Parents struggle when missing work to care for sick children

It’s October 1st, which means fall, football, festivals…and the flu. With the risk of flu and seasonal allergies, many kids might start to get sick and have to stay home from school. For the kids, missing school might not seem like a big deal. But for working parents, staying home with a sick child might be a challenge.

In October of 2012, our NPCH Report focused on the issues working parents face when having to take off work to stay home with their sick children. In 2012, 42% of parents with young children missed work due to a child’s illness. 26% missed work three or more times in one year. Results showed that one-third of parents with young children were concerned about losing their jobs or losing pay when having to take off work to care for their sick children.

Figure 1. When kids get sick: Concerns among parents with kids in child care

This flu season, take extra precautions to stay healthy. The CDC recommends vaccination in October each year for all individuals 6 months and older. For more information on flu prevention, visit

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