Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Well That Makes ME Feel Better

I read an interesting article in Newsweek yesterday about kids and germs. You can read for yourself here, if you're interested. If you don't want to read it, I'll sum it up for you: Kids who are in daycare are sick more often. WHAT?! No way!

Yes way, as my kids say. I know, big shock, right? I found this story particularly timely after Punkin's stomachviruspalooza the week before last followed by croup on Monday morning. Croup. In May. But what was also interesting about the article was that although a University of Arizona study found that 2-year-olds who attend daycare have twice as many colds in the first six months of life, they have a third fewer colds between the ages of 6 and 11 when they're in school and attendance matters.

Reading the article reminded me of the time we took Bubba to the emergency room at the age of four months with a fever of 104. He had started staying with a friend of mine just two days before and as I dropped him off, her 2-year-old daughter leaned over Bubba in his car seat and proceeded to sneeze right.in.his.face. Aaaaannnd he proceeded to get a cold, followed by an ear infection, which brought on the fever that necessitated the trip to the emergency room. Also, for the record, he had been sleeping through the night up until that point. After that, never again. At least not until he was over a year old.

Anyway, short story long, the doctor on call at the hospital was very circumspect about Bubba's illness. I guess as an emergency room doctor he'd seen it all. But he had wise words, which I believe should be handed out in all new parent books, especially to parents whose children will be going to daycare. He said "He has to pay off his infectious disease mortgage." In other words, they're going to get sick. It's going to happen. Either now or when they start school. So chill. Roll with the punches.

But DAY-um! With all the illness we've had in our family, we should be living in an infectious disease mansion!

14 comments:

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I watched a mother at the grocery store today with her, what appeared to be, two year old son. He was getting his own kiddie shopping cart and she was busy wiping it down with those anti-bacterial wipes that they have. I was all, "okay, just wait until kindergarten then".

Colleen said...

In 2005, when Gavin was 6mos-18mos, I missed 22 days of work due to illness...that I got from him. That doesn't count all the days I was still feeling crummy but still came into work because I felt guilty and didn't feel too bad coming in because I didn't sit near anyone to infect. I figured after all of that "sharing" I was good as gold when Cooper was born. HA! You only have to read through my archives to see what a whiney sicko I've been the past 8 months that he's been in school. :) But Gavin is rarely sick anymore (at least comparatively), whereas my friend's kids who stayed with Grandma all the time have missed literally MONTHS of preschool and school...poor things are like the Native Americans meeting the smallpox-ridden white settlers.
Know what also helps boost that immune system? Having pets...thank goodness I've got 5 of those furry immunity-boosters! :)

AndreAnna said...

I'm totally with you and usually live and let live when it comes to germs and such (as long as she's not licking a public bathroom floor), and figure the more her body learns to fight things, the stronger she'll get. At 2, she has been sick a few times but never once have I even had to take her to the doctor or has she been on anything other than OTC meds.

The thing with the little ones is that it so sucks to see them sick and in pain. When they can't tell you what hurts and when it seems their little spirit is crushed. I think it's worse on us as parents as it is on them.

All Adither said...

I do wipe down shopping carts after hearing that shopping carts contain more fecal material than public restrooms. Ick.

Last summer we had croup all the way through. Sucks.

Debbie Yost said...

What she said, and she and she and you. It frustrates me how some people want to put their child in a plastic bubble. The body knows how to build an immune system, but it has to get sick in order to do that. Eventually our children will be exposed to germs. I run a daycare and do training about germs, etc. It's easy to freak out about that stuff, but hey, if it is so bad out there, how did we ever make it to adulthood?

Karen said...

It makes total sense and I agree with the logic. But I think my mansion is located right next to yours.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

I've heard it before. They build up their immune system. And, I hope your house (crosses fingers) stays well for the long haul.

Amanda said...

I've heard that the more often someone is sick when they are a kid, the less sick they are as adults.

Now, I'm an exception to that rule as I was never really sick as a kid and I'm not that much sick as an adult either but, anyhoo...

My dh is a germaphobe. He drives me bunkers. He'd keep our kids in plastic kid-sized hamster balls if he could. I try to offset this by letting me kids eat the food they drop on the ground - outside even!

LOL!

calicobebop said...

Oh my GAWD I hate the croup. Muffin had it this winter and it was a royal pain in the butt.

AmyM said...

Maybe you should see if you could rent a room or two at the Center for Disease Control. The commute would be a killer but they could nip those germies the moment the kids come home.

Laurel said...

My first year of TEACHING school I was sick all the time. All the time. My teacher friends said that was normal. So the moral of the story? School makes you sick. :0)

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Heh. I was just mocking a friend of mine because she was going all nuts about not wanting to send her 2-year old to daycare with all the germy kids. He's been living the cushy life with Grandma so far, but it's coming to an end. Sooner or later they all have to take a swim in the petri dish that is a bunch of kids in a room together.

Fannie Mae said...

Um, yeah, and I put my two year old in the tub with the four year old who had the chicken pox. You know, so as to get it the frick over with.(I'm ancient people, the was no vaccine back in the day!)

ImpostorMom said...

i hear that, WE should also be living in a mansion too.