70% of parents are sending their sick kids to school because of work

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How many American parents are sending their sick kids to school? That answer remains unknown, but in the UK — it’s an epidemic.

Seven in 10 of British parents admitted to having sent their children to school when they are feeling ill or under the weather, according to a new poll, which interviewed 2,000 parents with children ranging from toddlers to teens.

One of the main reasons why parents are sending their kids sick to school was because they weren’t able to miss work.

A OnePoll study commissioned with hygiene and health company Essity wanted to find out how many kids were being sent to school sick, and why their parents were sending them in despite not feeling well.

Spread those germs

More than half of parents apparently don’t care about their kids’ classmates. Six in 10 admitted their kids went to school even with a contagious infection like a cold or a stomach bug. Even worse, a third of parents said they thought the illness their child had spread around the school after having them attend while sick.

Parents even felt guilty about sending their children to school sick. Almost one in four parents asked their kids to lie about feeling unwell in order to go to school, according to the survey.

“Juggling childcare with work can be difficult at the best of times, but when a child is unexpectedly sick, it can be a real challenge working out how to keep them off school and manage your job or workload,” Essity public health manager Liam Mynes said in a statement. “However, an unwell child can cause real issues for the school and lead to an illness affecting more children, and teachers too.”

Despite kids being sent to school when they’re not feeling 100%, parents do it to themselves, too. Four in 10 admitted to going to work despite being sick because they felt they weren’t “ill enough” while others (29%) felt their workload was too big and some (19%) said they take too much time off already to deal with their child’s illnesses.