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TUESDAY, Nov. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Three-quarters of American parents would consider removing their children from day care if other kids did not have all the recommended vaccinations, and many say that under-vaccinated children shouldn't be allowed to attend day care.
Those are among the findings from a national survey of parents of children up to 5 years old. The parents were asked how they would respond if 25 percent of children in their day care center were not up to date on vaccines, which mirrors the actual situation in the United States.
Seventy-four percent of parents said they would think about removing their children from the day care center. And 52 percent "strongly agreed" and 22 percent "agreed" that day care providers should review children's immunization status every year to ensure they have received all the recommended vaccinations.
Forty-one percent of parents said under-vaccinated children should not be allowed to attend day care, 28 percent supported a grace period to get those children vaccinated, and 21 percent would insist that parents of those children get a waiver from the child's doctor.
Only 10 percent of parents believed a child should be allowed to attend day care if he or she was not up-to-date on vaccines, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.
Two-thirds of parents said they should be told the number of children in their day care center who are not up-to-date on vaccines, but only 25 percent said they should be given those children's names.
While all states require vaccines for children who attend day care, some don't require those children to have every vaccine recommended between birth to 5 years of age.
"Results of this poll indicate that most parents want strong policies around making sure children in day care are up-to-date on vaccines," Sarah Clark, associate director of the poll and associate research scientist in the university's pediatrics department, said in a university news release.
"Checking vaccination records every year is beyond the scope of many state requirements, and may represent a significant change in practice at many day cares," she said.
Clark added that "the bottom line is this poll shows that parents of young children have real concerns about whether vaccination standards are upheld in the day care setting. Parents should feel empowered to ask about day care vaccination policies, such as how the day care handles the situation of children who are not up-to-date, and whether they check children's vaccination status every year."
-- Robert Preidt
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