects of these children’s hospitals became clear throughout the nation. The number of children admitted for social welfare fell over time and children who suffered from chronic medical conditions or required surgery rose. More children were being properly looked after and that meant that more comprehensive analyses were being made to better their healthcare.
National Child Health Day became a day of observance in 1928 when President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation for the day and Congress enacted it. In the beginning, National Child Health Day was observed on May 1, and in 1960 it was changed to the first Monday in October. Ever since then, American presidents have issued proclamations that day in hopes of rallying the country to support children’s health.
National Child Health Day timeline
In 1960 the day was moved to the first Monday of October.
Proclaim the Day
President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed National Child Health Day and it was observed on May 1.
The number of children admitted to social welfare falls because of children’s hospitals.
- Early 1800s
Children are treated at adult municipal almshouses and sick children are being abandoned at infant asylums.
National Child Health Day FAQs
Is National Child Health Day an official holiday?
It’s not an official holiday, but many schools and hospitals take part in celebrating the day.
What can I do to protect my children?
Post a list of emergency numbers on the fridge and keep the numbers for Poison Control, the local police, fire department, your doctor, etc. and keep the information on your phone.
Where can I donate?
You can donate at www.Childfund.org.
How to Observe National Child Health Day
Go for a run
Invite the kids you know to go out and get some exercise by going for a run. Make it fun by timing yourselves and check how long it takes you to run a lap. You can even use this as an opportunity to exercise on a regular basis. Make it a weekly or monthly activity to promote physical fitness.
Participate in an event
It's not wrong to have guilty pleasures, but too many unhealthy foods can be bad for you. Take a good hard look at your diet and see where you can make some improvements. Search online and learn about tasty healthy options you can add to your diet. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to be bland.
Donate and dance
Donate to The Miracle Network Dance Marathon which is a healthy movement that involves college, university, and high school students. In the program, students spend a year gaining leadership, teamwork, and nonprofit business experience and raise funds and awareness while having fun dancing. When you donate to this charity, 100% of the proceeds stay local to support children.
Five Facts About National Child Health Day
The 1939 Child Health Day slogan was, "The health of the child is the power of the nation."
You are what you eat
Child eating habits should include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, protein foods, and oils.
Many everyday kids’ snacks are surprisingly unhealthy, like applesauce and yogurt.
A good diet can improve academic performance.
An estimated 82% of children in the US are in good health.
Why National Child Health Day Is Important
Children are the future
Children are the most vulnerable people in our society. Knowing how to best ensure their health secures our future for a brighter tomorrow. The next generation needs to develop good health standards and it starts with us.
A necessary occupation
It might seem unbelievable now, but at one point, there weren’t any children's hospitals. Children were once overlooked and that damaged society in critical ways. By continuing our support of children’s health it shows a message that it’s here to stay.
Families need support
It can be a daunting task to stay up to date on all things healthy for your children. It makes it that much easier when families know that they have advocates willing to spread the word and raise funds to ensure that their kids have the proper information and tools to stay healthy. The more that a health-conscious ideology becomes the norm, the more likely it is that kids will follow suit.