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Over 1,300 per week call VHI nurseline

A Health helpline took almost 1,300 calls a week last year from people worried about symptoms of illness.

The Vhi NurseLine, which provides 24-hour access to nurses, fielded calls about issues such as vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperatures, rashes, coughs and abdominal pain.

The helpline was at the centre of a storm over Christmas when the advice service for children under the age of two was suspended and a voicemail told parents the service was unavailable.

NurseLine is only open to Vhi customers and provides support services for general medical queries and pregnancy.

Customers in Dublin placed the highest number of calls -- 20,000 out of a total of 67,000 over the year.

The figures have been released to coincide with the announcement that Vhi health will host free parenting seminars around the country targeted at parents of children in primary school.

The seminars are being given by parenting expert and clinical psychologist David Coleman (above) who presents the RTE series Teens In The Wild and Families In Trouble.

The parenting seminars will take place in four different locations -- in Galway in the Radisson Hotel on March 10, in Waterford in the Tower Hotel on March 24, in Dundalk in the Crowne Plaza Hotel on April 5 and in Dublin in Bewley's Hotel in Ballsbridge on April 14.