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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 20, 2009

SCHOOL HYGIENE

JAMA. 2009;301(19):2052. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.684

The remarkable wave of interest in preventive medicine and sanitation which is making itself felt in many ways among the laity can assuredly find no better outlet than when directed into the channels of school hygiene. Such questionings of heart and rattling of dry bones as are now taking place in the whole field of education from the college to the kindergarten has not been witnessed for at least a generation. It is well that it is so. To take children from their homes and set them tasks which may injure irreparably their eyesight or their capacity of spontaneous interest, while placing them under conditions in which various infectious diseases may be more readily contracted at the same time that general bodily resistance is decreased by overheated rooms, rebreathed air, mental fatigue and cramped attitudes does not seem to constitute the last word of civilized man on the proper rearing of his offspring. The hygienic dangers involved in bringing up children en masse need to be all the more carefully scrutinized when we find that not a few modern writers are expressing grave doubts about the real value of much of our present educational “system” and are boldly suggesting that the whole outfit might be demolished with advantage.

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