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Am J Infect Control. 1990 Dec;18(6):347-53.

Occurrence of infectious symptoms in children in day care homes.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205.


Transmission of enteric pathogens is facilitated in child day care centers, including family day care homes, by frequent and intimate exposure among susceptible hosts, with diaper changing as the highest-risk procedure for such transmission. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention program in decreasing the incidence of infectious disease symptoms in children attending family day care homes during a 12-month period. Each of 24 family day care homes was randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. The intervention included four components: (1) a handwashing educational program and (2) use of vinyl gloves, (3) use of disposable diaper changing pads, and (4) use of an alcohol-based hand rinse by the day care provider. Symptoms of enteric disease (diarrhea and vomiting) were significantly reduced in intervention family day care homes (p less than or equal to 0.05), whereas respiratory symptoms were not significantly different between intervention and control family day care homes (p = 0.35). Diarrhea was reported in 1 of every 100 child care days, representing one diarrhea episode per month in a typical family day care home.

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