88% of parents say their children contracted a bug or virus at school according to Haven Pharmacy survey


  • 38% of parents say general vitality and well-being is their biggest healthcare concern for their kids as they prepare to go back to school
  • Half of all parents say their local pharmacy is their first port of call when they have queries about their child’s healthcare, while 18% say they check online first and just 13% say they turn to their GP first
  • 75% of parents say their own energy levels are dramatically affected during back to school season
  • Don Conroy, legendary artist, lends support to Haven Pharmacy ‘Back to School Expert Hands Colouring Competition’ for children

Nine out of ten parents say their children have contracted a bug or a virus from school, according to a new survey conducted by Haven Pharmacy, the independent co-operative pharmacy group with 52 stores nationwide that provides expert, impartial and relevant health advice to customers. The survey also reveals that parents are most worried about their kids’ general vitality and well-being (38%) as they head back to the classroom in September, with other key concerns including ‘colds and flu (31%)’, ‘head lice (18%)’ and chest infections (13%).

Over 500 Irish parents took part in the survey to tie in with the launch of the Haven Pharmacy ‘Back to School Expert Hands Colouring Competition’ which is being supported by well-known artist Don Conroy. Don has designed a back to school inspired illustration for kids to colour and be in with a change to win some great prizes! Copies of the illustration can be picked up in any of the 52 Haven Pharmacy outlets nationwide.

The Haven Pharmacy survey found that when it comes to looking for advice on a child related healthcare issue, nearly half of all parents (48%) said their local pharmacy would be their first port of call. Nearly one fifth (18%) said they would check their query online first, while 15% say they would ask a family member. Just 13% said they would turn to their GP first, with 5% saying they would ask a friend. 91% said the information received from their pharmacist has always been reliable, with the remaining 9% saying they don’t normally think to ask their pharmacist for advice

Over half of all respondents (53%) say their family fall victim to illness during the changing seasons, with one in five (21%) saying that a family member is sick every month. One quarter (26%) say they visit their pharmacy weekly, while a further 24% say they visit once a fortnight.

Interestingly, a significant 75% of parents confirmed that their own energy levels are dramatically affected during the early back to school months, while 46% said their kids also struggled to maintain energy levels and focus on schoolwork as the year progresses. As a result, it’s probably not surprising that 55% of families said they regularly take a multi-vitamin or effervescent tablet to help boost their energy levels during the busy back to school period and the changing seasons.

When it comes to healthcare spending, 58% of customers fork-out €20 a month on prescription medication at their local pharmacy, with a further 31% of customers spending up to €50 each month. In addition, 92% of customers spend up to €50 a month on non-prescription items.

With 48% of parents saying that cost is one of the hardest aspects of getting the kids back to school, Haven Pharmacy is offering up to 33% off a range of ‘Back-to-School’ items in store such as Vitamins, head lice treatment, dental and skin care products this August and September – helping parents to save on cost and ensure our little academics are in the best of health for the new school year!

Speaking about the survey results, Pharmacist at Haven Pharmacy Looby’s in Palmerstown Dublin, said:  

“As these survey results show, it’s very hard to escape the bugs and viruses that are associated with back to school, but it’s heartening to hear that nearly half of all parents turn to their pharmacist first to get advice. We would always encourage parents to come and talk to us if they have any concerns. With over 200+ pharmacists and 400+ staff in 52 stores nationwide, we are best placed to provide practical advice and treatments on everything from seasonal sickness to school bugs, bumps and bruises. And given that 75% of parents worry about their energy levels, we will also ensure that they are looked after too. So whether you need a pick-me-up, a confidential chat or some sound advice on everything from a common aliment to a chronic condition, please come and talk to us.”

Don Conroy, the legendary Artist and longest serving member of the Den, said: “I’m delighted to be working alongside Haven Pharmacy on this wonderful initiative. Colouring is a great way for young people to be introduced to the creative form, and can kick-start their imagination, opening up the creative journey that will enrich their lives. This can be echoed in our children’s schoolwork as they become more comfortable expressing themselves in their written and creative endeavours. Colouring can also be a welcome relief from studies, especially just having had the entire summer off! I want to wish all the children who take part in this year’s Expert Hands Colouring Competition the best of luck and I look forward to seeing the entries!”

To enter the Haven Pharmacy ‘Expert Hands Back to School Colouring Competition’, just pop into your local Haven Pharmacy and pick up a copy of Don Conroy’s illustration

The competition will have two separate age categories for kids aged 4 – 7 years old and 8 – 12 years old

‘Haven Pharmacy – you’re in expert hands.’

For more information, visit www.havenpharmacy.ie or

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