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Daycare Unsafe for Some Preemies

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Guest blogger Ronda Kaysen: Here's another thing for moms of premature babies to worry about: A new study has found that daycare could seriously harm the health of certain premature kids, so parents should hold off on putting their preemies into daycare until the kids are at least 2.

premature baby

CLDP (a.k.a. chronic lung disease of prematurity) is a condition which causes respiratory problems such as coughing and wheezing.Not all premature kids have CLDP, but it is common, with about 25 percent of babies born before 27 weeks developing it. Even babies born as late as 32 weeks are susceptible.

According toMyHealthNewsDaily, children with CLDP who go to daycare are four times more likely to visit the emergency room than CLDP children who don't go to daycare. They are also nearly three times more likely to have difficulty breathing at least once a week, and twice as likely to need medication. Due to these findings, researchers say that kids who have CLDP should stay away from daycare centers until they're at least 2 years old.

"We think that the physicians and the nurse practitioners and whoever cares for these children after they leave the hospital should educate the families on the possible risk of daycare exposure [for] the preterm infant and child with lung disease, particularly during the first couple years of life," study researcher Dr. Sharon McGrath-Morrow, a lung specialist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, told MyHealthDailyNews.

Daycare is a germ magnet, but kids without respiratory problems can handle the onslaught of viruses that come their way."Most healthy children tolerate respiratory infections and viruses without difficulty, and so daycare would not be considered a problem for them," said McGrath-Morrow.

As a working mom with a child in daycare, I don't know what I would do if I were unable to put my son in a daycare program. Nannies and private sitters are prohibitively expensive, and I need to work. I imagine I'm not the only mom in this position. Tack on the added anxiety of having a child with CLDP, and you put a family under enormous financial and medical pressure.

Obviously, no mother wants to expose her vulnerable child to illnesses that could land him or her in the hospital, but financial concerns are very real for families, too. News like this -- although informative and eye-opening -- must put many financially taxed families in a terrible position.

Moms, what do you think?


next: Is 'Walk to School Day' Safe? One Mom Says 'Yes!'
65 comments so far | Post a comment now
anonymous October 6, 2010, 10:09 AM

All kids are more likely to get sick if they go to a day care center before they are age 2, including serious illnesses and hospital visits. Preemies are just less likely to be able to handle it.

Remember, this doesn’t mean mom can’t work, just that centers are bad for babies health. There are other forms of care.

Louise October 6, 2010, 12:29 PM

… wel, this doesn’t mean that centers are bad for (all) babies, because after a couple of years these children have a better resistance. Because their immune system is developed better.

This is scientifically proven. Children in too hyperclean environments are even more likely to get certain diseases, like hodgkin-cancer.

Anonymous October 6, 2010, 5:18 PM

Some people think being exposed to germs is better for kids, but there’s no evidence that kids who’ve been in centers are healthier later on. They are at a higher risk for serious problems, though. Remember, this only applies for the first two years and to child care with five or more kids.

Kristen October 6, 2010, 11:52 PM

Louise you keep telling yourself that to make yourself feel better. Their is no scientific research to establish that fact, in fact most of what I have read is the exact opposite, it’s just NOT healthy to be constantly sick. Babies ear drums rupturing because of so many infections, too many antibiotics, no that is not healthy, it does not help your immune system.

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