Will Attending Woodlands Long Day Care & Kindergarten Help My Child's Immune System?
You’ve probably heard that children who go to daycare or kindergarten get sick more often — but is there a bright side to all the sniffles and colds? Does exposure to more children at a young age actually help your child develop better immunity?
At birth, a child's immune system is immature. Your child does have some inborn protection, largely thanks to antibodies he or she was exposed to in utero. Breastfed babies also benefit from the antibodies in their mother’s milk. But an infant’s immune system really starts to strengthen when the baby/child is exposed to bacteria and viruses in the environment. Yes, these pathogens will sometimes make your baby/child feel lousy, but they also prompt the production of natural antibodies so he or she can better fight off infections in the future.
That means children who attend Woodlands Long Day Care & Kindergarten will likely have a stronger immune system by the time they start school.
- Cold Weather - One myth is that cold weather can make you sick, but that is not true. Being cold itself does not cause illness, but when it is colder outside, children tend to spend more time indoors together, easily passing germs and infections.
- Eating Sand or Dirt - While it's developmentally appropriate for children under the age of 2 to put things in their mouths and to bite, chew, or try to eat non-food items - “ Children have to learn to live with these agents. If our children live in a highly clean environment, their immune system will not be developed in the correct way, and probably, problems like allergies will be present themselves"
Research & Addintional Information:
The notion that children in daycare or kindergarten get sick more often when they’re young but benefit from improved immunity later isn’t just a theory; there’s ample research to back it up.
For example, a Canadian study published in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that kids who started group child care prior to age two-and-a-half contracted fewer respiratory and ear infections between ages five to eight compared to those who had not been in daycare. Researchers from the University of Arizona College of Medicine found that the protection might last even longer. In their study, children who had attended daycare as toddlers contracted fewer colds all the way up to age 13.
Daycare or kindergarten may also lower a child’s risk of developing asthma, according to a study from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers discovered that kids who were prone to the condition because their mothers had asthma or allergies had lower levels of IgE antibodies (an indicator of allergic sensitivity) if they went to daycare or kindergarten. Interestingly, there’s also an association between group care and a lower risk of leukemia, though it’s not entirely clear why.