Child Development by Neil J. Salkind (

Child Development by Neil J. Salkind: The effects of daycare on children’s health andsafety vary by the quality of the setting and the attention paid to these issues. Because their immune systems are not yet fully functional, infants and toddlers are more susceptible to illnesses than older children. Infectious diseases (mainly upper respiratory and gastrointestinal) are higher among children in a family daycare and day-care centers than among children cared for in their own homes. However, scrupulous attention to hand washing and hygiene can cut the rate of infectious disease transmission substantially.

Children in day-care centers may also be prone to injuries if the playground equipment is unsafe. This risk can be reduced by paying attention to the height of playground structures and the resilience of the surface under the equipment. The American Association of Public Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics developed a document entitled ‘‘Caring for Our Children’’ that provides comprehensive health and safety guidelines for day-care facilities.

By Neil J. Salkind

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