The Government are introducing flu vaccinations to all children in 2014. The scientific evidence shows that if you vaccinate the majority of children this will significantly reduce the number of children getting flu. Families want simple real world evidence that being vaccinated is worthwhile for the child and the family.

Understanding the need for medical evidence Patients Direct (a respected healthcare research company run by a group of Doctors), have launched an important medical survey to gather information directly from families UK wide regarding the effects of winter illness in the family.

What are the disruptions to family life if a child gets flu? 

Dr Neil Pumford, of Patients Direct, said: "The benefits of vaccinating children are two fold - firstly the protection for the individual child and some would say more importantly the reduced transmission to other household members especially adults. With this in mind we want to gather information to better understand the impact of flu related illness in the family. By studying families with a working adult and at least one child under 18 we can measure the impact of flu on the family - in terms of time off work/ school and use of the NHS."

Patients Direct is urging parents with children from across the UK to come forward and help with the survey.

Respondents will be asked to complete a short and simple questionnaire about their family, how many children are in the household, and how many in the household have contracted flu.

Patients Direct will make a donation to ChildLine for every completed survey. The research is sponsored by a Pharmaceutical company.

The online survey, which takes just five minutes to complete, can be found at www.myfamilyflu.co.uk or you can call Patients Direct on Freephone Number, 0800 731 2647 and talk in confidence to a Research Nurse.