A recent study has linked school readiness and chronic illness in early childhood.  Children who are sick a lot in early childhood may have a more difficult time in school than their healthier peers.

School Readiness and Chronic IllnessSchool readiness was assessed by researchers who examined almost 23,000 children in Western Australia.  They examined motor skills, physical independence, social skills, behavior, language, cognitive ability, and communication skills. They discovered that the chronically ill children were 19 to 36 percent more likely to be developmentally delayed when they reached school age.

“Previous research has indicated that factors such as school absence and academic disengagement may play a role in older children with chronic illness having lower academic outcomes,” said lead study author Megan Bell of the University of Western Australia. “Our study shows that chronic illness experienced in early childhood can increase the chances of a child starting school not ready to learn,” Bell added.

The most common problem was ear infections, followed by asthma and respiratory ailments. The study affirms earlier links between ear infections and asthma to developmental delays.
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