ATLANTA — Parents are calling out of work at record levels, seemingly over their sick children, data shows.
More than 100,000 people missed work last month due to childcare problems according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data comes as parents fight a growing list of viral infections dubbed as the "tripledemic" with cases of RSV, the flu, and COVID on the rise among children.
Lisa Boettcher said her 10-year-old daughter contracted RSV earlier this month. Boettcher says her daughter, Callie, broke out in hives and had to be out of school for more than a week.
She said she and her husband got very little sleep trying to take care of Callie -- while trying to not call out of work.
“Luckily my husband was able to do third shift, so he did third shift while I cared for her and then he cared for her while I worked in the morning - but it was definitely a struggle," explained Boettcher.
Not only is RSV posing a problem for some families, but doctors say colds, flu and COVID are plaguing children at an alarming rate.
“The rise we are seeing in respiratory illnesses among children is unprecedented," says Dr. Frita Fisher.
Executive director of a non-profit and mom of two, Ashley Brown said it's a daily battle trying to balance it all.
“I probably called out about three days because they were both sick at one point. You just do what you got to do and sometimes the kid's sickness trumps all the work that you have on your inbox," Brown said.
Doctors say that while parents may feel powerless, there are still some things they can do to protect their children and themselves.
"Make sure you sneeze into your arm or a tissue, use good hand hygiene, and if you are experiencing symptoms – put on that mask and socially distance from others," Fisher said.