Absence due to illness among children in 24 daycare centres in Copenhagen was registered during two periods of one year each with a five year interval. The results from the first period have been reported earlier. In each period, the physical, environmental, hygienic and social conditions of the institutions were assessed, and the playroom area per child was registered. The total number of children increased from 855 in the first period to 921 in the second because 13 of the 24 institutions had increased their capacity in the intervening period. On average, the playroom area per child decreased with 0.27 square metre per child in the 13 institutions with an increased number of children. All children were less than three years of age. Absence due to sickness constituted 7.6% of the days during which the institutions were open. For the second period, where the childrens age had been exactly registered, the effect of age on absence due to sickness was found to be statistically significant. The direction of the effect was a decrease in illness with increasing age. However, due to a high correlation between age and time attending the institution, the effect of age could not be separated from the similar effect of length of time that the child had attended the institution. It was found that sickness will decrease with 7.8% per month that the age of the child and time attending the institution is increased. A statistically significant connection was found between the playroom area per child and absence due to sickness after correction for the influence of age in a multivariate analysis. In conclusion, the sickness will decrease with 10.8% per square metre the playroom area per child is increased.
|Journal||Ugeskrift for læger|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1997|