Friday, December 15

Caring For The Health

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Good Health better than Gold.—Horses and houses, balls and dolls, and much else that people think they want to make them happy can be bought with
money. The one thing which is worth more than all else cannot be bought with even a houseful of gold. This thing is good health. Over three million persons
in our country are now sick, and many of them are suffering much pain. Some of them would give all the money they have to gain once more the good
health which the poorest may usually enjoy by right living day by day.
How long shall you live?—In this country most of the persons born live to be over forty years of age, and some live more than one hundred years. A
hundred years ago most persons died before the age of thirty-five years. In London three hundred years ago only about one half of those born reached the
age of twenty-five years. Scarcely one half of the people in India to-day live beyond the age of twenty-five years. In fact, people in India are dying nearly
twice as fast as in our own country. This is because they have not learned how to take care of the body in India so well as we have.
The study which tells how to keep well is Hygiene. Whether you keep well and live long, or suffer much from headaches, cold, and
other sickness, depends largely on how you care for your body.
Working together for Health.—One cannot always keep well and strong by his own efforts. The grocer and milkman may sell to
you bad food, the town may furnish impure water, churches and schools may injure your health by failing to supply fresh air in their
buildings. More than a hundred thousand people were made very sick last year through the use of water poisoned by waste
matter which other persons carelessly let reach the streams and wells. Many of the sick died of the fever caused by this water.
Although it cannot be said that we are engaged in real war, yet we are surely killing one another by our thoughtless habits in scattering disease. We must
therefore not only know how to care for our own bodies, but teach all to help one another to keep well.
A Lesson from War. —The mention of war makes those who know its terrors shudder. Disease has caused more than ten times as much suffering and
death as war with its harvest of mangled bodies, shattered limbs, and blinded eyes. In our four months’ war with Spain in 1898 only 268 soldiers were
killed in battle, while nearly 4000 brave men died from disease. We lost more than ten men by disease to every one killed by bullets.
In the late war between Japan and Russia the Japanese soldiers cared for their health so carefully that only one fourth as many died from disease as
perished in battle. This shows that with care for the health the small men of Japan saved themselves from disease, and thus won a victory told around the
The Battle with Disease.—For long ages sickness has caused more sorrow, misery, and death than famine, war, and wild
beasts. Many years ago a plague called the black death swept over most of the earth, and killed nearly one third of the
inhabitants. A little more than a hundred years ago yellow fever killed thousands of people in Philadelphia and New York in a few
weeks. When Boston was a city with a population of 11,000, more than one half of the persons had smallpox in one year. Within a
few years one half of the sturdy red men of our forests were slain by smallpox when it first visited our shores. Before the year
1798 few boys or girls reached the age of twenty years without a pit-marked face due to the dreadful disease of smallpox. This
disease was formerly more common than measles and chicken pox now are because we had not yet learned how to prevent it as
we do to-day.
Victory over Disease.—Cholera, yellow fever, black death, and smallpox no longer cause people to flee into the wilderness to escape them when they
occasionally break out in a town or city. We have learned how to prevent these ailments among people who will obey the laws of health.
Until the year 1900, people fled from a city when yellow fever was announced, but now any one can sleep with a fever patient and
not catch the disease, because we have learned how to prevent it. Nurses and doctors no longer hesitate to sit for hours in the
rooms of those sick with smallpox because they know how to treat the body to keep away this disease. By studying this book,
boys and girls may learn not only how to keep free from these diseases, but how to manage their bodies to make them strong
enough to escape other diseases.
As the Twig is bent so the Tree is inclined.—This old saying means that a strong, straight, healthy, full-grown tree cannot
come from a weak and bent young tree. Health in manhood and womanhood depends on how the health is cared for in childhood.
The foundation for disease is often laid during school years. The making of strong bodies that will live joyous lives for long years must begin in boyhood
and girlhood.
In youth is the time to begin right living. Bad habits formed in early life often cause much sorrow in later years. It is said that over one half the drunkards
began drinking liquor before they were twenty years of age and most of the smokers began to use tobacco before they were twenty years old.
1. What is worth most in this world?
2. How many people are sick in our country?
3. How long do most people live?
4. Why do people not live long in India?
5. What is hygiene?
6. How many more deaths are caused by disease than by
7. Give some facts about smallpox.
8. Why do we have no fear of yellow fever and smallpox
9. Why should you be careful of your health while young?
10. When do most smokers and drinkers begin their bad
The Organs
Fig. 4 —General plan of the
organs of the body.
Regions of the Body.—In order to talk about any part of the body it must have a name. The main portion of the body is called the trunk. At the top of the
trunk is the head. The arms and legs are known as limbs or extremities. The part of the arm between the elbow and wrist is the forearm. The thigh is the
part of the leg between the knee and hip.
The upper part of the trunk is called the chest and is encircled by the ribs. The lower part of the trunk is named the abdomen. A large cavity within the
chest contains the lungs and heart. The cavity of the abdomen is filled with the liver, stomach, food tube, and other working parts.
The Plan of the Body.—All parts of the body are not the same. One part has one kind of work to do while another performs quite a different duty. The
covering of the body is the skin. Beneath is the red meat called muscle. It looks just like the beef bought at the butcher shop which is the muscle of a cow
or ox. Nearly one half of the weight of the body is made of muscle.
The muscle is fastened to the bones which support the body and give it stiffness. The muscle by pulling on the bones helps
the body to do all kinds of work. The muscles and bones cannot work day after day without being fed. For this reason a food
tube leads from the mouth down into the trunk to prepare milk, meat, bread, or other food, for the use of the body.
Feeding the Body.—The mouth receives the food and chews it so that it may be easily swallowed. It then goes into a sac
called the stomach. Here the hard parts are broken up into tiny bits and float about in a watery fluid. This goes out of the
stomach into a long crooked tube, the intestine. Here the particles are made still finer, and the whole mass is then ready to be carried to every part of the
muscles, bones, and brain to build up what is being worn out in work and play.
Carrying Food through the Body.—In all parts of the body are little branching tubes. These unite into larger tubes leading to the heart. Through these
tubes flows blood. Hundreds of tiny tubes in the walls of the intestine drink in the watery food, and it flows with the blood to the heart. The heart then
pushes this blood with its food out through another set of tubes which divide into fine branches as they lead to every part of the body (Fig. 5).
Getting rid of Ashes and Worn-out Parts.—The body works like a machine. Food is used somewhat as a locomotive uses coal to give it power to
work. Some ashes are left from the used food, and other waste matter is formed by the dead and worn-out parts of the body. This waste is gathered up by
the richly branching blood tubes and carried to the lungs. Here some of it passes out at every breath. Part of the waste goes out through the skin with the
sweat and part passes out through the kidneys. In this way the dead matter is kept from collecting in the body and clogging its parts.
How the Parts of the Body are made to work Together.—The mass of red flesh covering the bones is made up of many pieces called muscles.
Whenever we catch a ball or run or even speak, more than a dozen muscles must be made to act together just in the right way. When food goes into the
stomach, something must tell the juice to flow out of the walls to act on the food. The boss or manager of all the work carried on by the thousands of parts
of the body is known as the brain and spinal cord with their tiny threads, the nerves, spreading everywhere through bones and muscles. The brain and
spinal cord give the orders and the nerves carry them (Fig. 5).
The Servants of the Body.—The parts of the body are much like the servants in a large house or the clerks in a store. One servant or clerk does one
kind of work while another does something entirely different. Each portion of the body does a different kind of work. Each one of these parts doing a
particular work is called an organ. The stomach is an organ to prepare food and the heart is an organ for sending the blood through the body.
Blood Vessels and Nervous System
Fig. 5 —On the left are shown the branching tubes which carry blood to all parts of the body;
on the right are the brain, spinal cord, and nerves which direct the work of the organs.
The entire body is composed of several hundred organs. Each of them is formed of several kinds of materials named tissue. A skinlike tissue makes up
the lining of the stomach, while its outside is made of muscular tissue. The smallest parts of a tissue are little bodies named cells, and very fine threads
called fibers.
Growth of the Body.—The body grows rapidly in childhood and more slowly after the sixteenth year, but it continues to get larger until about the twentyfifth
year of age. Some children always grow slowly, have weak bones, and frail bodies. This is generally so because they have poor food or do not chew
it well, and get too little fresh air, sunshine, and sleep.
The use of beer, wine, or tobacco may hinder the body from using food for growth, or they may poison the body so that it will never be large and strong.
The body should grow about a hundred pounds in weight during the first thirteen years of life. Whether children grow little or much generally depends on
the food they give their bodies.


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