2,621,392. A nice even figure. That’s the number of babies will be born next year in the United States. Of these babies, 118,481 will die before reaching their first birthday. Oh well, what’s a few babies more or less? We’ve got lots of babies! It really doesn’t matter if one baby lives or dies. Or does it? Well, good morning, John. This is John Emmerson Jones, Jr. Hm, fine healthy looking boy, isn’t he? But unfortunately, John won’t have much chance to become president of the United States. Why? Well, here’s one reason: Looks harmless, doesn’t it? It’s hard to believe that one small fly could keep Johnny from his chance to become president. And ordinarily, it couldn’t. But there’s just one thing wrong with this picture. Untreated sewage running into our pretty creek. And Mr. Fly’s feet are not very clean. In fact, they’re very filthy. And loaded with germs like those that cause dysentery. If some of these dysentery germs should happen to infect Johnny at his age, he not only won’t be president, the chances are just about one out of two that he won’t even be alive. Stop! Can’t anything be done to save Johnny? Oh, I suppose we could train all flies to wash their feet. Or shoot all flies. Or we could do away with all babies. But there must be a better answer than that. This is where I come into the picture. Your local health officer and my staff. Part of our job is to clean up just such unsanitary conditions. Eliminate open sewage, do away with fly-breeding places, and give your Johnny a new shot at presidency. Well John, we got over that one alright, didn’t we? Maybe you’ll get to be a year old yet. But you’ve still got some very tough customers to meet on the path of your life. Like whooping cough and diphtheria. Rheumatic fever and small pox. But don’t worry, John. That’s where your local health officer– that’s me! — comes back into the picture. Another part of my job is to keep track of you and to see that you’re properly immunized. Vaccinated and inoculated is another way of saying it. Or protected in other ways so that you have the weapons to fight back when these enemies attack you. You see Johnny, most immunizations should be completed before you become one year old. Does that surprise you? Well, well. Look who’s in the fourth grade! Hiya, John! — Ssshhh! ( whispers) Oh, I’m sorry. Um, mind if we look around? Looks like you’re being well-taken care of, Johnny. — Ssshhhh! (whispers) Oh, pardon me. Grown up now, eh John? Er, um… Mr. Jones? Hey, wake up! You know her! That’s Mary! Mary Laurence! (chuckles) Changed since high school, hasn’t she? For the better. Congratulations! You oughta make a very happy couple. You’re fine, healthy-looking specimens. Nothing wrong with you, eh? Are you sure? Let’s be really sure. Step in for just a couple of minutes. Now don’t worry John, it’s a very simple process for you. And I know Mary won’t mind it, either. It’s not so simple for your blood, though. Let’s see what happens. First, it’s numbered, whirled, a warm bath, shaken, checked, cooled, bathed again, then carefully read and… Aren’t you lucky that you happen to live in a community that has a health department? Anything we can do for you now, John? Time will tell. Hmm. Now what’s worrying you? Oh! Now just a minute! Your wife has had excellent prenatal care, advice, and instruction. And good medical care. And of course, the health office will cooperate with your doctor and with your wife, to see that the baby will have the best of care after he’s born. So why worry, John? Well, whaddaya know! It’s a boy! You must be the first father in history to have a boy! Uh-oh. (laughs) Anyway, he’s sure to recover from *this* disease. Nice feeling, isn’t it? To know that everything’s alright. Your family’s well-taken care of, you don’t have to worry too much about your health. But there’s one thing you do have to worry about, John. And now that you’re a family man, you’ve got to face it. A local health department is costing you. Yes, John, it’s costing you real money. Three cents a week. That’s right. Three cents a week per person can provide basic health services in your community. Not much, is it? Well John, you’ve been leading a normal, happy, married life. But of course, you are, uh, getting a little older. Your hair is receding, which is normal. You’ve developed a double chin (chuckles) which is normal. You’ve also acquired, um, a… ponch, which is, eh… (chuckles) a little abnormal. But you’re still a fine-looking man. Even if a little mild exercise wouldn’t hurt you. Yes, sir! Nothing like a little exercise! Especially with the kids! Makes you feel so young! — I got it! I got it! I — He got it. (panting) A little *mild* exercise, John. Let’s take a look at that body of yours and perhaps we can point out why violent exercise isn’t good for you. There’s the old ticker pumping away. So many miles of plight. Now then, that bay window appears, and the rest of you spreads a bit, too. More skin area, more pounds of flesh, and more pipe needed to cover the ground. More work, too, for your heart. And remember John, that heart isn’t getting any younger. So let’s get more rest and take it a bit easier. Oh, by the way, it, uh, might be well to cut down on the food a little. Hey, hey! That goes for you too, Mrs. Jones. Look, John and Mary Jones, let’s not kill ourselves. This is the age when cancer, heart disease and diabetes are the big killers. Now wait just a minute, don’t get panicky. Nobody said you *have* these diseases. With a few simple precautions, you’ll have very little to worry about. Periodic checkups by your own doctor are the most important thing. Don’t wait until you’re sick. Always remember, early diagnosis and early treatment are the best weapons with which to fight cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The family, the doctor, and the health officer. One kind of eternal triangle that really makes sense. Grandma and grandpa Johnny Jones. Ah, we’ve come a long way together. From now on, folks, you’re pretty much on your own. We’ve — but wait, just a minute! This looks like a *happy* ending! And it should be a happy ending for a fine boy like Johnny. But the odds are better than 25 to 1 that he’ll be born into a community with inadequate public health service, or none at all. So it looks like Johnny’s chances of being among the 118,481 new babies will die next year are pretty good, doesn’t it? But let’s get one thing straight. There’s nothing about this figure that is sacred. It can be reduced by well-staffed health departments throughout this great country of ours. Which kind of public health service does your communiy have? It’s up to you!