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Kids (and their illnesses) are bad for your health!


Photo posed: Thinkstock

Photo posed: Thinkstock

Photo posed: Thinkstock

EIGHT in 10 parents have been struck down by an illness caught from their children, according to a survey.

Mothers are the worst affected, with 84pc having caught a cold from their child, while half have caught a cough and 13pc have contracted an eye infection.

Parents with children living at home averaged 1.18 sick days off per year thanks to communicable diseases brought home by their offspring.

The poll of 1,000 people by development charity Sightsavers found that the most common ailments passed from child to parent were colds (79pc), coughs (48pc), diarrhoea and vomiting (35pc), head lice (26pc), chickenpox (17pc), eye infections (12pc) and dysentery (3pc).

The charity undertook the survey in order to draw attention to its work fighting trachoma in the developing world.

The infectious eye disease mainly affects women and children who live in hot, dry and dusty areas where there is poor availability of water and sanitation.

It is triggered by repeated infections which can cause the eyelashes to turn inwards, damaging the eye with every blink and slowly causing blindness, yet it can be treated with antibiotics if caught early.

Sightsavers ambassador Lorraine Kelly said: "Imagine if the illness you caught from your child was not only excruciatingly painful but could potentially blind you. This is the tragic truth with trachoma.

"What really struck me when I visited Sightsavers' work in Kenya was how transforming a small amount of money can be.

"I met mums who were losing their sight and were struggling to support their families; however, just £5 can pay for an operation to help treat the disease and save their sight."

The Sightsavers research was carried out for nfpsynergy by Research Now, using an online survey during January/February 2012