Asthma, eczema and respiratory conditions are more than just uncomfortable – they can also be debilitating. So, it is no surprise that the conditions that are associated with unhealthy homes are also associated with higher school absence rates.
Children are missing school days
European children under the age of 15 will miss over 250,000 days in school due to respiratory conditions, about 365,000 days due to asthma, and almost 1,100,000 days because of issues related to eczema (in total 1.7 million).
Together, the conditions that are often linked to living in unhealthy homes are responsible for about 1.7 million missed school days. On average, this means about 2.5 missed school days per sick child per year because of illnesses that frequently correlate with an unhealthy indoor climate alone. In comparison, adults in Europe average a little fewer than 12 sick days per year10.
Missed work, missed opportunities
When a child is sick, it affects the entire family. Parents must stay home to care for their children, which means less productivity at work.
To illustrate this, one study showed that more than 40 percent of parents of children suffering from eczema reported missing work to care for their children, losing on average about three days a month11. For the children themselves, conditions like eczema and asthma are likely to last into adulthood, which could affect productivity in their own careers.