When your child is born then comes the care of a little body. It must have food. It must have air. It must have clothing. The duty of providing for these needs falls first upon the father. May he do his duty with a will and see that his child’s health is not impaired by an insufficient amount of food or clothing. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8) The parent that will not industriously make use of every legitimate means to secure temporal comforts, does not love his child. The awful curse of alcohol, opium, and other addictions have robbed many a father and mother of parental love. Some become so in bondage that they would sooner see their child go hungry or naked than to deprive themselves of the accursed thing.
Parents should learn the laws of hygiene and teach them to their children. When children are allowed to form habits of overeating and indulging in fattening foods and candies, parents are largely to blame for the long-term harm this does to child’s health. Teach your little ones to avoid resting in a cool place when heated and sweaty and to change out of wet clothing. The “soothing syrup” and other veiled narcotics of yesteryear have given way to medications that frequently cover up the symptoms of deeper issues, and should be avoided at all costs. They have an effect which may answer your purpose at the time—but you gain your purpose at the cost of your child’s vitality. If your attention has ever been called to the evil effects of such, you cannot dope your children with them without bringing condemnation to your soul.
Good health is a great blessing, and our heavenly Father wills us to observe natural health laws. Through carelessness parents can in a very short time ruin the future health of their child. The misery and distress originating from ill health entailed upon the human family through the ignorance and carelessness of parents is appalling. Had my parents required me to observe health laws in my youth I would enjoy better health today. By proper care and help from God I have largely overcome difficulties, and yet do not possess the strong constitution I might otherwise have enjoyed.
We kindly make an earnest appeal to all parents to look well to the health of your children. If you value their happiness, and a pleasant, happy home, acquaint yourself with the laws of health, and follow them as strictly as circumstances will allow. Many parents care more for their children’s appearance in public than they do for their health. Mothers following the pride of their heart instead of the laws of health expose the bodies of their children to sickness and disease. Some will not wrap them sufficiently to protect them from cold, simply to show off their child’s stylish clothing. And there are many other fads and fashions that daughters especially are encouraged in that can actually harm their physical health. In all love, but without hesitancy, we declare that such shameful treatment of children is a sin and is sufficient of itself to destroy the soul.