It’s September and parents have kept up with their kids all summer, but new research from Bupa UK Insurance has shown that 6.7 million parents have experienced back and neck injuries, muscle strains and sprains during playtime1.
The latest research from the health insurer shows that 13.4 million working days have been lost in the past year to “parental pains”, with mums and dads experiencing an average of five injuries of varying severity before their child reaches the age of 10.
Common causes of injuries among playful parents include lifting their children onto play equipment (22%), running after their children (20%) or being ‘played on’ (19%), but others report injuring themselves at school sports days, on bouncy castles and by going down a child’s slide. In unique cases injuries were caused by kicking a large stone buried in a sandpit and getting carried away with acting out a bedtime story3.
But while a significant number of parents have experienced injuries including sprains and strains, back and neck pain, pulled muscles or even broken bones4, just 15% have spoken to a specialist, risking making their injuries worse and lengthening recovery times.
Many (37%) of those who ditched the doctor reported being ‘too busy’ to visit their GP. But instead of seeking medical advice, a quarter (23%) of the nation’s parents are patching themselves up with painkillers, or even just waiting for the pain to pass (14%).
To help parents keep up with their active children, Bupa UK Insurance has released a new guide designed to keep parents injury-free.
Dr Damian McClelland, Clinical Director for Musculoskeletal Services at Bupa UK Insurance, comments on the findings: “Playing with your children can be one of the biggest joys as a parent, and can be great for bonding and development, but our research has shown it isn’t without risk.
“In my clinic I’ve seen my fair share of parents suffering serious injuries such as shoulder dislocations and fractures resulting in time off work and, in some cases, surgery. Suffering an injury can be disruptive for parents looking after active young children, and our guide aims to help mums and dads ensure they’re not risking their health during playtime.
“For those who do find themselves with “parental pains” our Direct Access service allows health insurance customers to skip the GP referral and see a specialist right away, to get back to quality family time as soon as possible.”