It’s generally assumed that kids in daycare get sick more than other kids their age. A new study confirms the anecdotal evidence, but it also shows that all of those germs may help build up immunity against future colds and infections.
The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found a higher illness rate predominantly in children who are placed before age 2-1/2 in child-care centers with relatively large groups of 8 to 12 children. Compared with children who were at home, these kids had more respiratory and ear inflections during early preschool and the same risk of infection between ages 3-1/2 and 4-1/2, based on the eight-year study of 1,238 families with newborns in 1998. But here’s the catch: these kids also had lower rates of infection between ages 5 and 8.