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It's Tuesday morning. You're in a frenzy packing lunches for the day. You call up the stairs, "Come down for breakfast, Donnie!" But nine-year-old Donnie doesn't materialize and when you check on him, you find he hasn't even gotten out of bed. This kid is sick.

You have a meeting at work, as does Donnie's mom. So which one of you is going to have to call in sick today to look after the little guy?

According to a new study from the Institute of Labour Market Policy Evaluation in Sweden, it will likely be Donnie's mom.

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The study found Swedish women and men used sick days roughly equally but after the birth of a first child, mothers were absent from work due to sickness twice as often as fathers. The trend continued up until 15 years after the first child's birth. The study's authors note that the results could apply to other developed countries with a large population of women in the workforce.

Researchers didn't have any concrete explanations for this trend, but suggest it could be due to "women taking a larger responsibility for children and family."

Another recent study from North Carolina State University made the controversial finding that children of working mothers have higher rates of illness than stay-at-home mothers.

When your child is sick, which parent stays home?

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About the Author

Dakshana Bascaramurty is a national news reporter who writes about race and ethnicity. She won a 2013 National Newspaper Award in beat reporting for her coverage of changing demographics in the 905 region. Previously, she was a feature writer for Globe Life. More

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