Vaccines Make Day Care Healthier
Immunization Helps Reduce Infections Among Kids in Day Care
WebMD News Archive
About 1 in 8 children under age 2 visits the doctor each year for infection
with the rotavirus, which causes diarrhea; 1 in 70 is hospitalized, Pickering
Affected kids also bring the bug home, where 15% of family members get sick,
on average, he says.
Since the RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine was only licensed last year, there are
no good surveillance figures yet, according to Pickering. "But I expect
we'll see a significant drop in infections," he says.
Since the 2000 introduction of a pneumococcal vaccine to prevent ear
infections in children under 2, cases have dropped by at least 20%, studies
Sold as Prevnar, the pneumococcal vaccine attacks seven strains of the
bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae that can cause ear infections.
Researchers reported earlier this week that the vaccine has had a worrisome
side effect, spurring the development of a superbug resistant to all the
antibiotics used to treat ear infection.
"Nevertheless, there's no doubt day care is safer than ever thanks to
the vaccine," says Robert Cohen, MD, professor of pediatrics at the
Hospital of Cretiel in Saint Maur, France.
He says parents should continue to have their toddlers immunized as the
vaccine prevents serious illness and even saves lives.
Tips for Choosing a Safe Day Care Center
While day care is safer than ever, your kid can, and probably will, still
catch a cold, flu, or other infection at some point. But you can minimize the
risk of illness by putting some time into choosing a child care center,
Among the experts' tips:
- Make sure that all people at the day care have been properly immunized and
that there's a notification process when kids get ill.
- Make sure the day care has proper hand-washing arrangements, with plenty of
sinks and soap.
- Make sure kids aren't kept in the same room all the time.
"We are doing a good job at keeping day care safe, but we need to be
vigilant," Pickering says.