The conditions of life in America are not the
same as they are in Europe; and because immigrants are not familiar
with them, they are apt to suffer greatly in
consequence--particularly on their first arrival. They meet with
accidents because our civilization depends far more upon machinery
than that to which they have been used. They fall victims to disease
because of difference in working and living conditions.
A workingman's capital is a strong, well body.
But when men live crowded together, as they do in our tenement
houses and in the shanties of a camp, their vitality is lowered, and
they become ready subjects to such diseases as pneumonia, and, what
is far worse, consumption. A great many immigrants who have been
strong and well on their arrival in this country have died from
tuberculosis within three years of their coming.
To avoid disease and lowered vitality you should
keep very clean, eat well, sleep in well-aired rooms, and live much
in the open air.
It is never dangerous in America to sleep with
your windows open. If there are mosquitoes put nets on the windows.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE FOR DISEASE. AVOID BAD AIR, BAD FOOD,
BAD WATER, BAD HABITS.
RULES OF HEALTH-- Clean water, clean food, clean
bodies, clean clothes, clean houses, clean streets keep us healthy.
Keep your sink and closet clean.
Keep your hands clean, especially for eating.
Long, dirty finger nails may be the pasture land of myriads of
Cleanliness, with sunlight, and plenty of fresh
air protect the well and cure the sick. They are often the best
medicines. Never rent dark rooms.
Eat heartily of different kinds of food. Variety
of food is necessary.
Avoid strong drinks. Strong drinks make weak men.
DRINK A GOOD DEAL OF WATER EACH DAY. Water aids digestion and
circulation. Water carries away the waste of the body. But the water
that you drink should be pure. When it is impure, it causes typhoid
fever and other diseases. If possible drink well water, but the well
must not be near a stable or other outbuildings that might take
sewerage into it. If the water does not look clear, be sure to boil
it before using, because boiling removes dangerous qualities that
might cause disease.
BATHING removes the dirt that stops up the pores
of the body. Bathing washes away dead skin, the perspiration and
other waste of the body. Bathing makes the skin clean and soft. It
gives tone and strength to the whole body. Bathing prolongs life.
BATHE THE WHOLE BODY ONCE EVERY DAY AT THE MARKET-- Buy only fresh
meat and fresh fish.
Do not buy bread and cake at dirty bakeries.
Are your grocer and butcher cleanly in person?
Are their clerks cleanly?
Does your grocer keep his butter and milk in
clean, cold places, and are they covered? Select a milk man who has
clean hands, clean clothes, clean wagon, clean cans, clean bottles.
Tuberculosis kills 5,000,000 people annually. It may be carried
through infected milk. Do not forget that dirty milk may kill the
Canned meats must be free from mold and greenish
hue when opened. If the top of the can is raised in the centre, the
meat has begun to spoil and should not be eaten.
Don't buy bargain-counter food.
IN THE KITCHEN-- Keep all food covered in icebox
or cupboard. Do not leave milk uncovered anywhere. Do not leave milk
in a warm room or unchilled ice-box. Protect it from flies.
Wash thoroughly all meat, fish, vegetables, and
fruit before using.
DISHES SHOULD BE CLEAN, and food fresh cooked.
THE COOK'S HANDS MUST BE CLEAN. Typhoid fever and
other diseases have been contracted from dirty hands.
Keep flies out of your house, especially the
kitchen. Grease and dirt attract them. Kill every fly you see. They
cause many diseases. Bugs and mice carry infection; they never stay
in clean places.
SWEEPING AND DUSTING-- Dust contains germs that
cause disease. When you sweep or dust make as little dust as
possible. The best way to sweep is to moisten a newspaper, tear it
into small pieces, and scatter these upon the floor. This will catch
the dust, and hold it fast as you go over the room with the broom.
The best way to dust is to use slightly moistened cloths and wash
them when you have finished.
It is the duty of the citizen to do everything
possible for the good health of himself and his fellows. Garbage and
ashes should be dumped promptly into the receptacles provided for
them. Where conditions are not hygienic either in the care of
water-closets, the disposal of garbage, or the plumbing of houses,
complaint should promptly and freely be made to the Board of Health.
This is the American way. And in America you should do as Americans
THE BOARD OF HEALTH in all American cities has
great power given to it. It can oblige people to keep their houses
and living-rooms in a sanitary condition. It has power to force
employers to keep their shops and factories in a sanitary condition.
In every American city it watches to see that food is properly kept
in the stores where it is sold. In the case of large cities it sends
its inspectors to visit every part of the country from which the
milk supply of the city is drawn. It often publishes for free
distribution circulars--in New York and in some other places printed
in Yiddish--that tell about the care of babies, of their feeding,
and the use of pasteurized milk, which has saved thousands of lives.
Other circulars tell about the treatment of different diseases like
consumption, the care and preparation of food, and general living
conditions. These things may all be had freely, and are very
important to those who do not understand the conditions of life in
The Board of Health also watches over the
children in school, and by means of its doctors makes frequent
examinations of the eyes, ears, teeth, throat, etc., of the
children. The sickly child is always behind in his studies. Only
well children make progress.
The large cities of the United States offer MANY
ADVANTAGES THAT MAKE FOR HEALTH AND PLEASURE, all paid for by the
taxes. There are many large public baths that make cleanliness
possible for people who have no opportunity for bathing at home.
They are very popular with city dwellers. There are playgrounds for
children, with open air gymnasiums for men and boys. In New York
there are recreation piers built out into the river, where mothers
can take their small children during the hot weather, and where it
is pleasant to promenade in the evening, and often upon these piers
excellent concerts are given. Public parks with their frequent
concerts give the city dweller opportunities for rest and for
breathing the fresh country air.
IN SICKNESS-- Beware of the Medical Institutes
that advertise in the newspapers, that pretend to cure every kind of
disease, even those that are incurable. They will take your money
and often make your disease worse.
Beware of patent medicines--particularly those
When you are sick, go to a hospital or to a
dispensary. American hospitals are supported by the taxes and by the
gifts of the wealthy. They are entirely free to the poor. They are
splendidly equipped, and in them rich and poor are treated with
equal skill and tenderness. Besides general hospitals, in all large
cities, there are a great variety of special hospitals: Maternity
hospitals and hospitals for children, as well as hospitals for
special diseases: cancer, tuberculosis, contagious diseases, for
diseases of ear, eye, throat, etc. In New York there are several
important Jewish hospitals with free dispensaries and nurses, who
visit the sick in their own homes. Nearly all are provided with
Kosher kitchens. None of them take cases of contagious or infectious
diseases. Among them are: Beth Israel Hospital, 70 Jefferson Street;
Har Moriah Hospital, 138 East 2nd Street; People's Hospital, 203
Second Avenue; Beth David Hospital, 1824 Lexington Avenue; Mount
Sinai Hospital, Madison Avenue and 100th Street; Lebanon Hospital,
Westchester and Caldwell Avenues; Jewish Maternity Hospital, 270
CONSUMPTION-- In the great majority of cases
consumption, once considered incurable, is not a fatal disease. It
can nearly always be cured if its presence is recognized early. If
you are troubled with continual coughing and catarrh, you may be in
danger, and should immediately consult a doctor or go to a hospital
or dispensary for examination. If you then find you have
tuberculosis, do not be swindled by advertised cures, specifics and
"special methods"-- the remedies so widely advertised in the
newspapers. The only cures are pure air and sunshine, outdoor life,
and nourishing food. The Board of Health in New York, and in many
other cities, publishes in Yiddish the rules for its care. If you
have not the means to procure the attention of a skillful physician,
go to any public hospital. The Jewish hospitals all have clinics for
the treatment of the tuberculous poor, and provide in case of need
for sending them to sanatoria in the country.
CONTAGIOUS DISEASES-- It is the duty of the
doctor in charge of one ill with a contagious disease to report the
nature of the disease to the Board of Health. The Board of Health
may isolate any person sick of a contagious disease. If a landlord
rents an apartment knowing it to be contaminated, without making
declaration of the fact to the one taking the lease, he is
responsible for all damages incurred by reason of the infection.
Persons sick with contagious disease may be carried to a hospital
and held there. One sick with contagious disease is liable to be
punished if he exposes himself or another similarly sick in any
VACCINATION-- Vaccination is not required by law,
but the man who is not vaccinated may be prevented from entering the
country, and unvaccinated children are liable to be excluded from