Child Health Day in the United States raises people’s awareness of how they can protect and develop children’s health. This event is annually celebrated on the first Monday of October.
What do people do?
As part of the annual presidential proclamation for the day, all agencies and organizations interested in child welfare are invited to unite on Child Health Day to observe exercises to stimulate or increase people’s awareness of the need for a year-round program to protect and develop children’s health in the United States.
Health professionals and health organizations across the United States take part in this day through various activities and events. For example, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) takes on an active role in providing educational resources for parents, children and schools about issues such as healthy choices, fitness, and child obesity prevention. The HRSA also calls for every surgeon general across the nation to make a pledge towards providing a healthy future for children.
The Maternal and Child Health Library also actively participates in Child Health Day through activities that focus on healthy eating and physical activity for children and their parents or parental figures. The library provides information on nutrition for children and adolescents, the importance of physical activity, and nutrition for pregnant women.
Although Child Health Day is a national observance in the United States, it is not a public holiday.
Calvin Coolidge was the first president to issue a proclamation for Child Health Day in 1928 and it was annually observed on May 1 until it was observed on the first Monday of October from 1960 onwards. The concept of this event was supported by organizations such as the American Child Health Association, the American Federation of Labor and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in the early 20th century.
According to the HRSA, about one in six children between 2 and 19 in the United States is overweight. This is a risk factor for serious health consequences including asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Child Health Day helps spark or increase people’s awareness of ways to minimize or alleviate health problems that children may face. The day focuses on a range of child health issues such as prenatal care, adolescent health, the impact of daycare on a child’s development, preventing injuries, healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and immunization.
Images of health and active children are used in promotional materials such as posters, stickers and information kits for Child Health Day.
Disclaimer: There may be other websites informing that Child Health Day in the United States was called to be designated for the first Monday of October since the late 1928. However, newspaper archives and other historical information show that the date was in fact observed on May 1 until 1960. Regardless, readers use this site at their own risk and the site takes no responsibility for possible errors in this article.