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JAMA 100 Years Ago
June 12, 2002


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2002;287(22):2916. doi:10.1001/jama.287.22.2916

The problem of what to do with city children during the summer has been much discussed and much good has resulted therefrom. When we remember how high the mortality among young children in large cities rises during the hot months, we can appreciate how important it is to do as much as possible to reduce it. Children whose parents are able to take them into the country, to the seashore or to the mountains during the summer are most fortunate. The great majority of city children, however, must stay at home all summer, and among the poor the mortality from summer diseases becomes very great. The efforts which are being made to provide better conditions for such children who live in crowded quarters are most commendable and deserve hearty support. A recent writer has said that the most noticeable movement in educational lines of recent years has been the rapid development of vacation schools and playgrounds in all the great cities of America. While a comparatively small, open playground is by no means a complete substitute for the country, it is a great improvement upon a narrow, dusty, dirty street with its street cars and other traffic. Many children die each year in cities from injuries by street cars and other vehicles, sustained while playing on streets. Children must play somewhere, and if suitable playgrounds were provided, many of these accidents could be avoided.