Daycare No Protection for Children from Asthma
A new study dispels the myth that children who go to daycare are protected later in life from asthma and allergy. The study found that any protection from asthma and allergies for children placed in daycare disappears by age eight.
The results, September 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, suggests that the widespread belief that exposure to respiratory illnesses from other children early in life offers protection from asthma is not supported by the current study.
Scientists from Erasmus University in the Netherlands followed 4,000 Dutch children over for eight years who were part of the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) Study. Parents reported respiratory symptoms via questionnaire. The questionnaires were administered during pregnancy, at three months, yearly, and until the children reached age eight. The results revealed that daycare attendance offered no significant protection for children when it comes to allergies, asthma, and wheezing.
Johan C de Jongste, M.D., Ph.D., of Erasmus University says, "Children with older siblings and early daycare had more than fourfold higher risk of frequent respiratory infections and more than twofold risk of wheezing in the first year compared to children without older siblings and daycare. Importantly, children exposed to both early daycare and older siblings experienced most infections and symptoms in early childhood, without a protective effect on wheeze, inhaled steroid prescription or asthma symptoms until the age of eight years."
"Early daycare merely seems to shift the burden of respiratory morbidity to an earlier age where it is more troublesome than at a later age," said Dr. de Jongste…daycare should not be promoted for reasons of preventing asthma and allergy."The study challenges the long held notion that putting children in daycare offers protection from allergy related respiratory diseases.
Source: AJRCCM - American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine