Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 87.djvu/196
192 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
through existing organizations to compel public attention to this vital matter. The final responsibility lies with the public, and the outcome of successful private work is usually that sufficient municipal funds are appropriated to take it over. This has been accomplished in Bridge- port, Conn., Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Rich- mond, Va., and in many other cities and towns.
While methods vary in different localities, the program for a baby- saving campaign, as outlined by the Bureau, is something like this :
1. Insistence upon complete and prompt birth registration as a ba- sis of work. In some cities, a letter or card is sent each mother upon the birth of a child, thus securing her interest, and with the letter of congratulation a folder may be enclosed, containing advice on the care of infants, and printed, if desirable, in several languages. A strong appeal for breast feeding is always a feature of such advice.
2. Eigid inspection of the milk supply, with frequent tests for fat contents as well as for dirt and bacteria. Eecognized grades of whole- some milk include : (a) certified milk ; (6) inspected milk ; (c) pasteur- ized milk.
3. The establishment of pure-milk stations, where such milk may be obtained at or below cost, and to mothers unable to pay the price may be furnished free. Such milk must be supplied only on proof of ina- bility to nurse the child, if too young for proper weaning.
4. Baby clinics, and the employment of trained nurses to visit the homes, especially of the very poor, both before and after the birth of a child, to care for sick babies, and to instruct mothers in the care of infants.
5. Improvement of bad housing conditions; the fight against flies and the breeding of flies; and general educational work.
Dr. Josephine Baker, of the New York City Board of Health, has stated that
babies may be kept under continuous supervision at a cost of sixty cents per month per baby, and the death rate among babies so cared for has been reduced to 1.4 per cent. In other words, the solution of the problem is twenty per cent, pure milk, and eighty per cent, care and training of mothers.
The American Association for Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality owes its existence to the American Academy of Medicine, which called the first conference on that subject ever held in the United States. The association was organized at the close of this meeting, held at Yale University in 1909, and in 1910 an office was opened in Baltimore, from which the work has since been directed. Its func- tions are chiefly educational, and its work is carried on by general propa- ganda, by investigations and special work in committees, through an annual meeting and the publication of its transactions, and through a traveling exhibit. Any person interested in the aims of the society may become a member, and the dues are three dollars a year and upward.