How are you and the kids surviving the new term? It has been ‘all change’ at most schools and nurseries with new routines, new classes and extra hygiene. And after six months of families being at home together all the time, more than half of parents (55 per cent) are worried about ‘separation anxiety’ as they return to workplaces and children go back to schools and nurseries.
Research of 2,000 mums and dads of children aged up to 16 found a third also fear their families will struggle to ‘return to normal’ after spending so much time together recently.
Nearly four in 10 parents are nervous about their children returning to school or nursery, while a third think they have become more protective as a parent.
And one in four admitted to feeling a need to ‘wrap their children in cotton wool’ as they return to their old routines.
The study, commissioned by self-care company Perrigo UK and Ireland, also found four in 10 parents have found comfort in being able to protect their family’s health while at home.
As a result, 60 per cent think it’s a good idea to take extra precautions as they return to ‘normal.
Laure de Brauer, a spokeswoman from Perrigo UK and Ireland said: “We’ve all experienced a heightened awareness of our families’ health in recent months.
“It will be a learning curve for us all to feel comfortable again, but many parents are finding peace of mind in taking extra precautions to keep their families healthy.
“We believe self-care is vitally important, particularly in these uncertain times, so it’s encouraging to see consumers feeling empowered to take their wellbeing into their own hands as much as possible.”
The study also revealed nearly half of parents worry their kids will fall unwell when returning to school or nursery, with 14 per cent concerned their children will get head lice.
And 17 per cent fret about how a new routine might affect their sleep.
As a result, 34 per cent have been making sure their medicine cabinet is well stocked with over the counter medications.
Mums and dads have also been taking hand sanitiser to work and packing it in their child’s school bag or boosting their youngster’s immune system with vitamins.
The research, conducted via OnePoll, found the average parent has already spent over £20 on preventative health measures to protect their family for their return to ‘normality’.
Benjamin Rice-Jones, a spokesperson for Abidec, one of the brands under the Perrigo umbrella, said: “It’s great to see parents considering how prevention is better than cure, and trying to build up their children’s immunity as much as possible.
“It’s amazing how just taking little steps every day to build up immunity can make such a difference to both parent and child.
But it’s not just their kids’ health that parents are anxious about – three in 10 parents are worried that they themselves will get ill when they return to the office.
And 22 per cent are afraid their sleep will be affected by their return to work.
Farah Ali, superintendent pharmacist at Warman-Freed, Perrigo’s leading pharmacy, said: “This study shows that the concept and benefits of self-care are taking hold among Brits.
“Certainly, I would always advocate to families to look for OTC self-care solutions for the prevention and cure of common ailments.
“This should always be a first step. And in these uncertain times, this is truer than ever before.
“Having the ability to look after yourself and your dear ones will definitely help families navigate ‘separation anxiety’ as we return to a new normal.”