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Pediatrics. 1976 Oct;58(4):607-13.

Incidence of illness in early group and family day-care.


The frequency of reported illness in children enrolled in a day-care center was compared to frequency in home-reared children and in children in family day-care homes. Children ranged from 6 to 42 months of age (mean, 21 months). Data on seven categories of illness were collected by bimonthly telephone interviews with parents during two consecutive winters. In the first year of the study gastrointestinal and total illnesses were reported significantly more frequently in children enrolled in the day-care center, though major illnesses were not. In the second year of the study illnesses were significantly more frequently reported in center children though mainly at the younger ages, that is, prior to 2 years of age. The mean numbers of illnesses and symptoms reported per call over the 2 years of the study were 2.56, 1.36, and 1.35 for center, home-reared and family day-care children respectively. Though it has been shown elsewhere that psychological health may be unaffected by early group care, the present findings imply that physical health may be somewhat reduced. It is unknown whether these children will be more resistant to infection at a later age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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