Children from 5 to 17 years old on average miss more than three days of school per year for health reasons. Younger children not only need supervision, but also may need someone to administer medicine and take them to medical appointments. Yet more than 2 million working people in Pennsylvania do not have a single paid sick day to use to care for a sick child. Many parents without sick days have no choice but to send sick children to school or child care, putting the health of other children, teachers and child-care providers are put at risk.
When parents are able to stay home and care for their children when sick, it not only keeps other children and individuals from becoming sick, but also shortens the child’s recovery time when cared for by their parents. The presence of parents has been found to shorten a child’s hospital stay by 31 percent, therefore also reducing health care costs.
Without access to paid time off, parents don’t have the option of staying home or taking their children to the doctor. Working parents with paid sick time or paid vacation days are five times more likely to stay home to care for their sick children than those without paid time off. With paid sick days, parents are able not only able to care for their children when they are sick but they also can take the time to take their children for check ups and for immunizations, which may prevent serious illnesses.
Please sign this petition to tell your legislators we all need paid sick days! You can also contact your state legislators and ask them to co-sponsor HB 1830, the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act.