Aussie women are the real target of the dreaded winter cold and flu season, with a new study revealing that stressed out, overworked and rundown mums are compromising their own health, work and social life to stay home and take care of their sick children.
Commissioned by Wagner Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract™, the Newspoll survey of more than 1200 Australians aged 18-64 showed that 60% of Aussie mums were very likely to cancel any plans they had to stay home and mind their sick children – 13% higher than dads – and over three in five (61%) said they would let their unwell child sleep in their bed to comfort them, compared to 55% of fathers.
An overwhelming majority (86%) of parents with children younger than 12 were likely to take the day off work to stay home with their sick child, and three in five said they would not send their child to school or day care if they were ill, even if they had been given medicine.
Four in five women (78%) believed they were at major risk of catching a cold or flu from a sick person at home, compared to just 65% of men, and a further 75% of women said that being overworked, rundown or stressed was a major risk factor, significantly higher than just 59% of men.
Sydney naturopath and TV presenter Emma Sutherland said the findings highlight the need for women to have a strong, healthy body before the winter months hit. She said high levels of stress lead to immune suppression, increasing the body’s likelihood of catching a cold or flu.
“Mums are usually the primary caretaker in the household and very often have to juggle the various pressures of everyday life. Between keeping their productivity and energy levels up at work, managing the household chores and taking care of sick children – winter can be a very intense period for women,” said Ms. Sutherland.
The survey also exposed the more disgusting drawbacks of the dreaded winter cold and flu. Almost nine in 10 (85%) Aussies have witnessed people who do not use a tissue or hanky to wipe their nose, four in five have seen people wipe their nose on their sleeve, and around half have had someone sneeze on the back of their neck, or experienced a snotty handshake.
Women were particularly more at risk of catching a cold or flu from being subject to a child sneezing in their face with 71% experiencing this, compared to just 59% of men.
When it came to preventative techniques to fight the onset of cold and flu, nine in 10 Australians said they undertook regular hand washing. Interestingly, 86% of women said they ate plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, compared to just 77% of men, while men were much more likely to take the ‘easy option’ with over two in five (43%) choosing to get a flu vaccination – 9% higher than their female counterparts.
More than one in two (53%) Aussies said they use vitamins and supplements to help ward off cold and flu.
“Relaxation methods, good quality sleep, a healthy diet, regular exercise, washing your hands often, and boosting your immunity with natural supplements will all help you fight infections,” said Emma Sutherland.
Ms. Sutherland said she often prescribes the use of an aged garlic supplement to patients due to its ability to fight and prevent colds and flu, and because it is a natural antibiotic and powerful antioxidant.
“Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract uses a unique, award-winning natural process, taking 20 months to complete, that converts the unstable compounds found in raw garlic to immune boosting antioxidants. The result is a super-charged garlic that helps support the body’s natural immune defences against cold and flu, without the garlic breath,” Emma Sutherland said.
Influenza hospitalises 15,000 Australians and claims the lives of around 2500 each year, which is why Emma Sutherland recommends preventative techniques to help boost the body’s immunity and improve its ability to ward off winter colds and flu.
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE NEWSPOLL SURVEY
• The top three most common methods undertaken to prevent getting a cold/flu were regular hand washing (90%), eating lots of fruit and vegies (82%), and avoiding contact with infected people (68%).
• The factors most often cited as being a major risk were a member of one’s household being infected (71%), being overworked, rundown or stressed (67%) and a work colleague having a cold (63%).
• Three in four women believe that being overworked, rundown or stressed is a major risk factor for catching a cold/flu, compared to men at just 59%.
• Compared to their male counterparts, there is a significantly higher incidence of women who say that catching a cold/flu is the result of the following major risk factors: being overworked, rundown or stressed; air-conditioning in the home or workplace; not eating the right foods; and a member of the household having a cold.
• Over eight in 10 Australians aged 18-64 say that they are likely to take regular over-the-counter medication when they have a cold or flu, compared to 68% who say they will take a natural remedy or supplement.
• The vast majority of Australians aged 18-64 say they are likely to: cancel social events or outings (85%); minimise household activities (79%); avoid physical contact with their spouse/partner (77%); and take the day off work (73%).
• Among parents of children aged under 12, 93% claim they are likely to cancel any plans if their child is sick so they can take care of them. 86% say it is likely they will take them to a Doctor or GP, and 58% say it is likely they will let their child sleep in the bed to comfort them.
• More than half (53%) of Australians aged 18-64 say they use vitamins and/or herbal supplements as a preventative measure for fighting colds and flu.