Power of the common playground cold

Survey reveals the power of the common playground cold...

A nationwide consumer survey[1], commissioned by ProVen Probiotics, targeting 1,000 parents of primary school age children has revealed that:

  • Two thirds of children took days off school due to the common cold last year.
  • More than 50% of those who went to the doctor were prescribed antibiotics, despite new national guidance against their prescription[2].
  • Fathers take more time off work than mothers to look after their children when they are ill.

With a continued reliance on antibiotic prescription for viral illnesses such as coughs and colds, it is not surprising that 61% of parents surveyed said that their child had taken at least one day off school in the past year due to these illnesses. Antibiotics are designed to combat bacterial infections and are thus ineffective in relieving the symptoms of coughs and colds in our children.

Recent guidance from NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) stated that doctors should tell patients when antibiotics are inappropriate, refuse to write prescriptions and discuss other options for treatment.[3]

NICE Professor, Mark Baker said in a recent statement that overprescribing antibiotics is a “really hazardous practice”, as using them inappropriately for sore throats and colds increases the risk of resistance of bacteria and viruses to the antibiotics.[4]

ProVen Probiotics has introduced new Fit for School stick packs and chewable tablets as a natural way to halt the cough and cold merry-go-round. Fit for School has been shown in a recent published trial[5] to:

  • Reduce incidence of coughs and colds by a third
  • Halve the number of days of illness
  • Reduce absenteeism from school by a third
  • Thus reduce childcare by a third
  • Reduce the days with a runny nose or sore throat by a third
  • Reduce visits to the doctor and consequently antibiotic prescription by 43%


[1] 1,000 UK parents with children aged between 4-11 years old. July 2015

[3] NICE information for the public – Using antimicrobial medicines safely and wisely to treat infections. 18 August 2015 http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng15/resources/using-antimicrobial-medicinces-safely-and-wisely-to-treat-intections-95909387461

[5] ProChild Study 2014 http://www.lab4probiotics.co.uk/the-prochild-study/