Skip to content

Health & Baby

Font Size

Day Care Helps Boost Kids' Immunity

By
WebMD Health News

Feb. 20, 2002 -- Kids who attend day care are plagued by colds, but it seems to boost their immunity. Once they get to elementary school, they have far fewer sniffles and sneezes, according to a new study.

The study involved more than 1,200 children enrolled in small and large day-care centers throughout Tucson, Ariz. Researchers found that kids who attended large day-care centers -- those that enroll more than five children -- had more colds during the first three years of life. However, they had less frequent colds during the school years until age 13.

"Several studies have shown that while babies and young children are attending day care, they experience more respiratory illnesses than those cared for at home," says lead author Thomas M. Ball, MD, MPH, in a news release. Ball is associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Arizona. His study is published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

"This study gives credence to the hypothesis that ... immunity obtained in day care protects a child from colds later in life," he says. "But it also shows that whether children acquire immunity in preschool or elementary school, by the time they are 13, they seem to have similar levels of protection from viruses."

However, the authors add, the protection seems to wane by age 13.

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
Mother with baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
 
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
baby with pacifier
VIDEO
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow