I have not got a child theme set up for the theme I'm using, though there is an update for the theme now. I've had a google and they say that if you don't have a child theme you will loose your "customisation".
When they say customisation are they referring to any code you've altered? As I haven't altered any. Or are they referring to any content, posts, pictures, changes to the home page you've made (through the customise UI in the appearance section).
If it does refer to the content, posts etc. is there any easy plugin or other way of easily restoring that to the updated theme, without having to go through setting up a child theme?