Personal Views

Childhood: a public health issue

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7225.1653 (Published 18 December 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1653
  1. Seth Jenkinson, general practitioner
  1. Bradford

    Spending two days in bed with a fever, an unpleasant headache, and then vomiting ought to be good for a doctor. It ought to recharge those heavily extracted aquifers of empathy. But I found myself thinking of my childhood, of being ill then, and being cared for by my mother. I had seen my mother only the previous week, when I did a dutiful 200 mile day trip, to give her a hug. She says that since my father died, she misses a man's arms around her, and this time she told me that I had told her that I was a good hugger. What an absurd boast. How parents continue to embarrass their children.

    Human childhood is very prolonged

    (Credit: CHRIS GARDNER/AP PHOTO)

    The field in front of her house was full of sheep and lambs. …

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