I visited my Chiropracter the other day and he had an article entitled Day care prevents child cancers. Catchy title and I asked why he was distributing it, when on a first glance the article appeared misleading (junk science?).
His answer was that many parents feel guilty about using daycare when they return to work and this might help to provide balance. A fine answer.
But talk about lies and statistics. Well the article does show that children who have been to daycare are less likely to suffer from a particular type of leukaemia. But it fails to really dig beneath the surface and see why it is that the more public the daycare arrangement the greater the protection.
The answer surely has to be that the child is exposed to germs (which may not make them ill) from a more diverse number of sources. In an age when we have anti-bacterial cleaners for every surface, and we stop our children from venturing out where they may get hurt, where eating dirt and sand is prevented our children are not putting any stress on their immune systems.
So, does the article make me feel happier about the daycare choice I made? Yes
Does the article make me feel happier about my small people who would crawl off through anything and everything in their search for adventure? Yes
But did I need reassurance? No.
The only real gain from the article would be to back up my arguement that littlies should be allowed to experience the world, to have tumbles and falls and to venture into mucky places if they’re learning about the world – so long as their basic safety is assured. A few tears are nothing. The odd cold is nothing. Not much fun perhaps, but not life threatening.
I’ll post the doc later 😉