The loss of both parents before his tenth birthday caused Herbert Hoover to be deeply sympathetic to children in distress. Throughout the 1920s, he served as president of the American Child Health Association. The first of each May was designated "Child Health Day," an event that drew nationwide publicity.
The new organization launched surveys that shocked the nation into action. A report on infant mortality challenged lawmakers to improve maternity hospitals, hire full-time health officials, and discharge incompetent midwives. A special Indian Nursing Service was established. Between 1923 and 1927, the findings of ACHA monitoring of milk supplies convinced hundreds of municipalities to switch to pasteurization.
Later during his presidency, Hoover called a landmark White House Conference on the Health and Protection of Children. The nineteen point "Children's Charter" that resulted from this gathering was an extension of the "Child’s Bill of Rights" first published by the ACHA in 1923.