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Acta Paediatr. 1992 Nov;81(11):929-32.

Absences for sickness among children in day care.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Oulu, Finland.


The number of days of absence because of sickness, recorded for all children in one city in Finland, cared for in municipal day care over a period of 2.5 years, was collected from the monthly figures kept by the city council office for accounting purposes. The average number of days of absence per child was 24 per year at child-care centers and 9 in family care (p < 0.01) at age less than 3 years, 13 and 7, respectively (p < 0.05) at age 3-5 years, and 10 and 5, respectively (p < 0.05) among those aged 6 years. The average duration of absence in all age groups was 3.6 days in child-care centers and 2.5 days in family-care centers. The number of days absent at each child-care center in 1986 correlated significantly with that for 1987 (r = 0.58, p < 0.001), indicating consistency in the absence figures. A bivariate analysis showed the number of children in the child-care centers (r = 0.32, p < 0.05) to explain the number of absences for sickness, and after this factor had been controlled in a multivariate analysis, the number of nurses serving out food while looking after the children (r = 0.27, p < 0.01) and the number of families to whom the children belonged (r = 0.27, p < 0.01).

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