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Are Children Who Attend Child Care More Prone To Illness?

This article discusses the theory that children who attend day care are more ill, or not as frequently ill as their counterparts who are cared for at home.

Many parents who search for child care for their children worry about the health risks of placing their child in such an environment.  The last thing anyone wants to do is have their children become sick after being exposed to other children at such a young age, but many studies suggest that, while rates for things such as colds, respiratory infections, ear infections and other common childhood illnesses may be initially higher for children attending "group Child Care"  they also suggest that as these children get older, they have less illnesses than their counterparts who are cared for at home.

A study of more than 135,000 children in Copenhagen reported that young children who attend daycare are at greater risk for catching colds than kids who stay home. This is especially true for children up to two years of age and those without siblings. They report that the risk is greatest when children first head to daycare.

The researchers found that during their first six months attending daycare, children younger than one year of age have a 69 percent higher rate of developing these common illnesses but also found that this risk declines as a child continues to attend daycare, though. In fact, after attending daycare for one year a child’s risk is the same as that of a child who stays home.

Other study’s point out that children exposed to these illnesses grow to have a stronger immune system and thus have less frequent bouts of sickness than the children who are cared for at home during their preschool years, bolstering the argument that sending your child to a child care facility to be cared for while you are at work is something that most certainly has many benefits in addition to the socialization benefits long associated with this environment.

In summary, most people agree that it is impossible to keep your child in a bubble their entire life.  There will definitely come a time when they will co-mingle with their peers and at that time, they will be exposed for the first time to some of these germs.  The evidence most certainly leads us to the conclusion that when children do head off to a child care center they do initially have more sickness but when your baby’s a bit older, keep in mind that, in the long run, kids who go to daycare fare just as well in the health department as their buddies who don’t — and maybe even better!

As parents, it is a delicate balancing act between being able to earn a livelihood for your family while also choosing care for your children while doing so.  We do have to remember that our children will eventually enter the world and be exposed to all of the things in it at one point or another.  It is surely encouraging to know that as they get older, they can be better off by doing it at an earlier age.

If you would like any more information on Child Care services or issues affecting child care, please visit our "Child Care Blog".

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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