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Last updated 5 years ago

You feel those sniffles and aches coming on, but are you really so sick that you need to call out of work? Most adults will say no, but there are definitely times that you should!

Three questions to ask yourself before calling in sick:

  • Am I a danger to myself or others? If you are extremely dizzy, you probably should not be driving to work, or if you are extremely groggy it would not be safe to be at work.
  • Am I contagious?  If you work in close quarters to other co-workers or work with elderly or small children it is better to err on the cautious side and call out of work.
  • Will I be productive? If you go to work, will you actually be able to do work?  Are you in a fog that prevents you from focusing, etc? Going to work while sick could also worsen an illness, resulting in a longer time out of the office.

After asking yourself those questions and still need a more solid answer, consider your symptoms:

  • Sniffles, sneezing, cough, and fever – if you are sniffling with no other symptoms it is most likely allergies, and you are fine to go to work.  However, if you have a stuffy nose, serious cough, sinus pressure, as well as feel achy and tired, it is most likely a cold or the flu. These illnesses are most contagious in the early stages, so if you recognize the signs early, stay home.  It is also important to stay home because dehydration can occur.
  • Headaches and migraines – if your headache is paired with other cold or flu-like symptoms, it is best to stay home.  A migraine with light-sensitivity also makes working extremely difficult.

For more information on if you should call in sick to work click here.  If any of your symptoms last more than a few days, schedule a visit with your doctor. You may need antibiotics or other medicine to speed up recovery time.

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