JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Editorial Assistant.
Associated Health Authorities and Sanitarians ofPennsylvania.
Seventh annual meeting, Mechanicsburg, May 28.
PROF. J. A. BEITZEL, principal of the public schools, spoke on this
subject, saying that only recently has it dawned on the people that the trend
of the educational forces is too exclusively in the direction of a single
order of culture. Every energy has been bent toward the intellectual part,
without thought as to the physical. A sound mind in a sound body has not inspired
the administration of public school affairs. Laws of health are violated in
improper buildings, improper heating, lighting, ventilation, and want of sanitary
surroundings, and by taxing the eyes and the mental powers. He alluded to
the great care of the ancients in regard to the body of the growing citizen,
and said that school hygiene must ever be considered if we want healthy as
well as cultured children. There must be proper sites for the building, good
drainage, avoidance of bad air, the cesspool should not receive the school
drainage; proper ventilation and heating should be secured for the health
for the pupils, and overcrowding in the rooms should not be tolerated. All
these cause tired nerves, headaches and mental exhaustion. Five hundred children
assembled in one room for two hours produce carbonic acid gas equal to the
solid charcoal or carbon in twenty pounds of coal. These would give off in
that time, vapor equal to four gallons of water, this being laden with impurities
from ill-ordered mouths, decaying teeth and the natural waste from the mucous
linings of the air-passages. In addition, the skin is continually throwing
off waste products even in the case of the cleanliest. Imagine the condition
of a child who has not had a bath perhaps for six months; think of the exhalations
from such bodies, from the dirty clothing, and the usual wraps in the cloak-room.
What a soil for the development and propagation of scarlet fever, diphtheria,
etc! Again, we have overheated school-rooms and the children are allowed to
rush out into the cold corridors or yards, so it is not strange that quinsy,
croup, bronchitis, etc., are prevalent.
SCHOOL HYGIENE.. JAMA. 2000;283(24):3176. doi:10.1001/jama.283.24.3176