Parents send sick pupils to school
Only around one in 10 parents would keep their child off school if they had measles or chicken pox, a new survey suggests.
Research on 3,000 parents found most would send their sick child to school, with only 12% saying they would keep them off for chicken pox, 9% for measles and 3% for worms.
Just 9% of parents said they would keep their child home if they had severe diarrhoea, 7% if they had flu and 10% if they had sickness or vomiting.
Only 2% admitted they would care for their child at home if they had a common cold and 3% if they had a respiratory infection.
The poll found 53% of parents believe flu can be passed on because of poor hand hygiene while 57% knew the common cold could be transmitted this way.
The survey, from the Co-operative Pharmacy, found 27% of parents had not taught their child to wash their hands with soap or an antibacterial wash, with 6% saying it should be taught in schools.
Alison Lyons, a pharmacist at the group, said: "It is never too early to educate children about the importance of hand washing.
"The new school term will see many children in one place all sharing resources and as the classroom can be a breeding ground for germs that cause colds and flu, it is the perfect time to promote good habits in the home.
"Parents often don't realise that they are putting their child at risk by not teaching them the basic principles of good hand hygiene. Introducing all family members to a hand washing routine reduces the risk of contracting serious infections, but also spreading them amongst family and friends."
Government figures show that pupils in England missed 9.04% of school sessions in 2009/10, with illness the most common reason.