Deciding that your child must stay home due to an illness can be a difficult decision for many parents. Sometimes, we feel as though we have no one to watch our child and that we can’t afford to take time off from work ourselves. Plus, you don’t want your child to get behind in their academics. Nonetheless, the need for your child to stay home from school while sick will come up sometime or another and there are a few ways parents can prepare for this inevitability.
Speak With Employers ASAP
Before flu season, it’s worth talking to your employer about how you have a child that could get sick. It’s a good idea to establish protocols for these scenarios beforehand, so you can potentially work from home, get coverage for your shift, or do whatever you need to in order to ensure that your child is cared for while you maintain employment.
Inquire About Options
You will want to establish early on at your job just how many sick days you have so you can keep track of where you’re at. Some employees allow you to take days off for things like child illnesses without using up your own sick days, so it’s worth asking and seeing if any such option is offered. Lastly, try scheduling at-home duties with a partner so you’re sure someone is always available in the case of an illness.
Have a Backup Plan in Place
Always keep in mind the number of a family member or friend who may be able to stay with your child if you for some reason are unable to. If you have someone available at a moment’s notice, it makes the stress of having to take off work much less apparent.
Try to Keep Supplies on Hand
Over-the-counter medications seem to get more and more expensive every year, but it’s still a great idea to keep some on hand just in case. Extra tissues are also great to have in case your child—or you—come down with a cold or flu. It’s a wise idea to keep all of these supplies on one centralized location in your home as well, this way if you do have someone else come look after your child, they’ll know where to look if some extra meds are needed.
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