You asked

Is it true that kids in crèche get sick more than kids that stay home?

When your child first starts going to crèche, he or she will probably pick up more childhood diseases and general coughs and colds than a child that stays home.

However, the human immune system builds up defences gradually, and that early exposure to illness will kick start your child’s immune defence, with the result that he or she has fewer illnesses later in life.

The younger your child is when he or she starts crèche, the greater the risk that he or she will pick up colds or other infections. This risk is increased when your child has no siblings under the age of five living with you.

There is also a higher risk of a more serious disease, where babies under one year have a 69 percent higher chance of hospital admission, particularly for respiratory infections.

By the time your child is two, however, the risk has reduced considerably, and since it has been proven that the risk of infection decreases significantly over time, and since it is a benefit to long term immunity, it may still be something you would like to consider.

A good idea, if you can, is to wait until your child is a little older – one year old or more – before you start sending them to crèche. That way, you minimise the risk, and still get the benefits.

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