We have all heard the story that even a child who goes to the best daycare in Vaughan is prone to contract more sicknesses than the child who is raised at home from an early age. For a fact, when children spend a lot of time with one another at a daycare facility, they tend to interact with one another, and the process may have them exposed to various germs from various places.
The colds and the sniffles are expected quite often in a daycare facility, but there is a silver lining to this. Does such an exposure actually boost your child’s immunity? Does it help him/her develop better resistance to cold, flu, asthma and leukemia in the future? Let us investigate this theory a little more.
The situation of a child at birth
The immune system of a child at birth is largely immature. The baby however is protected in the utero, thanks to the varied number of antibodies he/she is exposed to. In addition, babies who are breastfed often gain better resilience to common diseases, as breastmilk contains the antibodies required to combat them.
However, the baby’s immune system will never really start growing unless exposed to the viruses and bacteria that are in the environment. The pathogens will oftentimes make the baby somewhat lousy, but do not lose focus on the fact that they prompt the production of the antibodies he or she will require in the fight against infections. This means that the kids exposed to germs at an early age are better placed in fighting infections by the time they get started with their schooling.
What studies have shown
The notion that a child often gets sick at the daycare at an early age but as well develop the resilience through improved immunity is not just a theory; ample research exists to back this. A Canadian pediatric research was carried out on kids who started being involved in child care before two-and-a-half.
It was realized that among the sample, kids contracted a number of ear and respiratory infections at the daycare, but fewer such infections when the child was between five and eight. It was also known, from the medical college of the University of Arizona that the protection against such infections lasted longer than expected. Children with a daycare background would experience fewer colds and flues up to age thirteen.
A lower risk of contracting more diseases
At a daycare, the exposure to germs also lowers the risk of developing asthma. This is in line with a study that was carried out and recorded on Allergies and Clinical Immunology. It was discovered that children whose mothers had asthmatic cases prior to their birth and were exposed to a daycare environment recorded lower levels of IgE, an antibody which indicates the presence of allergic sensitivity. It was also discovered, though without much certainty why, that there will be an association between those children in group care and their rate of contracting leukemia.
What parents need to know
Though parents may be happy with the perks offered in a daycare facility, they may want to stay with the child for at least 3 months after his/her birth. Take note as well of the importance of consistently breastfeeding the child right from the early age. When the baby is too young, some of those minor contagious diseases may prove quite troublesome. For example, if a child develops a high fever of 100.4 degrees or more before 3 months, he or she may need to be hospitalized.
In general, those kids who attend a daycare get sick less often later on in life and have a lower likelihood of contracting asthma and leukemia when they are older.