By Leane Scoz
A recent article in Newsweek suggests that children who attend daycare are healthier than kids who do not by the time they enter kindergarten.
According to columnist, Claudia Kalb, more than 7 million children are enrolled in daycare. Everyone who has ever had a child in daycare knows that they and their child will probably contract a wide variety of illnesses within the first year of their child's attendance. The illnesses run the gamut, from the common cold and earaches to more sever infections such as RSV and the flu. With all of the pain and suffering parents and children have to endure, does the light really shine at the end of the tunnel after daycare?
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, say yes. An analysis of their studies revealed that daycare children have a 30 percent lower risk of developing childhood leukemia due to the increased exposure to infections. University of Arizona scientists carried out research over the last 10 years and found that although kids in daycare get twice as sick as their non-daycare counterparts, they have a third fewer illnesses by the time they enter elementary school. The research also showed that daycare children are less likely to develop asthma.
However, parents of children who do not attend daycare should not be discouraged. By the time children are teenagers, researchers report that no difference exists in either group of children because their immune systems catch up with each other.
The bottom line--allow the circle of illness to continue and do not worry too much about children in daycare. Everyone equals out in the long run.