Family Facts #34

Family Facts — By on October 27, 2007 at 1:29 am

Compared with peers who were cared for at home, preschoolers who attended day-care centers used health-care services more often. Day-care children were at greater risk of contracting both minor communicable illnesses and more significant medical problems such as hepatitis, injuries, and chronic otitis media (ear infections). They were three times more likely to have made at least one visit to a doctor’s office, twice as likely to have visited an emergency room, and almost three times as likely to have received a prescription medication. This increased use of health services resulted in health-care expenditures for day-care children that were, on average, $343 higher per child each year.

Source:
“Health Care Utilization and Expenditures Associated with Child Care Attendance: A Nationally Representative Sample”
Silverstein, Michael
Sales, Anne E., and Koepsell, Thomas D.
Pediatrics Vol. 111, Number 4. April, 2003. Page(s) e317-e375.
(HT: FamilyFacts.org)



  • Ludwig

    Thats very true…of course,children who have been in day care among other children get an added bonus…an immune system that’s actually gotten some exercise and thus grow up to become adults that arent brought down by just about every bug that happens to fly by…they are also less likely to grow up believing insane stories like Noah’s Arch or the talking snake but thats another story…

  • ucfengr

    Thats very true…of course,children who have been in day care among other children get an added bonus…an immune system that’s actually gotten some exercise and thus grow up to become adults that arent brought down by just about every bug that happens to fly by.
    WTF is your problem? Did your parents not show you any affection as a child? Is your revenge to make sure that every other kid in the world gets the same crappy upbringing you had? Yes, I will show my kids I love them by turning their upbringing over to $7.50/hour daycare workers.

  • http://gunny93.blogspot.com/ GUNNY HARTMAN

    Lots of edge flying around up in this piece …
    I was just gonna say that I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to anyone. Greater exposure to other humans will always increase risk of catching something.
    This is why I avoid Mickey D’s playground during the runny nose season.
    But … in the scheme of things an extra $343 per year works out to paying less than an extra dollar per day. Which is less than the price of a Coke at said fast food establishment.
    Incidentally, Ludwig, you never know. I am product of the public school system and all that implies, but I wound up believing the flood narrative and all those other miraculous things in the Bible. Be careful about reading that Bible, you’re liable to wind up believing it, for that’s what happened to me!
    ;-)

  • Nick

    Interesting. The authors state that “the $343 per-child difference in total health care expenditures between those in center-based child care and those not in child care reached only borderline statistical significance.”
    Among the causes of the increase, they note the increased frequency of minor respiratory disease, but they also mention “better adherence to well-child care guidelines among children enrolled in child care centers” and speculate that working parents are more likely to take the child to the doctor for minor illness in hopes of minimizing time away from work.
    The authors also state that the added cost should be balanced against the known benefits of daycare which include “immune system maturation.” Anyone know what that entails? I found one paper indicating that kids in daycare have a lower incidence of asthma than children kept at home, presumably due to early stimulation by minor viruses. Anecdotally I’ve been told that kids who don’t go to daycare have all the same illnesses; they just get them when they start kindergarten.

  • Alan

    Ludwig- Are you searching for something? You must be, you have visited the site of a group you obviously hate. I am sure we would be happy to converse with you (as opposed to ucfengr’s WTF response – which seems pretty unChristian-like to me) on why you don’t believe and we we do.
    Thanks.

  • http://www.lifeethics.org/www.lifeethics.org/index.html Beverly Nuckols

    The extra visits could be due to the mom’s or dad’s need to miss days at work for a sick child, with the hope of getting the child well faster and/or the need for a doctor’s excuse for those days off. I’ve often joked about a drive through window for doctor’s notes.

  • Ludwig

    “WTF is your problem? Did your parents not show you any affection as a child? Is your revenge to make sure that every other kid in the world gets the same crappy upbringing you had? Yes, I will show my kids I love them by turning their upbringing over to $7.50/hour daycare workers.”
    My problem is with those people who believe they are actually doing their kids a service by cloistering them away from contact with other people until they have become fully indoctrinated with bronze age folklore to the point where their ability to criticaly analyse those beliefs is virtually non-existant couple with an immune system so stunted and under developed that their very lives is threatened by the common cold. And i do wish my childhood onto others,which included day care,because it means i ll probably outlive most of you. But then again,since you re in such a hurry to join up with the pie in the sky,maybe thats a good thing you wont be here for much longuer.

  • Ludwig

    “Incidentally, Ludwig, you never know. I am product of the public school system and all that implies, but I wound up believing the flood narrative and all those other miraculous things in the Bible. Be careful about reading that Bible, you’re liable to wind up believing it, for that’s what happened to me!”
    incidently,i used to take the biblical teachings at face value when they were being presented to us in catholic school for 6 years…then i actually read it and thats when i came to my senses. I realised that there was basicaly 2 sets of reality trying to exist in contradiction…one was the biblical narrative with its claim that the universe was essentially created for our belefit and that we are the cornerstone of all creation…a creation of universal span which was supposadly thrown out of its perfect sync when 2 of our ancestors were supposadly tricked into eating a fruit they werent supposed to…ironicaly,a fruit containing the vital knowledge that was required for that command to be obeyed to begin with…the ultimate catch 22….on the other hand,you have our easily observable insignificance in the grand cosmic scheme of things where our existance or utter destruction can have ZERO IMPACT on the universe as a whole…obviously,i want with the sane second reality,as the first one was simply unsustainable by any sane mind.

  • DrDejang

    Ludwig, the idea that being exposed to sickness and illness as a young child develops a superior immune system later on in life is an urban-myth among parents. The opposite is true.
    Excessive exposure to colds, flu, and various other common school maladies is deleterious to a person’s long-term health. Only in a few specific cases is it beneficial to suffer from a disease early on in life, and even then it should not be too early.
    As a pediatrician, I highly recommend to parents to do a great deal of research into the daycare to which they send their children. If the daycare or preschool their children attend has regular sweeps of infectious diseases, it is very important that the parent speak strongly with the administrators to improve sanitary conditions. I suggest to many patients that they withdraw their child(ren) from the school if at all possible when the classmates start getting sick. Unfortunately many households have both parents working and this is impractical.
    It is VERY beneficial for children to minimize exposure to infectious (particularly respiratory) diseases. If the number of colds a child contracts can be cut by 50% in the first 8 years, the chances for later cases such as asthma, allergies, and susceptibility to respiratory illnesses is reduced by half.
    While you may disagree with other aspects of homeschooling, those parents have much healthier children, both short and long-term.

  • Oclarki

    DrDejang,
    But Ludwig is so much smarter than you. Haven’t you heard? I’m sure he’ll be along any moment to tell you.

  • Ludwig

    DrDejang
    well lets see…i have your claims on one hand versus my lifelong experience both with myself as well as my own children and nephews/nieces that evidence the diametrical opposite of what you claim….my my…lets eee which ill believe….you or my own lying eyes….

  • oclarki

    Wow, that was fast. Ludwig appears to be a believer in anecdotal evidence trumping empirical evidence. That must mean he finds the arguments of millions of lives transformed by Christ compelling.
    What medical training do you have Ludwig? Have you ever been wrong about anything?

  • Ludwig

    “What medical training do you have Ludwig? Have you ever been wrong about anything?”
    I dont consider personal experience to be “annecdotal” and the empiricism lies in the fact that all the children in my family are in extremely good health and have been for at least 2 generrations so far as i know and all of them began to attend day-care very early on. As for being wrong about anything well…i once believed that the Bible was an encyclopedia of historical facts as opposed to being a pack of post neolithic superstitious nonsense…does that count?

  • Oclarki

    Personal experience is the very definition of “anecdotal”. Here for the world to see is Ludwig’s ignorance on display.
    From wikipedia: “Anecdotal evidence is an informal account of evidence in the form of an anecdote or hearsay. The term is often used in contrast to scientific evidence, such as evidence-based medicine, which are types of formal accounts. Some anecdotal evidence does not qualify as scientific evidence because its nature prevents it from being investigated using the scientific method. Misuse of anecdotal evidence is a logical fallacy and is sometimes informally referred to as the “person who” fallacy (“I know a person who…”; “I know of a case where…” etc. Compare with hasty generalization). Anecdotal evidence is not necessarily typical; statistical evidence can more accurately determine how typical something is.”
    Anecdotal evidence is often unscientific or pseudoscientific because various forms of cognitive bias may affect the collection or presentation of evidence. For instance, someone who claims to have had an encounter with a supernatural being or alien may present a very vivid story, but this is not falsifiable. This phenomenon can also happen to large groups of people through subjective validation.
    Anecdotal evidence is also frequently misinterpreted via the availability heuristic, which leads to an overestimation of prevalence. Where a cause can be easily linked to an effect, people overestimate the likelihood of the cause having that effect (availability). In particular, vivid, emotionally-charged anecdotes seem more plausible, and are given greater weight. A related issue is that it is usually impossible to assess for every piece of anecdotal evidence, the rate of people not reporting that anecdotal evidence in the population.
    A common way anecdotal evidence becomes unscientific is through fallacious reasoning such as the post hoc fallacy, the human tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. Another fallacy involves inductive reasoning. For instance, if an anecdote illustrates a desired conclusion rather than a logical conclusion, it is considered a faulty or hasty generalization. [9] For example, here is anecdotal evidence presented as proof of a desired conclusion:
    “There’s abundant proof that God exists and is still performing miracles today. Just last week I read about a girl who was dying of cancer. Her whole family went to church and prayed for her, and she was cured.”
    Anecdotes like this are very powerful persuaders, but they don’t prove anything in a scientific or logical sense. [10] The child may have become better anyway and this could be an example also of the regressive fallacy. Anecdotal evidence cannot be distinguished from placebo effects. [11] Only double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials can confirm a hypothesis.
    Sites devoted to rhetoric [12] often give explanations along these lines:
    Anecdotal evidence, for example, is by definition less statistically reliable than other sorts of evidence, and explanations do not carry the weight of authority. But both anecdotal evidence and explanations may affect our understanding of a premise, and therefore influence our judgment. The relative strength of an explanation or an anecdote is usually a function of its clarity and applicability to the premise it is supporting. [1]
    By contrast, in science and logic, the “relative strength of an explanation” is based upon its ability to be tested, proven to be due to the stated cause, and verified under neutral conditions in a manner that other researchers will agree has been performed competently, and can check for themselves.

  • Ludwig

    Oclarki
    I agree that it is hearsay to you but not to me…it not annecdotal when it 40 years of direct observations and life experiences…and our family doctor,who has practiced medecine for about as long as i ve been alive is a strong proponent of early exposure to other children and open environements…which is not the same as “exposing children to disease” mind you as has been suggested by some other cretin earlier. If there was an epidemic of infectious disease going on at my kid’s day care i d remove them until it passed…but children pass along to each other all sorts of germs,most of them perfectly harmless but that still help the immune system develop and get stronger,giving them a better heads up for when a more dangerous bugs comes along. when i was little,chronic respiratory conditions like asthma were rare…nowadays they are rampant…same thing with allergies…our modern obsession with over-sanitizing is directly responsible for today’s generation of anemic imune systems that succub to just about anything,requiring overuse of antibiotics which then leads to mutated flu strain that are both deadly and antibiotic resistant.

  • DrDejang

    Ludwig, your family doctor is sadly mistaken. The idea that early childhood exposure to illness creates an immunity of sorts to later sickness is a very widely spread fable.
    All modern research studies back this up. For a very good, and moderately read-able for non-medical people, study on this topic, please read “The Long-Term Effects of Poor Childhood Health: An Assessment and Application of Retrospective Reports”. This was a study released in February of 2007. Here is a quote from it’s abstract to give you an idea of what it says.
    “Compared with excellent, very good, or good childhood health, poor childhood health is associated with more than three times greater odds of having poor adult self-rated health and twice the risk of a work-limiting disability or a chronic health condition. These associations are independent of childhood and current socioeconomic position and health-related risk behaviors.”
    There are many, many other studies which back this one up, but unfortunately these studies have not fully impacted common beliefs such as your own.
    Please talk to your family doctor and ask him to do further research in this area to become more knowledgeable about modern medical research.

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