One in every three parents is worried about losing pay – or even their jobs – when they miss work to look after sick children.
That’s the result of an American survey which highlighted the problem as a major challenge for mums and dads.
Almost half of the parents who responded said they’d missed work at some point in the last year to take care of their sick children, while one-quarter of parents had missed three or more days.
The problem is similar in the UK too. A study by Pushdoctor.co.uk revealed parents lose an average of three hours a month taking children to medical appointments or staying off work to care for a sick child.
A third of parents had taken three or more days off in the past year, while two thirds had taken at least one day off.
Many mums and dads feel uncomfortable about taking time off although there is a legal right to do so under British law.
Parents are concerned about increased work pressure and also worry about how their absence might be perceived in the workplace.
The survey also showed that women were almost three times more likely than men to take the primary caregiving role when both parents work.