Gerald R. Ford photo

Proclamation 4396—Child Health Day, 1975

September 24, 1975

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

In the years since 1928, when Child Health Day was first proclaimed, our concept of health has acquired new dimensions. No longer do we consider health merely the timely treatment and cure of illness. Health now encompasses the prevention of those conditions which can lead to illness.

Scientific technology and medical research have given us many new tools to help in the essential tasks of preventing illness or conditions which can cripple. Thanks to vaccines which have been developed in recent decades, poliomyelitis is no longer the widespread crippler it once was. Children can now be protected against measles and the risk of death or brain damage resulting from this disease. Immunization against rubella not only protects young children, but also protects pregnant women from contracting the disease and risking the mental health of their unborn children.

Future challenge includes prevention of such divergent problems as birth abnormality, the battered child syndrome and the teenage alcoholic, drug addict or criminal.

In our Bicentennial year as a Nation, we are charting a course for the future that will enable us to complete the American dream. We can be certain that future scientific discoveries will help to control and conquer other conditions which now cripple or otherwise handicap children. For the present, each of us must resolve to apply the knowledge and the means now at hand for the fullest protection of our children's health.

As an expression of its concern, the Congress, by joint resolution (36 U.S.C. 143), has asked the President to designate the first Monday in October as Child Health Day.

Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, do proclaim Monday, October 6, 1975, as Child Health Day.

I ask American parents on Child Health Day this year to place special emphasis on ensuring protection for their children against all diseases for which safe and effective vaccines are now available.

I call upon all citizens, agencies and organizations interested in child welfare to promote and observe appropriate activities, especially those which emphasize the preventive immunizations so necessary for proper health care.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundredth.

Signature of Gerald R. Ford


Gerald R. Ford, Proclamation 4396—Child Health Day, 1975 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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