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PTA Blog Talk

Children at Work

Published June 1, 2011 3:13 PM by Jason Marketti

On occasion, I have allowed one of my children to accompany me at work for several hours. This usually has not created problems while I treat patients and my child reads a book or finishes homework. I have worked for some companies that provide onsite daycare for younger children while the parent is working and this seems to benefit everyone involved.

I have also worked for companies that have a "no-children-in-the-workplace" policy. I am not sure that is the best policy a company can have; most companies do have allowances for this depending on the situation. My first job was a "no-children" worksite. It was a hospital and I understood there were safety issues involved. However, when the physician brought her autistic child to the ICU no one said a word.

In the SNF environment, I have seen children from schools come in and perform songs and dances. During the holiday season, children are often strolling the hallway handing out cards to the residents and this does not seem to create a problem. I have also seen employees beg a supervisor to allow their child to come to work for several hours due to childcare conflicts. Usually it is allowed on a contingency basis with a very stern warning to not let it happen again.

An employer is not able to ensure the safety of everyone's child in the workplace but provided that all other alternatives are exhausted, why not allow children to explore the working world that we inhabit? When I worked in pediatrics, I often brought my children in so they could play on the computers, jump in the ball pit and have a good time. We all loved it and still talk about it.


I have great memories visiting my father at the Pentagon, sitting at his desk and talking with the people he worked with.  If bringing children to work is unprofessional for a practioner does that include the patient as well?

Jason Marketti Marketti June 3, 2011 9:54 AM

I had a clinical with a PT who occassionally brought his children back to the office when he was unable to find someone else to pick them up from school.  It happened maybe 2-3 times in a 4 month period.  But, every time the kids were there, both patients and other PTs were very distracted.  The kids were well behaved, but the presence of a kid in a PT clinic was unique enough to draw attention away from patient care.  I think an occasional kid-at-work situation is fine, but a regular habit of bringing kids to work lacks some professionalism.  

Lisa West June 1, 2011 8:34 PM

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About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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