This paper investigates the relationship between parental illness and children’s engagement in education and labour market, using a panel data from Vietnam. While there is substantial evidence showing the intergenerational transmission of health, the literature investigating the impact of parental health on children’s educational and labour market outcomes is limited, especially in developing countries. We use child fixed effects and control for a detailed set of household and local area characteristics. Our main findings show that maternal illness substantially decreases chances of being enrolled in school for children between 11 and 23 years old and, at the same time, increases the children’s likelihood of entering the labour market and working more hours. The effect is particularly pronounced for girls, who seem to experience worst adverse consequences in terms of education and labour market engagement.