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Thanks, Calvin, for focusing the nation on children's health

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

shoppingcart.jpgYesterday was our 80th annual National Child Health Day. In 1928, President Calvin Coolidge issued the nation's first proclamation to promote children's health - prompted by labor unions and women's groups (surprise!).

In reviewing the original proclamation, we found much of it worth sharing - and applauding - because here at EWG we also like to focus the nation's attention on children's heath. President Coolidge proclaimed:

WHEREAS the protection and development of the health of the children of today are fundamental necessities to the future progress and welfare of the Nation;

AND WHEREAS, the conservation and promotion of child health places upon us a grave responsibility;

AND WHEREAS, it is appropriate that a day should be set apart each year for the direction of our thoughts towards the health and well-being of our children;

NOW, therefore, I, Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States of America, do hereby set apart [one day in every] year as Child Health Day and do invite the people of the United States and all agencies and organizations interested in child welfare to unite upon that day in the observance of such exercises as will acquaint the people of the Nation with the fundamental necessity of a year-round program for the protection and development of the health of the Nation's children.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this day has focused on a number of issues over the years, all of them important: prenatal care, adolescent health issues, day care on child development, childhood injury prevention, and immunization. This year's focus is on obesity prevention. An unfortunate but very real issue.

To help, HHS has put together some excellent tips for parents & caregivers, schools and teachers, and whole communities. There is a good bit of info in all this about food choices, clearly an important piece of all this equation. But. They forgot about organics and pesticides in all that food talk. True, pesticides and obesity are not linked. But in our minds, any time there's talk about kids and healthy food choices, organics should be discussed.