Diarrhoea is very common in children attending day care centres. The aim of this study was to examine certain predisposing risk factors for an association with diarrhoea, including foreign travel, treatment with antibiotics, having household pets, infant colic, bottle feeding, using a pacifier and low birthweight.
A dynamic one-year follow-up cohort study comprising 179 children from 36 day care centres was conducted from September 2009 to July 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Questionnaires were sent to the children's parents or legal guardians every two months for a year, requesting information on gastrointestinal symptoms and exposure. A logistic regression was performed to identify the odds ratios of different risk factors for diarrhoea.
The odds ratios for diarrhoea were 1.97 (0.93–4.20) for children with a history of infant colic, 1.91 (0.90–4.04) for low birthweight children and 1.45 (0.74–2.82) for children who had used antibiotics. Having a pet in the household had a possible protective effect towards diarrhoeal events, with an odds ratio of 0.47 (0.20–1.09).
A history of infant colic, low birthweight, and to a lesser extent antibiotic use, possibly increased the risk of diarrhoea in Danish children in day care centres.