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greater efforts in their studies. For nine months out of the twelve the children are kept in school under high pressure, with music, dancing and entertaining thrown in, to occupy the time during the non-school hours. In some instances the other three months are devoted to rest and recuperation, but too often in an effort to make up some deficient study, or even to enter a more advanced class. No school system, or want of system, is to blame for this. It is purely and simply the fault of the parents, and upon them must fall the blame of much, yes, very much, of the ill health, broken constitutions, and death among children. Ambitious for their children to be bright and shining stars in the social or business firmament, they force upon them a course that early transfers them to the celestial one, where they are at least supposed to be free from the eternal grind that has always been theirs.
Conditions like these are not pleasant to look at or consider, but they are real and not fancied. The "strenuous life" is upon us, and will stay for a long time yet. The older people will not readily give up their ambitions, but we can at least spare the young ones and let them have the simple life of childhood. Their forty weeks of schooling they must have, as long as such is the way, and they must take it according to rule, but their pathway can and must be relieved of all obstructions. Nothing should be placed in their way and no extra strain be put upon their nerves, and nothing strains them so much as irregular habits of life, especially in eating and hours of rest. This is completely under the control of the parents, and if they will only appreciate the danger and act accordingly, more will be done to give us healthy, robust children than in any
other way. Great care must be exercised in feeding the child, for upon the food depends the physical growth, and upon the physical the mental strength. Food should be plain and nutritious. Milk, eggs, meat, vegetables, and fruits in well-regulated quantities--which will depend in large measure upon the characteristics and temperament of the child—but never in too great excess. Cakes, pies, and sweetmeats while not excluded from the diet should be used with extreme caution; they are hard to digest and do not furnish nourishment in its best form. The parent should always remember that the child's appetite can not always be depended upon as a test of what is best. It may dictate that the child go to school without breakfast, a habit which will lead evil results, and should under no circumstances be allowed. Always see that the child eats its breakfast, even if you have to pamper the appetite a little, not with cake or sweets, but with some nicely cooked dish which particularly appeals to that particular appetite. Eating between meals should not be encouraged, neither should a child with a delicate appetite be allowed to go hungry. A drink of pure milk, or a piece of bread and butter, will seldom hurt a child and may save much suffering.
Perhaps the greatest cause of breakdown for which the parent is responsible is the irregularity and want of proper sleep. The hours of darkness were intended for rest, and daylight for activity, and it is a mistake to let children reverse the order. The three hours before midnight are far better for rest than the three after 6 A. M. Habit throughi long years may make one enjoy his morning naps, but it is not nature's way, and in children especially, the loss of sleep in the first part of the night is to be deplored, and the more if the time has been spent in exciting amusements.
'The ehild's mind should be kept as free and clear as possible. It is a delicate machine, and must not be overworked nor wrenched about with excitement. Long sessions on the piano stool, or frequent and late parties, will wreck the health of almost any child.
The daylight hours out of school should be spent as much as possible in the open air, in play and helpful employment, and the night, after 9 o'clock, in bed, which, by the way, should be in the open air as much as possible, never in a close, ill-ventilated room. If this be done the parents can rest assured that they have removed one of the great causes of breakdown in their children, and can with a clear conscience hold the school system responsible for its faults.
STATE HYGIENIC LABORATORY.
The State maintains, under the direction of the State Board of Health, a Hygienic Laboratory for the aid of health officers and physicians in their efforts to guard the public health. This laboratory is located at the State University at Berkeley and is under the immediate direction of Prof. A. R. Ward, to whom communications should be sent. The laboratory is equipped to make bacterial examinations for diphtheria, tuberculosis, typhoid and the less common bacterial diseases, and also water analyses. Containers for any of these will be furnished upon application and full directions given for properly securing the sample. Do not send in any other way than this. The samples of contagious disease products must be sent with the greatest care, and it is useless to send water in any other way than as directed. There are no charges for the laboratory service, and the only cost will be to mail or express the sample. Answer will be sent by mail, unless it is expressly requested that it be sent by telephone or telegraph, in which case the applicant will pay the charge for the message.
Where water is suspected of pollution, a careful examination should always be made to find the source of such pollution, and a full account of the results sent to the laboratory with the sample. It should be remembered that a bacterial examination of a water supply is not infallible. It can only tell what the condition is in that particular small quantity examined. There might be a temporary cessation of the pollution, or where the supply is large the mixture of pure and polluted may not be complete, and the sample taken from the pure.
In connection with this work the State Board of Health trying to make arrangements to investigate all epidemics resulting from polluted waters, or other causes especially epidemic of typhoid fever. As this will involve considerable expense, it may not be possible in the near future, but local health officers can do much in this direction and furnish the State office valuable data.
Health officers should always report epidemics to the State Board of Health at Sacramento, and we will assist the local authorities to the limit of our power in discovering and removing the cause of the trouble.
CALIFORNIA PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION.
The semi-annual meeting of the California Public Health Association convened at Alum Rock Springs, San José, on October 12th.
The San José Chamber of Commerce and the Alum Rock Park Commissioners had planned for an excellent luncheon and a place of
meeting. President Simpson had completed the plans by arranging transportation for the delegates through the courtesy of the Alum Rock Railway Company.
The general subject for discussion was the use and abuse of mineral springs in California, two comprehensive and practical papers being read. Dr. Robert Crees of Paso Robles confined his paper largely to the uses and limitations of California's mineral springs in general therapeutics. Dr. Philip Mills Jones based a very forcible discussion of the "quackery" of mineral springs treatment of diseases upon selected extracts from the advertising folders of the many health resorts in California.
The discussions which followed the papers were most interesting and instructive. The prevailing opinion expressed fear that the great value of our mineral springs would be ruined if ignorant or unprincipled promoters were permitted indefinitely to exploit their real usefulness by the present unwarranted methods.
Many suggestive plans were advanced for the education of the public and the passage of prohibitive laws. The association passed resolutions recommending the establishment of a chemical laboratory under the control of the State Board of Health and the publication by the latter of tables of uniform analyses of the water from all the mineral springs of the State, together with a sanitary report of each spring and therapeutical and climatological comments.
It was also suggested that such reports should be forwarded to the proprietors of the springs in question, with permission to publish the letter in full, duly approved by the officers of the Public Health Association and indorsed by the State Medical Society.
The Public Health Association is composed of representatives from every organization interested in any phase of public or personal health. All persons interested are eligible to membership. The meetings are characterized by open and spirited discussions of all sides of each question by both medical and lay representatives. Under these conditions, it is believed that the resolution adopted will appeal to the public, as coming from an entirely disinterested organization after thorough discussion by business men, bankers, engineers and medical men.
Two subjects were proposed for discussion at the next meeting in Monterey in April, 1907:
1. “The Disposal of Sewage” was presented by Dr. Osborne of Santa Clara.
2. “Practicable Methods of Raising the Standard of Health of School Children" was proposed by Mrs. Helen Moore of San Francisco.
A committee composed of Dr. Osborne, Dr. Clarke, and Dr. Foster was appointed to prepare a programme.
Inasmuch as the association has no dues and no source of revenue, it was urged on each representative to personally explain the purposes of the organization to every friend interested in sanitation and good health to the end that the association's meetings may be more fully representative of all professions and all occupations.
The session closed with a formal vote of thanks to the Chamber of Commerce, to Dr. Simpson, and to others contributing by their generous activity toward the general success of the day.
CALIFORNIA STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.
SACRAMENTO, OCTOBER, 1906. .
STATE BOARD OF HEALTH. MARTIN REGENSBURGER, M.D., President,
F. K. AINSWORTH, M.D.
San Francisco San Francisco A. C. HART, M.D.
Sacramento WALLACE A BRIGGS, M.D., Vice-President,
O. STANSBURY, M.D..
STATE HYGIENIC LABORATORY. ARCHIBALD R. WARD, D.V.M., Director..
University of California, Berkeley
NOTICE TO REGISTRARS.
California a Registration State.—The Federal Census Bureau has added California to the few states from which death returns are accepted as being satisfactorily complete. There were but 11 registration states in 1900, and only 5 were added in 1906. Besides California, the 16 registration states now comprise Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont. These include the populous New England and Middle Atlantic states, a few of the most progressive Western states, and California alone on the Pacific Coast. California is thus honored by being listed with the leading states of the Union because our 1905 law for the registration of deaths is based on correct principles, as recommended by the Federal Census Bureau and the American Public Health Association, and also because local registrars throughout California have coöperated with the State Registrar by enforcing the law in a reasonably satisfactory manner.
However, this honor to the Golden State may no longer be enjoyed, if there should ever be any vital modification of the present excellent law or if there should be any failure to enforce it fully throughout California. Local registrars should therefore be vigilant in requiring undertakers to file death certificates with them that are filled out completely and satisfactorily. Age, for instance, should never be left unknown, but should be given as closely as it can be estimated from the appearance of the deceased.
Especial attention must be paid to the proper statement of the cause of death. Where death results from any form of violence, coroners must be held to a strict compliance with their duty under the State law and in all such cases must be compelled to state specifically whether it was accidental, suicidal, or homicidal. When coroners investigate deaths not resulting from violence, they must not be allowed to credit the death merely to "natural causes,” but must be required to comply properly with the law by reporting just what disease caused the death, as tuberculosis, pneumonia, heart disease, Bright's disease, etc.
In all cases where a physician certifies to the cause of death, local registrars should withhold the issuance of the required burial or removal permit unless the cause of death is given in definite, satisfactory terms. Such indefinite expressions as “ heart failure," "hemorrhage," "abscess," "fever," "marasmus” or “debility” (for adults), “dropsy," and "asthenia," are utterly unsatisfactory, and burial or removal permits should not be issued for death certificates with the cause of death thus carelessly stated.
VITAL STATISTICS FOR OCTOBER.
Summary. - For October there were reported 1,693 living births; 2,134 deaths, exclusive of stillbirths; and 1,376 marriages, the marriage returns being somewhat incomplete. The population of California in 1906, estimated by the Census Bureau method with slight modifications, is 1,882,846. For this population the October returns give the following annual rates: Births, 10.8; deaths, 13.6; and marriages, 8.8, per 1,000 inhabitants.
As usual, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death, with diseases of the circulatory system a close second. Typhoid fever was the most fatal epidemic disease, causing 94 deaths, or 4.4 per cent of all.
Causes of Death.—The following table gives the number of deaths due to certain principal causes in October, as well as the proportion from each cause per 1,000 total deaths for both October and September:
Proportion per 1,000.
Cause of Death.