Childhood Mortality

It’s late and I’m just back home from the pharmacy. I won’t take up much time but there’s a good thought here.

I used on on-line MD for the first time tonight – more on that later – and was struck with something profound and so easily forgotten as we wallow in our luxurious lives. As the video doctor completed my daughter’s medical history, and as I repeated a litany of “No, no, no…” when she asked me about ailments, diseases, and allergies, I though of how amazing it is that not a single one of my seven children have ever really been sick. No broken bones. No childhood diseases.

In 1900, the childhood mortality rate was 165 in 1,000 births. Can you believe it? 165 childhood deaths out of 1,000 births. And this says nothing about disease and disfigurement. Today, the rate is 5-7 deaths per 1,000 births and we’ve practically wiped out disease through vaccinations, public health, and general civic cleanliness.

I watched my daughter for a time, sniffling and puffy, and thought that she’s a towering marvel compared to history.