What is society's role in promoting health in infants?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Childcare, especially of newborns, is critical in society. Every adult was an infant once, and their development was overseen and organized by the adults around them. It is ultimately up to the parents to care for and educate their children, but society has several general roles as well.

For example, many diseases are far more severe in infants than in adults, as the infant immune system is neither fortified by experience or large enough to properly fight bacteria, viruses, and infection. For this reason, it is of vital importance that adults who come into contact with infants are vaccinated, as the "herd immunity" will carry over until the infant's immune system matures.

Another important societal responsibility is to public safety. Infants are more vulnerable to public hazards such as polluted water and air, as well as contaminated food. By regulating standards of public health, society can marginalize public dangers.

Yet another societal responsibility is for education and support for single mothers, especially in cities. Many children are born with congenital defects due to drug or alcohol use; these problems can be prevented with education and safety nets for poor and abandoned women. With proper pre-natal care, children can be born healthy.

For business, an important responsibility is daycare for infants, or a stipend for the mother to purchase it elsewhere. Since infants are a great drain on time and energy, a working woman can have trouble taking care of her business responsibilites and her infant at the same time. Daycare as a perk allows women to balance their child and their job, making the rearing of the child easier and therefore healthier.