Survey: Canadian Adults Say Childhood Obesity, Bullying, School Violence and Internet Safety Top the List of Health Issues Facing Youth in Canada

RICHMOND, British Columbia, Sept. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new survey reveals the top concerns among Canadian adults when it comes to children and teens’ overall well-being. Physical inactivity and childhood obesity are among the top health issues for the vast majority (87%).  Around the same number (86%) feel that bullying and cyberbullying are concerning. School violence also topped the list (85%).

As more children have access to the internet and social media at school and via smartphones, many Canadians also expressed concerns about safety online. Eighty-five percent of Canadians sited internet safety as a problem for youth.  

“The survey results offer a valuable sense of both the concerns of Canadians and what our priorities as a community can be in addressing the health and safety problems faced by children and adolescents today,” says Gianni Del Negro, Pharmacist with London Drugs.

The first month of a new school year can be an especially challenging time for kids, with new teachers, new classmates, more challenging curriculum, and all of the social pressures that come along with that. About eight in ten (77%) Canadians feel that stress is a problem for youth.

A host of substance abuse issues were high on the list of concerns as well including alcohol and drug use (78%) as well as smoking (70%). 

“There is cause for concern about substance use especially given the vulnerability of young people and the accessibility of certain drugs,” explains Del Negro. “In fact, many prescription drugs that have a high potential for misuse come from the medicine cabinets of friends and families. Cleaning out your medicine cabinet and safely disposing of unused and expired medications at the pharmacy is one way we can all help reduce the potential harms.”

Vaccine Preventable Illnesses Concerning

In light of recent measles outbreaks in Canada, it is unsurprising that seven in ten (67%) Canadians feel that vaccine preventable illnesses are a concern for children and teens.

“The resurgence of measles over the last year has underscored both the importance of and the confusion surrounding vaccinations,” says Del Negro. “Scientific evidence shows vaccines to be safe and effective for children. What’s more is that by vaccinating your own child, you are helping to keep others in the community safe, especially newborns and people who have underlying illness and can’t be vaccinated.”

Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are required to provide immunity against the highly contagious disease, with the second booster dose usually administered around the time children begin to attend school1.

Even though influenza causes more hospitalizations among children than any other vaccine-preventable disease, just over fifty per cent (54%) of Canadians see cold and flu as a problem for young people.

“When people think about flu-related deaths they think its elderly patients with underlying health conditions who are most at risk. Complications from the flu can also be fatal for children including those who are otherwise healthy. Getting the flu vaccine might be the single most important thing you can do for children to prevent flu illness, missed school days, doctor’s visits, flu-related hospitalizations and even death,” advises Del Negro.

Nearly 2,500 adults across the country participated in the survey which was conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs. Both parents and nonparents were asked to identify health issues that they feel are problems for children and teens as the new school year gets underway.

ABOUT THE SURVEY

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs from August 22 to 28, 2019 among a representative sample of 2,492 English speaking Canadian adults.  The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 1.96 percentage points. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding.

ABOUT LONDON DRUGS
Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 82 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store www.LondonDrugs.com. London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

Pharmacists are available for interviews. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Cynnamon Schreinert, Media Relations
604-802-2733
cynnamon@hartleypr.com

Image inclusion:

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ec095903-85b3-4c09-8a17-659ffea69daa

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/705dc0ae-0204-4c3b-a48a-11b4e3057278

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1
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/canadian-immunization-guide-part-4-active-vaccines/page-12-measles-vaccine.html

 

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