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Ear Infections and Sickness in the Daycare Environment

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  • Ear Infections and Sickness in the Daycare Environment

    Thought you all might find this article of interest. I especially like the last paragraph.

    Maureen Salamon
    MyHealthNewsDaily Contributor
    LiveScience.com Maureen Salamon
    myhealthnewsdaily Contributor

    Young children who attend large day care facilities suffer more respiratory and ear infections as toddlers than kids who spend their days at home, but develop fewer such illnesses during their grade-school years, a new study suggests.

    "Overall, all the children got sick the same amount, so there are no differences between the groups - just the timing is different," said study researcher Sylvana M. Cote, a psychologist at the University of Montreal in Quebec.

    However, "one can argue that there is an advantage of not missing school days, when they're missing major education that's really the basis of their academic trajectory, Cote told MyHealthNewsDaily.

    Cote studied data over eight years, tracking how often children suffered respiratory, ear or gastrointestinal infections during their early preschool (up to age 2), late preschool (3 to 4) and early elementary school (ages 5 to 8) years.

    Among the 1,238 families in the study, kids who began attending day care facilities in large settings before age 2 had higher rates of respiratory and ear infections compared with children who were cared for at home until grade school. Cote defined large day care settings as facilities with at least 100 children.

    The apparent trade-off, Cote said, was that these children developed fewer infections after age 5.

    The results follow the logic that the more germs children are exposed to, the more likely they are to get sick, said Dr. Henry Bernstein, chief of general pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, who was not involved with the study.

    "There's no question when there's an environment where kids are in close contact - and young kids may not be washing their hands as much as adults - the spread of germs happens more readily," said Bernstein, who is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Infectious Diseases.

    Cote also found that children who enrolled in small-group child care facilities in early preschool, as opposed to facilities that had larger groups of children, didn't have any more infections than kids who stayed at home. She added that few previous studies examined the impact of group child care on infection rates beyond the preschool years.

    Kids who were initially cared for at home and later enrolled at any child care facility had more ear infections between ages 3 and 4 , but no other differences in infection risk, according to the researchers.
    The researchers did not find a link between gastrointestinal illnesses and group child care at any age.

    "Young children do get more gastrointestinal infections, but it doesn't matter later," Cote said. "We do have a protective effect for intestinal infections when we get to grade school."

    Bernstein said gastrointestinal illnesses may not be spread as readily as respiratory or ear infections at day care facilities because parents may be more likely to quickly intervene when symptoms - such as vomiting or loose stools - appear. But runny noses or coughs may not attract parents' attention as readily, he said, keeping sick children in day care and increasing their chances of exposing others.

    Other studies have shown that repeated, mild respiratory infections at young ages - which stimulate the immune system - can prevent asthma from developing, Cote said.

    "I hope people will not worry so much about sending their children to day care in relation to infections. Really, what we are seeing is a natural part of life when we get to large groups," Cote said. "In the long run, it shows day care does not have an impact in the long-term burden of disease. I think it is (an advantage) in terms of the academic aspect."
    The study is published in the December issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

    Pass it on: Kids who attend day care facilities when they are very young may get sick less once they reach elementary-school age than those cared for at home.
    Last edited by Michael; 12-07-2010, 05:27 PM.

  • #2
    Bernstein said gastrointestinal illnesses may not be spread as readily as respiratory or ear infections at day care facilities because parents may be more likely to quickly intervene when symptoms - such as vomiting or loose stools - appear. But runny noses or coughs may not attract parents' attention as readily, he said, keeping sick children in day care and increasing their chances of exposing others.

    Parents aren't "more likely to intervene" with symptoms such as vomiting or loose stools to stop the spread of infection. They intervene because they don't have any choice. There aren't any medications over the counter for children that are effective in masking vomiting and diahrrea.

    Colds, runny noses, and fevers can be effectively masked.

    How in the world did these guys research 1,238 families for childhood illness in child care facilities without drug testing the children every day? There's NO possible way for them to assess cold and flu illnesses without first establishing that the child wasn't medicated before day care.

    If they were assessing their illness based on parents declaration of the child's well being and that declaration determined whether or not the child could attend day care (meaning symptom free wihout the aid of over the counter fever reducers) there is NO way they would be able to know what children were truly ill and which ones weren't on a day to day basis.

    The ONLY way to assess this would be to offer free child care regardless of the child's illness so parents would not mask their illness symptoms so they could attend. If the parents "word" was what they took to determine whether or not the well children were well then they spent a lot of resources to get unreliable data.
    http://www.amazon.com/Daycare-Whispe...=doing+daycare

    Comment


    • #3
      The ONLY way to assess this would be to offer free child care regardless of the child's illness so parents would not mask their illness symptoms so they could attend. If the parents "word" was what they took to determine whether or not the well children were well then they spent a lot of resources to get unreliable data.[/QUOTE]



      ding ding ding we have a winner friends!!!!! Heres a shocker for you,... day parents LIE. not all,.. but alot more than you think.

      Comment


      • #4
        They want 30 bucks for a copy of the research.

        Maybe Michael could take one for the team and buy us a copy of it.
        http://www.amazon.com/Daycare-Whispe...=doing+daycare

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nannyde View Post
          They want 30 bucks for a copy of the research.

          Maybe Michael could take one for the team and buy us a copy of it.
          I can probably get it for free (hooked into the university for husband's job, we get most journals for free)...let me check.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nope...this journal only works with universities in Germany, England and one other place, I forgot now... Sorry.

            Comment

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