Zero tolerance for runny noses and coughs even for otherwise healthy children – the corona pandemic is affecting most families with children, with a record high number of parents staying home to care for their children as a result of stricter rules designed to slow the spread. During the spring, parental child care benefits reached a new record high for the number of days parents took off work – nearly double compared with a year ago – according to statistics from Försäkringskassan.
Restrictions and measures to slow the spread are continuing. In addition, recommendations to wash hands and practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus helped put an early end to other viral illnesses such as seasonal influenza, the winter vomiting bug and RS virus late last spring.
Despite this, parents do not feel that their children are healthier. In a new Sifo survey commissioned by Apotek Hjärtat, nearly nine out of ten parents say they have not noticed any difference in their children’s physical health during the corona pandemic.
“When children catch a cold it is not always so severe, and parents typically perhaps don’t react to a case of the sniffles,” says Annika Svedberg, Chief Pharmacist at Apotek Hjärtat. “In these times we are opting to stay on the safe side, and therefore parents are staying home with their children to a greater extent now. But it’s interesting that parents do not perceive their children as being healthier, despite stricter quarantine rules.”
It is important to continue heeding the advice to stay home and avoid contact with others in the event of the smallest symptoms. Even if you only feel a slight cold coming on, the people you spread it too may become severely ill.
The survey’s results in brief
• Nearly nine out of ten (89%) parents have not perceived any difference in their children’s physical health during the corona pandemic. Seven per cent feel that their children’s physical health has been positively affected by the corona pandemic. Only 4% perceive that their children’s physical health has worsened.
• Nine out of ten (91%) parents do not feel that their children’s mental health has been affected by the corona pandemic. Only 1% perceive that their children’s mental health has been affected to the better, and 6% to the worse.
• Fifteen per cent of parents feel that it has been hard to answer questions in an easily comprehensible way and talk about the corona pandemic with their children.
About the survey
The survey was conducted by the market research firm Sifo under assignment by Apotek Hjärtat. It is based on 2,503 interviews among the Swedish public nationwide. Of these, 558 respondents had at least one child under the age of 12 living at home with them. The data was collected from 8-15 September 2020.