Child-care Centers: Not the COVID-19 Culprits We Thought They Were!

Childcare Centers Not Significant COVID Spreaders, New Research Shows

Child-care centers are not major COVID hotspots, according to research.

October 25, 2023 – Brace yourselves, folks! We’ve got some fantastic news coming in hot! According to a groundbreaking study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, child-care centers are not, I repeat, NOT significant sources of COVID-19 transmission! Grab your kids and do a happy dance, my friends!

Lead author, Dr. Timothy Shope, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, suggests treating kids with COVID-19 like kids with any other respiratory illness. It’s time for an open discussion at the national level, people! Let’s talk about the necessity of testing every child with respiratory symptoms in child care programs. Can I get an “Amen” for common sense?

Dr. Shope goes on to say, “We’d love to keep the virus under control, but obsessing over testing and long exclusion periods for kids in childcare centers seems unnecessary.” Preach, doctor! Let’s think of the families subjected to frequent testing, missed work, zero wages, and the detrimental effects on education and socialization for our little rascals.

The study, published in the prestigious JAMA Network Open (link below, folks), reveals some eye-opening findings. Brace yourselves, because here it is: children in child-care centers are not spreading COVID-19 at significant rates to caregivers, fellow kids, or even their own household members! Cue the happy tears, my friends!

But wait, you say, isn’t it the CDC’s recommendation to test children for COVID-19 if they display congestion, a runny nose, or other respiratory symptoms? Well, dear reader, you are absolutely correct! The CDC does suggest testing, but here’s the kicker: For similar serious respiratory illnesses, such as influenza or respiratory syncytial virus, the recommendation is simple – return to child care when symptoms are resolving and you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours. Boom! Mind blown!

Let’s dive into the juicy details of the study, shall we? The researchers followed 83 children in 11 childcare centers across two cities. They also tracked their household contacts, which included 118 adults and 16 children, along with 21 adult childcare workers. This study was no joke, spanning from April 22, 2021, to March 31, 2022. Participants were tested weekly and recorded their symptoms in diaries. Now that’s dedication!

What were the transmission rates within the centers, you ask? Hold onto your hats because this is impressive – a mere 2% to 3%! That’s right, folks, you heard it here first. Child-care centers, those bustling hives of adorable chaos, are not the breeding grounds for COVID-19 we once feared.

So, let’s put this knowledge to good use. Child-care centers play a vital role in child development, education, and parental sanity. Let’s prioritize testing and exclusions sensibly, without causing unnecessary stress and disruptions for families. It’s time to let our kids thrive while we keep the virus in check, like the superstars we are!

Check out the full study published in JAMA Network Open and spread the word like wildfire. Together, we can change the narrative and bring a little peace of mind to parents everywhere.

Stay safe, stay informed, and never stop fighting for the well-being of our mini miracles!

Love and hand sanitizer,

Your Friendly Health and Psychology Expert

P.S.: Have you encountered any other fascinating studies or mind-blowing articles related to child development or mental health? Share them in the comments below, and let’s keep the conversation going!