UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
GOVERNMENT PRINTINO OFFICE
This pamphlet was prepared es-
pecially for the information of sol-
diers, sailors, marines, and nurses
discharged from military duty, and
is designed to help those who are
ill regain health and strength and
to stimulate the interest in public-
health matters, awakened during
their service with the military
The Road To Health
Even while the war was claiming thou-
sands of lives on the European battlefields,
hundreds of thousands of lives were lost
right here at home because of preventable
diseases. The war is over. We have won
the fight for democracy, but we have yet to
win the fight against this more insidious,
more permanent, and in the aggregate
more direct foe of mankind disease.
HOW TO PREVENT SICKNESS
There is nothing mysterious about the
prevention of sickness. Clean homes, clean
food, clean hands, clean teeth, clean milk,
pure water, fresh air, sanitary privies, war
on flies and mosquitoes their cost is
trifling, yet they work wonders and will
prevent much sickness.
Are you sure you are doing your part?
Do you keep your home clean and well
Is your drinking water safe? If it comes
from a spring or well, are you sure that no
drainage from a privy, cesspool, or stable
can pollute the water?
130527 19 3
Is the milk which your children drink
either pasteurized or scalded? Do they
each receive three glasses of milk daily?
Is the baby nursed at the breast as he
should be? Is he kept clean? Does he get
plenty of fresh air and is he kept out of the
hot, stuffy kitchen? Do you know that
bottle babies should have orange juice each
day after the first mpnth?
Do you know .that flies and mosquitoes
carry disease, and do you keep them out of
your house by proper screening?
Do you know that all colds are " catch-
ing " and may lead to dangerous disease in
others, especially children?
Do you know that sickness is often
spread by dirty hands? Do you always
wash your hands before eating or handling
When any of your family is ill with scar-
let fever, measles, diphtheria, whooping
cough, .typhoid fever, tuberculosis, or other
preventable diseases, is your health officer
always notified so that he can help to keep
the disease from spreading to others?
Is your home connected with a sewer?
If not, have you a sanitary fly-proof privy?
Finally, are you and your family physi-
cally fit? How do you know? Have they
been physically examined as the soldiers
Do you know that yearly medical exami-
nations are useful to detect early signs of
illness and so prolong life? If you can an-
swer " yes " to all these questions, are you
certain that your neighbor can, too? Don't
let his carelessness endanger your health.
In this great emergency the Government
looks to all of its people to give it their
CORRECTING PHYSICAL DEFECTS
The medical examinations for military
service showed that about one-third of the
men suffered from physical defects which
made them unfit for active military duty.
A large proportion of the defects discov-
ered could have been prevented if attended
to in early life; others could still be cured
or relieved by proper medical attention.
You will do well to read ovei the follow-
ing advice carefully; it may help you to im-
prove your own condition or that of your
The time for patriotic service has not
passed. The health of the youth of the
Nation, indeed, of all citizens, is the great-
est asset of the Nation.
We must not lose the lessons of the war;
we have paid too high a price for them.
It is your duty to your family, to yourself,
and to your country to keep well, to im-
prove your health to the highest degree, to
assist in making the Nation strong and fit
for the great tasks ahead, and for the hap-
pier and larger life that awaits the people
of this war-torn world.
DEFECTIVE EYESIGHT. Be sure that
your vision is corrected by properly fitted
glasses. Have this done by an eye special-
ist, eye dispensary, or eye hospital. Do not
try to fit cheap glasses to your own eyes.
Eye strain from badly fitting glasses may
in time seriously affect your eyesight or
TEETH. Decayed roots, infected gums,
decayed teeth, irregular teeth which can
not grind may cause many forms of serious
disease, and should have immediate at-
tention. Get artificial teeth if the grinding
teeth are missing, for if you do not prop-
erly chew your food your health may suf-
fer. Brush the teeth thoroughly at least
twice a day. If you have aching or decayed
teeth or much gold work or many fillings
make sure that the roots are not diseased;
have an X-ray examination made. This is
especially important if you have rheuma-
tism or any joint trouble, for which other 1
causes can not be found.
NASAL CATARRH, ADENOIDS, EN-
LARGED TONSILS, MOUTH BREATH-
ING. This condition very commonly de-
velops in childhood and demands careful
attention on the part of parents. When
properly treated, in some instances by a
simple operation, it is often a curable con-
dition. When left untreated it may lead
to deformity of the mouth and nose, to poor
development of the chest, and to permanent
FEET. Aside from paralysis, clubfoot,
or deformities resulting from injuries, etc.,
most foot troubles are due to improperly
fitting shoes, improper position in walking
or standing, lack of exercise, and weakness
of the muscles in the forepart of the leg
that support the arch of the foot. Prop-
erly fitting shoes of correct shape with a
straight inner edge will help to correct
weakfoot, bunions, corns, callouses, and
Exercise the toe muscles by working the
toes up and down over the edge of a thick
board 30 times daily. Stand with feet par-
allel and somewhat apart with great toes
^firmly gripping the ground. Without bend-
ing the knees or moving the feet rotate the
thighs outward repeatedly. This is chiefly
done by strong contraction of the great
muscles of the back of the thigh and seat.
Improve your general health; take general
exercise to strengthen your body. Bathe
the feet daily. See a surgeon if these
simple measures are not sufficienV The
arches found in the shops will not correct
flatfoot. They merely act as crutches.
Hammertoe, bunion, and many other de-
fects can be corrected by a surgeon. Pain-
ful feet may be due lo infection in tooth
sockets or tonsils; search for such condi-
tions should be made. Mere flatness of the
foot without pain or other deformity may
be of no importance.
UNDERWEIGHT. Underweight is often
due to irregular habits of eating and sleep-
ing and lack of regular exercise. Have a
thorough examination at intervals by a
competent physician, or in a dispensary or
clinic, to determine whether or not any
serious disease exists (especially hook-
worm or tuberculosis). Eat freely of fat-
forming foods mentioned in next para-
OVERWEIGHT. Secure as much regu-
lar exercise as possible. Be thoroughly ex-
amined for evidence of disease. Extreme
overweight, especially at middle life, pro-
duces as high a death rate as heart disease.
Cut down the fat-forming foods, such as
bread, butter, cereals, sugars, fats, and sub-
stitute more green vegetables and fruits.
HERNIA OR RUPTURE. Operation is
often advisable. Consult your family phy-
sician or go to a good hospital for advice
PILES, HEMORRHOIDS. These are
often caused by constipation and lack of
exercise. Do not make a habit of using
drugs or purgatives. Plenty of bulky food,
bran bread or .biscuits, fruits, lettuce, spin-
ach, cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, tur-
nips, celery, tomatoes, salsify, onions, par-
snips, and oyster plant will tend to correct
If piles are severe, operation will help,
but the original cause should be removed
by proper diet.
VARICOSE VEINS. This condition may
be relieved by the use of woven elastic
bandages or stockings. At times one may
consider removal by operation. (Great
caution is necessary; consult your family
BLADDER, KIDNEY, URINARY
TROUBLES. Go to your physician or to a
dispensary or hospital and place yourself
under careful medical supervision. Regu-
lation of your diet, work, and activities may
be all that is necessary, but your condition
should be watched from time to time. Al-
bumin in the urine may be temporary, but
should always be followed up and exami-
nation made at intervals. Give the benefit
of the doubt to your kidneys, and live a
temperate and healthful life, avoiding alco-
holic stimulants, excess of meat, and over-
eating generally. Be examined periodi-
cally. Sugar in the urine calls for careful
medical supervision and regulation of diet
and periodic examination by a physician.
DISCHARGE FROM EAR, EAR
TROUBLE. See an ear specialist or go to
an ear clinic. Do not neglect such a condi-
tion, which may infect other parts of your
HEART MURMURS, HEART AFFEC-
TIONS. A person with an imperfect heart
may not be fit for hard physical labor, but
with proper regulation of diet, exercise,
work, and rest his heart may carry him to
old age. If you have heart trouble avoid
stimulants and tobacco, be very temperate
in the use of tea and coffee, avoid excesses
of all kinds; eat moderately; avoid heavy
meals at night; get plenty of fresh air; ex-
ercise daily in the open, but be careful not
to overfatigue your heart or circulation;
walking and gentle hill-climbing are good,
but never when they cause pain in the chest
or shortness of breath. Avoid dissipation
and undue excitement. If there is breath-
lessness, dropsy, or dizziness, careful med-
ical supervision is necessary. All damaged
hearts should be examined at least once a
year by a physician and the condition
noted. Irregular action of heart in some
cases is of little importance; in others it is
serious, and medical observation is impor-
tant to settle this.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. This may
be temporary, but should be watched and
life regulated as above, especially avoiding
physical and mental overstrain and dissi-
pation. Avoid stimulants, tobacco, and
LUNG TROUBLES. Where there is sus-
pected tuberculosis consult a competent
physician and follow orders strictly. The
basis of treatment is abundant fresh air
and nourishing diet, such as bread and but-
ter, cereals, and fats, but do not neglect
green vegetables and fruits. Avoid alcohol
and tobacco. Do not take patent medicines
or advertised remedies, or patronize ad-
vertising quacks. Avoid fatigue or physi-
cal and mental strain. Do not take any
chances. Report to the health officer or
health department of your district. They
will be glad to counsel you.
RHEUMATISM. This may be caused by
infection in tonsils, teeth, nasal cavities, or
elsewhere. Liniment will not cure it. Be
examined by a physician and dentist, and
if possible have the infection removed.
DISEASE OF SEX ORGANS. Thor-
ough-going persistent treatment is neces-
sary for your protection and for the pro-
tection of the members of your family as
well as that of your community. In large
cities, clinics for the treatment of these dis-
eases are available for those without funds.
ALCOHOL. Alcohol as ordinarily taken
is not a stimulant but a depressing drug.
Your brain and nervous system govern
your body. Not only does alcohol reduce
working efficiency, but life-insurance ex-
perience has shown that the death rate
among steady drinkers supposed to be tem-
perate even within the bounds of so-called
moderation is nearly double that among
Drink is apt to lead you into trouble,
possibly to a miserable death.
NERVOUS AND MENTAL DISEASES.
Such conditions should be closely observed
by your physician or at some clinic for
nervous diseases. Some nervous diseases
are due to bad mental habits, to fear, fail-
ure .to take courageous grip on life and for-
get one's troubles. Many nervous diseases
are caused by physical conditions, which
should be sought for and cured by a thor-
ough medical examination and treatment
MISCELLANEOUS CONDITIONS. Nose
and throat trouble, gall-bladder trouble,
chronic appendicitis, skin affections all
such conditions should have immediate
medical investigation. If you have no fam-
ily physician, or if your means are limited,
seek hospital or dispensary treatment
Do not go through life with handicaps
that may be easily removed. Do not
shorten your life or reduce your earning
power or your capacity for enjoying life
by neglecting your bodily condition.
AVERAGE HEIGHT, WEIGHT, AND AGE
FOR MEN AND WOMEN.
(For a man add 2 pounds to the average; for a woman, subtract
(If you are more than 25 pounds below the average for your height
and age, you are thin and probably undernourished.
leS Of H A 001 293 354"
jyentilate every room you occupy.
r ear loose, porous clothing suited to
weather, and occupation.
3. If you are an indoor worker, be sure
to get recreation outdoors.
4. Sleep in fresh air always; in the open
if you can.
5. Hold a handkerchief before your
mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
and insist that others do so too.
6. Always wash the hands before eating.
7. Do not overeat. This applies espe-
cially to meats and eggs.
8. Eat some hard and some bulky foods;
9. Eat slowly chew thoroughly.
10. Drink sufficient water daily.
11. Evacuate thoroughly, regularly.
12. Stand, sit, and walk erect.
13. Do not allow poisons and infections
to enter the body.
14. Keep the teeth, gums, and tongue
15. Work, play, rest, and sleep in mod-
16. Keep serene. Worry is the foiling
health. Cultivate the companionshg life
your fellow men.
17. Avoid self drugging. Beware __ .
plausible humbug of the patent medicine
18. Have your doctor examine you care-
fully once a year. Also consult your dentist
at regular intervals.
For other instructive Health Leaflets
write to the
PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
WASHINGTON, D. C.