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April 1988

The Emperor Is Indeed Stark Raving Naked

Author Affiliations

Stabler Clinic PA 300 N College St Greenville, AL 36037

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(4):413. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150040063005

Sir.—On a slow, quiet day of trying to read through some of the journals covering my desk, I was rudely awakened by the recent article by Williams and Fosarelli.1 I was amazed to find that at least 25000 preschool children aged 3 to 6 years were home alone and care for themselves.

I have no problem with the article and thought that the efforts and points of the authors were well taken. My question is this: Has our society become so materialistic and consumer oriented that we accept as standard operating procedure that 25000 children should be left uncared for? Leaving 3- to 6-year-old children is not an economic necessity, it is not a sign of our times, it is not an even unavoidable hardship: it is just wrong. At best it is child neglect; at worst it is stupidity.

I believe we as pediatricians have an obligation,

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