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Majority of parents miss work to care for sick children

Over half of all parents have taken time off of work to take care of their children while sick. ...
Newsroom
Newsroom

11.45 25 Sep 2021


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Majority of parents miss work...

Majority of parents miss work to care for sick children

Newsroom
Newsroom

11.45 25 Sep 2021


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Over half of all parents have taken time off of work to take care of their children while sick. 

In total, some 53% of mothers and fathers missed work when their child fell ill. 

Overwhelmingly, the responsibility of caring for a sick child falls to one parent; 64% of mothers have taken time off of work, compared with only 26% of fathers. 

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Grandparents often help out as well, with 28% taking time out to look after a sick child.  

The research, carried out by probiotic company Pro-Ven, found that on average nearly half (43%) of all school children miss four or more days of class each year due to everyday childhood illnesses.

However, homeschooling during the pandemic was found to have had a noticeable impact on children’s health, with 77% of parents reporting that their child had fallen ill less often during lockdown and 61% saying theirs had not fallen ill at all. 

Usually children fall ill with a common cold, with 64% of parents citing this as the reason for their child staying home from school.  

But clinical trials carried out by Pro-Ven also found that such absenteeism can be reduced through the use of probiotics. 

Speaking to Newstalk, the company’s founder Dr Nigel Plummer said: 

“Absenteeism from school, if we take the average across the two trials, was 20% decreased in the probiotic group, [among] the children taken Pro-Ven, compared to those who weren’t [taking Pro-Ven]. 

“Then we look at other aspects of the coughs and colds - duration of coughs and colds was significantly decreased as well. The use of antibiotics, that was down by 35% in the probiotic group.

“And the incidence over six months, because we gave this Pro-Ven probiotic to children throughout the winter, so they took this chewable tablet daily throughout the wintertime and the incidence - so how many times during those six months did these children suffer from symptoms of coughs and colds - that was decreased by 30% as well.”

Main image: A child walks to school in December 2020. Picture by: Robin Utrecht/PA. 

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