The whole brute creation rear their young with a certainty of their arriving at maturity without sickness of any kind. Human infants and children do not fare so well. These are forced to undergo cruel and needless suffering, while only a little more than half of them ever reach maturity.
In her Notes on Nursing, 1860, Florence Nightingale tells us that at that time "one in every seven infants in this civilized land of England perishes before it is one year old." That in London "two in every five die before they are five years old;" in the "other great cities of England, nearly one out of two." She says: "More than 25,000 children die every year in London under ten years of age."
In his Shut Your Mouth, 1870, George Catlin records that: "From the Bills of Mortality which are annually produced in the civilized world, we learn that in London and other large towns in England, and cities of the Continent, on an average, one half of the human race die before they reach the age of five years, and one half of the remainder die before they reach the age of twenty-five, thus leaving but one in four to share the chances of lasting from the age of twenty- five to old age.
"Statistical accounts showed, not many years past, that in London, one half of the children died under three years, in Stockholm, one half died under two years, and in Manchester, one half died under five years."
Such a mortality, as Catlin shows, was enormous compared to the almost negligible infant and child mortality he found in his Ethnographic labors among 150 tribes of North and South American Indians.
In a foot note Catlin Points out 10, 15 and sometimes 20 deaths a week occurred in London from the suffocation of infants in bed with their parents. He quotes the Times as saying, in May 1860 that a Mr. Wakley "had held inquests over more than 100 infants which had died during the past winter, from the same cause, their parents covering them entirely over, compelling them to breathe their own breath." He also quotes the Report of the Register-General as saying "suffocation in bed, by overlaying or shutting off air from the child is the most frequent cause of violent deaths of children in England."
Happily, deaths from this cause are things of history. It required a long time for loving parents to abandon the practice of smothering their children to death, just as it will yet require many more years for the "loving" parents of today to cease murdering their children in other ways. We have a nation of semi-invalids with an enormous infant and child death rate and we see the mothers and fathers of these children feeding them, drugging them and caring for them (abusing them) in a manner to produce all of this suffering and dying and then refusing to open their eyes and ears to the ugly truth, that their children, whom they profess to love, are being murdered.
The folowing table by Dr. Emerson, showing deaths in infants, children and young persons in Philadelphia during the period of 1826 to 1830 inclusive, is copied from How to Feed the Baby, by Dr. Page:
1 and 2
2 and 5
5 and 20
Totals January 281 81 102 109 573 February 382 109 123 131 745 March 322 119 122 138 701 April 342 107 125 122 696 May 250 98 107 107 562 June 510 148 84 105 847 July 836 249 117 120 1322 August 546 317 120 165 1148 September 377 221 140 185 923 October 324 127 117 153 721 November 267 90 114 132 603 December 269 90 114 135 608
4,706 1,756 1,385 1,602 9,449
Examining this table, we are stuck with the fact that more deaths occur under one year than during the next nineteen and more than twice as many die under two years than during the succeeding eighteen. Dr. Emerson failed to account for this terribly disproportionate mortality in infants. He attributed to the heat, their summer mortality.