Infectious diseases and child day care

Michael T. Osterholm, Randall R. Reves, Jody R. Murph, Larry K. Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


It is estimated that more than 5.3 million children attend out-of-home child day care in the United States. This includes 2.1 million children who attend approximately 63 000 licensed child day-care centers. An additional 500 000 children receive care in 105 000 regulated day-care homes. Since the total regulated child care slots available in centers and homes are only 2.6 million, some 2.7 million additional children are likely attending unregulated family day-care homes. As a result infants and preschool children are intermingled in child care facilities that often lack adequate toilet and hand-washing facilities and are frequently staffed by individuals with little or no training in the area of infection control. Placing children in out-of-home care should not compromise their health and that of the community. The risk of infection can be lessened by teaching hygiene, supervising unregulated day-care facilities and regular antibiotic use so that bacterial resistance may be prevented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1992


  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Day care
  • Diapers
  • Fomites
  • Parvovirus


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