1950has s The AAP jumpstarts injury prevention efforts in 1950s, with nationwide impact by Alyson Sulaski Wyckoff , Associate Editor Copyright © 2020 American Academy of Pediatrics Editor’s note: Th is is the fourth of a series of articles on the AAP’s 90th anniversary published by AAP News, (April, 2020). In the post-World War II years, the AAP continued to thrive, as its mission of dedication to the whole child came into focus. Th e 1950s Baby Boom also ushered in 40 million new births. But as medical advancements dramatically reduced deaths from what once were common childhood diseases, a new problem emerged: childhood injuries. Accidents became the leading cause of death among children ages 1 year and older. Poisonings, burns, vehicle crashes, falls and choking resulted in emergency visits and mortality. Household products, medications, lye, kerosene and fl avored aspirin caused most of the poisonings, which accounted for half of injuries. “It is time we turn our attention to this formidable enemy of child health,” George W. Wheatley, M.D., FAAP, wrote in a 1948 issue of Pediatrics. Dr. Wheatley and others launched a bold injury prevention program, and this area has remained central to the AAP mission (http://bit.ly/38OTHri). Dr. Wheatley, a vice pre- sident at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (now MetLife), headed a new Committee on Accident Prevention. He went on to become AAP president (1960-’61). Th e committee’s work started with a survey of pediatricians on the injuries they were seeing, which led to an extensive safety campaign involv- ing “education, engineer- ing and enforcement” (http://bit.ly/2w3lvK8). Th e AAP developed 12 AAP News www.aapnews.org April 2020 burns, vehicle crashes, falls and choking resulted in emergency visits and mortality. Household prod- ucts, medications, lye, kerosene and flavored aspirin caused most of the poisonings, which accounted for half of injuries. “It is time we turn our attention to this formida- ble enemy of child health,” George W. Wheatley, M.D., FAAP, wrote in a 1948 issue of Pediatrics. Dr. Wheatley and others launched a bold injury pre- vention program, and this area remained cen- tral to the AAP mission (http://bit.ly/38OTHri). Dr. Wheatley, a vice president at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (now MetLife), headed a new Committee on Accident Prevention. He went on to become AAP president (1960-’61). The committee’s work started with a survey of pediatricians on the injuries they were seeing, which led to an extensive safet cation, engineering an ly/2w3lvK8). The AAP ventions for practices an ners such as the Nation now is the American Na address injuries from a approach. The education emph “vaccine.” An exhibit p Life was titled “Hel Accidents,” and a book Saf co an lic Poi an A ab low pai ufa clo P in cen Ed FA Gd ma Ch by hea com Schoolchildren receive polio vaccine at a New York City health station from Jonas Salk, M.D., who was hailed for developing the first polio vaccine. Large-scale use of the vaccine began by 1955, and the Academy helped to promote immunization. AAP efforts that began decades, injury prevent AAPNews0420_1-27.indd 12 School children receive polio vaccine at a New York City health station from Jonas Salk, M.D., who was hailed for developing the fi rst polio vaccine. Large-scale use of the vaccine began by 1955, and the Academy helped to promote immunization. AAP eff orts that began in the 1950s helped to bring about key legislative changes to protect children. Over the decades, injury prevention eff orts have remained central to the AAP mission. uni2792
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