Baby Katie and Irresponsible Parenting In 1904
Today if you leave a young child unattended for any extended period of time and somebody reports you to the New York Office of Child and Family Services, they may eventually come around to pay you a visit.
That was not the case 100 years ago. Parents would frequently leave their children alone and bad things would happen. Generally no one interfered with poor parenting.
So if a child accidentally fell down a 20 foot flight of stairs not once, but twice within a week, you might think the child is accident prone and that’s not the parents fault.
Falling out a fourth story window is another matter altogether.
If what happened to sixteen-month-old Katie Reed in 1904 were to happen today, there would be a public outcry to remove her from her home.
This is the report from the July 30, 1904 New York Times: