Are You Too Sick to Work (cont.)

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Obviously going to work when you or your children can make others ill is not a good idea. Regarding contagious illnesses, many school systems have a "fever rule." Any child who is out sick must be fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to school. This rule is designed to keep those with contagious illnesses away from others, and it is likely a good way to ensure that kids with the flu, strep throat, or other serious infections don't spread the germs to others. Applying the fever rule will only work in certain situations, however. What about infections that may easily spread to others but don't necessarily cause a fever? The common cold, pinkeye, earache, and gastroenteritis are examples of conditions in which a fever may not be present. Instead of just considering fever, it's prudent to consider your symptoms and if you're unsure, err on the side of sparing your coworkers and call in sick or work from home. Remember that some people (who could be your coworkers), such as those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, those who have chronic conditions, and pregnant women may be particularly vulnerable to complications if they catch your illness.

Other kinds of conditions can also keep you home from work. Back pain, recovery from surgery, debilitating migraines, and broken bones may sometimes simply be associated with too much pain for you to work effectively, or the medications you take to control the pain could impair your work performance. The nature of your job also dictates what kind of medical conditions must keep you home. A desk worker may be able to work just fine while on crutches, but a lifeguard cannot.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/22/2016

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