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J Clin Nurs. 2001 May;10(3):305-10.

The public health problem of acute respiratory illness in childcare.

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Department of Clinical Nursing, Adelaide University, South Australia.


Acute respiratory illness continues to be a significant problem for children attending childcare. The problems for the child are in terms of prevalence, incidence, and quality of life. Additional costs relate to parental absence from work and loss of earnings. This paper reports on the literature, and notes that little research has been undertaken to determine whether there are long-term risks or benefits to experiencing acute respiratory illness in early childhood. Research to date is presented, and the role of public health nurses is discussed in relation to how they might assist in reducing the incidence/prevalence of acute respiratory illness in children attending childcare.

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