A new study based on 10,000 kids in Australia suggests that daycare can be good for a kid’s health — in the long run.
While babies in daycare in the first year of life may be more prone to illnesses such as ear infections compared to babies who stay home with parents, they will fare better — health-wise — once they start real school.
The study was led by an associate professor of education at Charles Sturt University in Australia, reports The Australian newspaper.
The research suggests that kids with older siblings, those who were born prematurely or those who are “growing up in a family suffering hardships” are the most prone to ear infections.
The study, which will be presented at a federal government conference in Melbourne this week, found no evidence that the early ear infections leads to poorer health later in life, and exposed children actually end up with an enhanced immune system.
Of course the researchers said it doesn’t mean parents who send their kids to daycare should be complacent.
“Parents have to recognise that when their child is sick, they shouldn’t be going (to childcare),” the researchers warned.
The study will be presented at the federal government’s Growing Up in Australia conference in Melbourne this week.