Influence of business on child care center and parents: Potential impact on early child healthThe objective of this study is to investigate the potential impact of the relationships among business-child care center-parents on health of young children. Parents of the under 5y-old children and directors of child care centers were interviewed. Data collection was conducted in the Muang district and the vicinity of Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Songkhla and Bangkok during November-December 1999. The studied variables included: general information on children, parents, director and child care centers; marketing activities, product brand name and type of activities; opinions on relationship between business and child care centers; and impact of these activities on parents' choices. The designed questionaires were reviewed by the experts and pre-tested. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Possible impacts on child health of the product named by the interviewee were derived from the experts' opinions. Four hundred and thirteen parents, 90 nursery directors and 145 kindergarten directors were studies. Most of the interviewee were mothers. Twenty-two percent of the studied parents had a university degree, more than half had a monthly income over 10,000 baht. Most of the child care center's directors were also female, got a aniversity degree and have worked more than 10 years. Nine percent of the studies parents sent their children to the family day care.Over the past year, the child product business has organized various marketing activities at the king dergarten 2-3 times more frequently that at the nursery. At the nursery, the businesses which most frequently used direct sale promotion with children and parents were those selling dairy products(23 times), supplement food/breakfast(16 times), and vaccines (12 times). For direct sale promotion to children and parents at the kindergarten, the businesses frequently and this chammels were supplement food/breakfast (94 times), dairy product(48 times) and soap (41 times). Child care centers had a great influence on parental choice of child products. Sixty nine percent of parents have ever been adviced. For the top ten products recommended by the child care centers, 46.2-88.9% of the advicee consequenthy used them. They were baby powder, tooth paste and soap, respectively. Most of these products are appropriate for child use and not harmful to health. Two items narmely chicken pox vaccine and chicken essence soup, are not necessary for young children, and the other two items including crispy snacks and anti-bacterial soap are not appropriate for long-term useResults of this study demonstrated the high influence of child care centers on parental decision of child product choice, the influence of giving free samples in change of parental consumption behavior and the acceptance of business marketing activities of child care centers. Measures and regulations should be set up to control business activities in child care centers for the benefits of young children.