Public Health Enemies
The one-time Surgeon General of the United States, C. Everett Koop, is still going strong and, it seems, has not mellowed much.
According to an article by Holcomb B. Noble in The New York Times (Feb. 2, 1999), the tobacco industry remains Koop's chief public health enemy. But on the list of his other public health foes are the following:
About preventable accidental deaths among children, Koop says (and we agree fully), "No baby should die of scalding simply because we have not taught all young mothers how to give an infant a hot bath."
We would add a word about bicycle helmets. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that: "All cyclists should wear a properly fitted ... helmet specifically designed for cycling. Children riding as passengers must wear appropriate-size helmets in specially designed protective seats."
This writer sees child after child on bikes and skateboards, virtually none with a helmet. What can we be thinking to permit this? Well, there's another public health enemy: brain damage and deaths that could be prevented by wearing protective helmets.
Last Editorial Review: 7/25/2002