[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 4, 1956


Author Affiliations

Berkeley, Calif.

Chief, Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, California State Department of Public Health.

JAMA. 1956;161(14):1361-1364. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970140017005

• Problems hitherto of secondary importance in child health are becoming more conspicuous because others formerly of primary importance have been solved. Premature birth has become one of the largest problems, and attention should be shifted somewhat from its treatment to its prevention. This would help to reduce perinatal mortality and morbidity and to avoid the dilemmas relating, for instance, to incubators, oxygen, and retrolental fibroplasia.

Infections by micro-organisms remain the greatest cause of death, of hospitalization, and of disability, and the most prevalent and serious are the acute respiratory diseases. Another important cause is accidents, and a third is chronic disease. Methods of prevention and techniques for health supervision are still evolving. The private physician has a unique opportunity to guide the direction of future progress.