Intended for healthcare professionals

Personal Views

Childhood: a public health issue

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (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


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

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