President 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.
The HRSA reports that, 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.