Kids in daycare get stomach flu more often

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Children who attend daycare run a much greater risk of stomach flu (gastroenteritis). On average they visit the doctor twice as often - and are also twice as often hospitalized due to complications - as children who do not attend daycare.

This is evident from research done by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht. According to the research, stomach flu leads to around 25 million euro additional costs to society per year. This is because the children sometimes infects their (working) parents.

Large daycares with many children and the presence of animals, sandboxes and swimming pools, seem to go hand in hand with stomach flu. Employees who work with multiple groups of children throughout the day, also increase the risk.

Remko Enserink of UMC Utrecht is advocating for the implementation of simple measures to prevent infectious diseases from spreading. A quality mark for childcare can provide an incentive for better prevention. The RIVM also believes that there seems to be support for such a label.