Day Care and Colds — Good News!

Surprising news about day care and colds - getting more colds earlier on in life may help prevent colds later on during school years.

On average, kids in day care during the first three years of their lives get about twice as many colds as their peers during those years. But each time a child fights off a cold, she develops immunity to that virus.

A study in the February 2002 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine followed a large group of these children for 13 years. At ages 6 to 11, the children who had gone to day care had only about 1/3 as many colds as their peers who didn’t. Kids who attended day care are spared throughout the elementary school years, when being home sick might make a bigger difference.

Each year in the US there are about 23 million days of school absence from the common cold.

Published on: April 12, 2002
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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Hi Dr. Greene. I have a 3.5 yr old who started preschool (3 times) per week. The first week he cried and cried. He cries and remembers all the time at home. He says all the time he doesn’t want to go to play school but once he get there he says bye. When I go and pick he sometimes cries. Is there anything I can help him to overcome ? It’s really hard to see him being constantly worried about it while at home. The teacher says while he is in preschool he is fine. I hope you can give me some advice. Thank youth