Thursday, November 26, 2009

Injury rates in child care compared to home

Researchers in Britain looked at accidental injury rates in 18,114 kids age 9 months and 13,718 kids age 3 years in relation to the type of care the kid got, formal child care, informal child care, or only parental care, and family income.

If you look at child care overall, there is no association between child care type and accidental injury rate. But if you separate it by income and age, there is.

  • At 9 months, poor kids had more injuries if they were in child care compared with just a parent. Rich kids had fewer. 
  • At 3 years, poor kids in informal child care still have more injuries, but formal child care is not associated with higher injuries in any economic class. 

The authors don't speculate on why this is, but I will. Another way of phrasing the findings is that rich infants are injured more when their moms don't have respite care, but when they do send them to formal child care, they can pay for good care (eg low ratios). No, that's unfair. They're right. We should just figure out why all this is.

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