Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Childcare Providers Against CMV Project: Mission


 Childcare Providers Against CMV (CPAC) works to protect newborns from congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV)—sometimes referred to as “America's Zika”--which causes more disabilities than fetal alcohol syndrome. According to the New York Times in 2016,”CMV is a bigger threat to unborn babies than Zika but far less often discussed.” 

“Despite being the leading cause of mental retardation and disability in children, there are currently no national public awareness campaigns to educate expecting mothers about congenital CMV,” states Clinical Advisor (2014).

CPAC promotes educating women of childbearing age, particularly those who care for toddlers, how to reduce the spread of CMV. "People who care for or work closely with young children may be at greater risk of CMV infection than other people because CMV infection is common among young children”--Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CMV is an occupational risk for childcare providers, but most have never heard of it despite recommendations made by the American Academy of Pediatrics that caregivers/teachers be counseled about CMV.

CPAC provides CMV education to childcare providers through workshops, family activities, educational materials, and books.

CPAC believes it is a woman's right to know how to protect her unborn children from CMV. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it is a worker's right to know occupational hazards.


Mothers of children in daycare are also at increased risk for CMV (Pass et al., 1986). “Intervening with child care providers and parents through child care facilities are key opportunities to reduce prevalence of CMV infection and other diseases.” (Thackeray et al., 2016).


Why CPAC's Mission is Important

15 Reasons Why Child Care Providers (and all women of childbearing age) Should Be Informed About Congenital CMV

(for pdf, click here)


1)  Congenital CMV is the #1 Birth Defects Virus (Carlson et al., 2010). Disabilities from congenital CMV "exceeds those from the fetal alcohol syndrome, spina bifida, and childhood infections..."(Boppana and Fowler, 2017). 

2) Of the four million infants born each year in the U.S., approximately 1% are infected prenatally with CMV (American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] et al., Caring for Our Children, 2011).  Ten percent of those infants (about 4,000) may have one or multiple abnormalities.

3)  “Women who are exposed to CMV prior to conception or within the first trimester of pregnancy and seroconvert have increased risk of their infant being infected with CMV.”(Thackeray et al., 2016).

4)  CMV is an “occupational risk" for daycare educators (Joseph, et al., 2006). Caregivers/teachers should be told about CMV because of increased probability of exposure (AAP et al.. 2011). 

5)  General public: 1-4% is the estimated “annual rate of a pregnant woman who is CMV antibody negative catching CMV for the first time in pregnancy” Demmler-Harrison, MD, CMV in Pregnancy: What Should I Know?, 2014).

6)  Caregivers/teachers: 8- 20% of caregivers/teachers contract CMV infection  (AAP et al.. 2011).

7)  44% to 100% of two-year-olds in group daycare are excreting CMV (Pass et al., 1986).

8)  Only 18.5% of licensed “in-home” daycare providers have heard of CMV according to “Child Care Provider Awareness and Prevention of Cytomegalovirus and Other Infectious Diseases” (Thackeray et al., 2016).

9)  It is a worker's right to know occupational hazards according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). There are more than half a million child care workers (573,430) in the U.S. according to the Child Care in America: 2016 State Fact Sheet report (pdf) published by Child Care Aware of America, which has state stats available. 

10) “Providers do not know how to appropriately sanitize surfaces to reduce spread of disease.” Many providers use diaper wipes to clean a surface. Diaper wipes do not sanitize (Thackeray et al., 2016).

11) “Increasing risk perception is important because providers may not be concerned about taking measures to reduce the probability of infection if they feel that they are at low risk” (Thackeray et al., 2016).

12)  Mothers of children in daycare are also at increased risk for CMV (Pass et al., 1986). “61 % of children under the age of 5 are cared for in a child care facility...Intervening with child care providers and parents through child care facilities are key opportunities to reduce prevalence of CMV infection and other diseases.” (Thackeray et al., 2016).

13)  $1.86 billion annually, with a cost per child of more than $300,000, is the estimated cost of congenital CMV to the US health care system (Modlin, Arvin, et al., 2004).

14)  The CDC "suggests that pregnant women reduce their risk of CMV acquisition during pregnancy using simple hygienic precautions but this suggestion is not often followed...the efficacy of hygienic precautions has been [greater than] 75%.” (Adler, 2015).  “Perhaps no single cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States currently provides greater opportunity for improved outcomes in more children than congenital CMV…women deserve to be informed about how they can reduce their risk of CMV infection during pregnancy…” (Cannon et al., 2005).

15)  NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children and its "Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria and Guidance for Assessment (10.D.01, p.91)" includes: "a. steps to reduce occupational hazards such as infectious diseases (e.g., exposure of pregnant staff to CMV [cytomegalovirus], chicken pox)..."

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Your may find the following resources helpful:

  1. "Staff Education and Policies on Cytomegalovirus (CMV)," American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) et al., Caring for Our Childrenhttp://cfoc.nrckids.org/StandardView/7.7.1.1
  2. Fact sheet from MotherToBaby.org on CMV  includes child care providers.
  3. National CMV Foundation features several types of CMV flyers for downloading.
  4. Daycare.com: Cytomegalovirus
  5. The Danger of Spreading CMV: How We Can Protect Our Children (ChildCare Aware of America, 2017).
  6. Teaching Tool Kit for families and childcare centers teaches table setting, meal preparation and germ prevention. 
  7.  NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children and its "Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria and Guidance for Assessment (10.D.01, p.91)," includes: "a. steps to reduce occupational hazards such as infectious diseases (e.g., exposure of pregnant staff to CMV [cytomegalovirus], chicken pox)..."

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