Morbidity of Children Attending Day Care centers in Copenhagen Illustrated by Social, Physical, Environmental and Hygienic Factors

Anne K. Rindel, Dorte Kronborg, Søren Tolver Jensen

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Sick leave among the children in 24 day nurseries in Copenhagen was registered during a period of one year. The physical, environmental and hygienic conditions of the institutions were assessed by means of interviews and inspection, supplemented by information from the local authorities. Sick leave constitutes 7.5% of the days during which the institutions were open and the average number of sick days per child varied from 14.6 to 24.4. Comparisons with similar investigations are inclusive on account of variations in the methods of registration and age distributions. It was characteristic of the institutions investigated that these included a number of old institutions in flats, many in streets with considerable traffic and where the conditions of ventilation and space do not conform with present-day standards. In some of the institutions, the hygiene is unsatisfactory, particularly where ventilation, outdoor activities and hand-washing are concerned. A statistically significant connection was found between amount of traffic at the institution, the hygiene and playroom area per child, on one hand, and absence due to sickness, on the other, as assessed by a statistical model for sick leave for child in a given institution. In order to prevent sickness, it is concluded that efforts to improve hygiene and space are desirable and, similarly, further research concerning the effects of atmospheric pollution is relevant.
TidsskriftUgeskrift for læger
Udgave nummer31
Sider (fra-til)2140-2146
StatusUdgivet - 1992