Children and Common Illnesses: 48% Already Sick In the 2022-2023 School Year

Hispanic mom measuring fever to sick daughter with digital thermometer. Family life at home with latina woman taking care of ill little girl. Health care with mother and child, people and medicineMyvision.org shared that kids are back in school, and that means the return of back-to-school illnesses. As children across the country are spending time in classrooms, for many families, there’s a concern about what their kids might bring home. From the flu to pink eye or the common cold, many illnesses get spread around schools, especially as winter nears.

We surveyed more than 1,000 parents of school-aged children to learn more about the precautions they take and how illnesses impact their families and everyday life, especially for those who work from home.

Children & Common Illnesses

While there are many illnesses that can go around a school and impact families, the most common sicknesses parents are concerned about this year include COVID-19 (70%), the flu (63%), common cold (46%), stomach flu (37%), strep throat (37%), head lice (32%), and pink eye (19%). Additionally, 64% of parents say they’re somewhat worried about their child getting sick this year, followed by 22% who are not worried, and 14% who are very worried.

Nearly half (48%) of parents say they’ve already had a child get sick this school year. 3 in 4 (76%) report their child had a common cold, more than 1 in 5 (22%) had COVID-19, and 1 in 10 had the stomach flu.

There are several ways parents and kids are taking precautions to stay healthy this year. The number one precaution is frequent handwashing (79%). This is followed by getting enough sleep (75%), coughing and sneezing into a tissue or elbow (63%), being up-to-date on vaccinations (60%), and eating healthy foods (56%). Despite these efforts, nearly 1 in 2 (45%) parents struggle to get their kids to follow these health precautions. Additionally, 38% believe there will be more illness this school year due to the relaxation of COVID-19 prevention measures.

Sickness & School

Although the majority of families are taking precautions to prevent illness, 80% of parents believe their kids will end up getting sick this school year. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 (23%) believe their kids be sick 3 times throughout the year.

But when do you keep your child home? 1 in 5 parents encourages their kids to go to school even if they don’t feel well. In fact, 70% send their child to school if they have a runny nose and 27% do the same if their child has a sore throat. However, 98% of parents report keeping their kids home if they have a fever.

To read the full report, click here.

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