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Survey details top reasons parents are missing work this winter

From illness to childcare issues, Delta Dental survey breaks down why most parents won't be at the office

OAK BROOK, Illinois - January 26, 2016 - When it comes to having to miss work this winter, few, if any, are hit harder than parents. But what are the top reasons they'll be absent from the office? The survey results, out today from Delta Dental Plans Association, details why most parents say they'll have to miss at least some work this season.

Top 8 reasons that'll keep parents home from the office this winter:


  1. Being sick: 57% of parents say they'll likely miss work due to their own illness.
  2. Sick children: Just over half (53%) say they'll have to stay home to care for a sick child. But it's mom who's most likely to stay home (65% of mothers vs. 41% of fathers).
  3. Weather: Half of parents (50%) say extreme weather is likely to keep them home. Regionally, parents in the Northeast have the highest likelihood of missing work due to weather at 66%, followed by 54% of Midwestern and 51% of Southern parents who would miss work. In the west, severe weather will likely affect only 33% of parents' ability to get to work.
  4. Family emergencies affect more than one-third of parents. Coping with family emergencies and engagements is equally handled by mom and dad; 36% of fathers and 35% of mothers are likely to miss work because of such events.
  5. Holiday-related travel will keep roughly 18% of parents away from work this winter.
  6. Child's oral health issues (such as cavities or routine dental checkups) are likely to have 17% of parents taking time off from work. Parents in the Midwest (24%) are far likelier to miss work for oral health care than Westerners (10%) and dads are more likely to take time off for this issue than moms (20% vs 14%).
  7. Childcare issues will affect 16% of parents, especially those between the ages of 25-34 and is a particular issue in the Midwest. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of 25- to 34-year-olds will miss work due to of childcare problems. Midwest parents report the highest work absences on the issue in the nation, with 23% reporting they'll likely have to miss work because of childcare issues.
  8. Parent's oral health issues will account for roughly 9% missing work this winter.

This question was taken from a Fall/Winter omnibus survey conducted by Kelton Global between October 26th and 29th, 2015 among 1,013 nationally representative Americans 18+. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percent.