What would you do - about a sick child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So last weekend my family went to my cousin's child's 4th bday party.  My almost 2 yr old was playing with all the kids there, including the birthday boy.  Well near the end of the party I saw the bday boy lying on the couch looking tired.  I thought maybe he got into a fight or was just being whiny.  But after talking to my cousin I found out he was sick.  They were giving him medicine every 3-4 hours for a fever!  We left soon after that.

 

Well what do you know 3 days later my son gets sick - with a fever, puking, diarrhea, congestion, the works!  He gets my 4mth old sick.  Now my DH is sick.  Between the two of us we've missed work (I don't have vacay days) and still have to pay the sitter for the days the boys missed.

 

Would you say something to the child's parents?  I mean why would they have a bday party with a house full of kids, for their sick child!  If he has a fever that can only be brought down with meds, he's still contagious right?  And from talking to the Dad, no it was not for something like an ear infection that isn't contagious.


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#2 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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I suppose it depends on what the relationship is like and how frequently I intend to see this family. I mean. If my sister did something like this, I'd say something. If it was merely an acquaintance or we saw the child infrequently, I'd probably just let it go.

 

If there is going to be a next time, I might call a little before a scheduled event to "just make sure" that everyone is feeling healthy.

 

But I generally work from the idea that people aren't malicious in doing these kinds of things--they probably just have a different set of priorities that they use to make decisions than the ones I use.

 

I once took my DD to the local Children's Museum when she seemed a little under-the-weather (which I wrongly attributed, at the time, to general winter-induced malaise) and while there she suddenly developed a very high fever, became genuinely/obviously quite ill, and then had the worst influenza ever (DH and I missed tons of work and both got it too..it makes me shudder just to think of it). I felt awful about all the little children we might have infected. :( I wish I had really taken the time to evaluate her health before taking her, but I didn't, because I was so eager for her to go and have fun. I try to do better now.


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#3 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 11:07 PM
 
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yeah, say something. you don't have to be angry or hostile about it, but just let them know that your kid got sick after being over there. "just thought you should know." see what THEY say in return. that will tell you more about the situation than berating them ever would.


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#4 of 15 Old 03-08-2011, 12:21 AM
 
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I think this is a really hard and fine line to walk. I agree with PP who said to just chalk it up to diff priorities from yours. I don't take my kids out or have others over when one of mine has a fever but I *do* take them out with snotty noses because if I didn't we'd be stuck inside all.winter.long. I also accept that indoor playdates in the winter are essentially germ-socials and I assume my kids will get sick afterward. 

 

But back to your question: should you say something? I'd say no. What can come of it? What are the odds that you will be in that situation again? You'll likely just end up creating bad feelings. I always feel like cr&p when I come to the realization that we've passed our germs on to others unintentionally. I can only imagine what it would feel like to be berated for it guilty.gif


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#5 of 15 Old 03-08-2011, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just feel like maybe they should have warned me at least, I had my 4mth old son there.  Some kids can be introduced to sickness and germs and be okay, but at 4mths his immune system isn't as great as my older son's.  Him getting sick is worse than my 2yr old getting sick.  Now he has no voice for crying, has a hard cough, and I just feel so bad for him.

 

I probably won't say anything, mainly cuz it has already been over a week since we've seen them and we only see them 2-3 times a year anyways.  I guess I'm just mad.


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#6 of 15 Old 03-08-2011, 08:25 AM
 
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What will you get from talking to/confronting them??  You are already sick, as is your family so that ship has sailed.

 

Do you want an apology? For her to pay for your sitter/missed days at work? Or do you want to make her feel bad?

 

Sure- she should have give everyone a heads up but illnesses happen. Adults do this all time- medicate themselves so they can keep working. 

 

Bottom line the same thing could have happened if the party was few days earlier or later. Many of these types of illnesses are contagious long before and/or long after the symptoms start and you would have been in the same position.


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#7 of 15 Old 03-08-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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I really hear your frustration that you had to miss work, etc. And that stuff sucks, I agree. But I think I come to this from a different place. Nobody "makes" you sick. Unless we want to live Howard Hughes-type reclusive lives, just going about our business will expose us to hundreds/thousands/gazillions of pathogens, every day. That's why we have immune systems, right? Either your immune system clears the bug, or you get sick for a while - but then you're also building immunity to that illness. It's just part of life.

 

 


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#8 of 15 Old 03-08-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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I would make it a point to talk about it just to prevent it from happening again, which it very well may the next time you are there. I am sorry that they jeopardized your family's health, especially your young infant's. I hope that you are all feeling better soon.

Even if the host/hostess did not wish to cancel the party, it would have been common decency to call party goers the morning of and let them know there is a sick child but s/he will still be holding the party. Then people could attend knowing the risk. Your family likely could have stayed home then. It's one thing to be exposed to germs in everyday life when it is not preventable but this was a preventable situation.

 

 

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#9 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 12:24 AM
 
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I'd mention my kid got sick after the party, but if they don't see a problem with exposing a whole party full of kids to a sick kid, the chances of their minds changing because you say something probably isn't so good.  It was selfish of them to want to expose a bunch of kids rather than to reschedule for a day when their child would be feeling better.  But there's nothing you can do now about it.  Next time there's a party, ask if anyone's sick.

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#10 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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This just happened to me, except the sick child was a guest at my sons birthday party.  The sick kid coughed right in my sons face and within days he was very ill.  Literally all of the mom's at the party were freaking out about this coughing hacking kid running around.  But what do you do?  "Thanks for coming, but please leave?"  Yea, probably not...

 

I was upset with the situation for many reasons:  1) That a sick child was brought my my sons birthday party and she is barely an aquaintance. 2) She was in attendance, sick, where several young babies were known to be in attendance as well.  3)  She didn't once cover her mouth, nor did her mother ask her to cover he mouth.  When my bff suggested to to the girl (she's 6) that she cover he mouth, the girl seemed appalled that someone would ask her to do such a thing. 4) I'm pregnant, and this was known at the time of the party.  5) My DH ended up sick as well.

 

Like you, also really wanted to bring it up to my friend, but really couldn't figure out the right way to do it.  I decided I'd let my Facebook world know that my son was sick (status "Day 3 with a sick toddler. My poor baby.") and see what I got back.  She did comment, and acknowledged that it was probably her daughter that got him sick and sent her sympathy.  I was still annoyed at the time, but now I really appreciate her stepping up like that.  I know it doesn't change what happened, but just having that acknowledgement somehow let's me not hold it against her...well, not as much anyway.  wink1.gif 

 

I agree with the pp that situations like this are totally preventable.  I don't need to intentionally expose him to illnesses when he's unintentionally exposed to them all the time. 


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#11 of 15 Old 03-10-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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When my oldest was about 8 months old, we went to a get together of families with similar age babies.  One family had an older child, who was really sick, and halfway through vomited a bunch of snot on the floor because he was so congested and sick.  I was completely appalled.

 

But, in the years since then, as I've been friends with more people with multiple children, I think a lot of people start to think, "Ugh, one of these kids is always sick!  If I canceled things every time one of my kids is sick, I would never do anything at all.  Not to mention they are all constantly exposed to other sick kids every day at day care/preschool/school/."

 

I almost have more sympathy for the family that would have to cancel their child's birthday party [what a huge pain, and probably the bday boy would be incredibly disappointed], than for a guest who could much more easily skip the party.

 

I'm not saying what they did was right, and I would be mad, too.  But I can understand the thinking behind it a little.  They definitely should have warned you since you have a tiny infant.

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#12 of 15 Old 03-10-2011, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand what you are saying akat, but I saw him a couple times laying on the couch, looking tired & miserable.  He was even covered in a blanket at one point.  I think he was too sick to even be having a party.  A cold or runny nose I can understand, but a fever that needs meds every 3-4 hours to keep it down is not okay in my book.  I mean, my babysitter won't even take my kid if they have a fever that can't be kept down w/out meds.  And there were about 20 kids there! (alot of cousins LOL).


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#13 of 15 Old 03-10-2011, 08:00 PM
 
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Yeah, you're right.  They should have canceled the party.  I have a sick kid right now and just am feeling in touch with that moment of 'ugh, let's just pretend everything is okay'  that comes before you bite the bullet and make that painful choice to cancel something big.  :)

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#14 of 15 Old 03-10-2011, 08:30 PM
 
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I know what just what you mean... I have a SIL who's priorities are definitely different. My nephews were just germ factories, bless their hearts, and ANY time we got together - which was fairly frequently, due to somewhat monthly get-togethers at my mom's. It was literally like SHE wasn't going to deny HER children the experience, and everyone else be darned, but I know her, and I know that's not really her attitude? I think it just didn't register for her. We parent VERY differently, from nutrition to discipline to... you name it. But she's not a thoughtless person. She's just on a different wavelength, where if the boys weren't sick enough to keep home (and they did show up acting much like your cousin's kiddo a few times) in her mind, then there was no reason to say anything to anyone. So we'd show up, and sure enough, there they were, sick and coughing and snot everywhere. It was really frustrating, because of course I want my kids to spend time with their grandparents and family, and they love their cousins, but I was feeling I had to choose between health and relationships. And it wasn't just the dinners - I'd take my kids over there when I knew my nephews weren't there to visit, and they'd show up. Sick. Mom would be watching my kids so my SIL would drop hers off with Mom too, "so they could play" and they'd be sick. Yes, I spoke with my mom repeatedly about it, and if she knew the boys were sick she'd let me know, but it was a long all too diplomatic journey to get my SIL to realize that for us, and for me with my weak lungs - my kids got over things pretty easily but I'd catch it and be down for days - it was more important to stay healthy than for the kids to play together. Winters were miserable, but in the summer we were usually fine.

 

I started with calling or texting to "see how they were all feeling" since WE had all seemed to get sick after the last dinner. Then if my kids were even a little bit snotty, or whatever, even if I knew it was just allergies, I'd let HER know beforehand, so she could make the choice of whether or not to expose her kids to mine... it took awhile, but she did start letting me know if her kids weren't feeling well from time to time at least. Then we ended up moving so far away it didn't matter any more, and I kind of miss their snotty little noses, haha.

 

But... like you said, it's only occasionally. Maybe you could call and see if the birthday boy is doing any better (if you could do it with sincerity?) and start a conversation about it like that? In that context saying you all got sick later wouldn't be so accusatory and maybe they'd apologize, or better yet, realize what a bad idea it had been to go ahead with the party? I sound all magnanimous now, but there were a few times when I was just so mad that we were sick AGAIN when all I wanted was dinner with my parents, yk? It took quite awhile (and probably not having to worry about it anymore) to really get to where I could see that my SIL was just flaky in that way, quite possibly desperate to get her boys out of the house (they are a serious handful) and meant no harm.

 

It's so hard when they're so sick and so tiny like your LO. I'm sorry you guys got ambushed by such a nasty bug!


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#15 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I actually ended up seeing her yesterday at my sister's baby shower.  And SHE was sick!  She started talking about how sick her son has been (the birthday boy) and I casually mentioned how my kids got sick after his party.  They had the same symptoms as the birthday boy too, so I'm pretty much guessing they definitely got it from him.  I guess his sickness had been going around his daycare and he actually still has remnants of it left, like being nauseas and not eating much.  My boys just have colds left.

 

I feel better just mentioning it to her, but she didn't apologize or acknowledge that her son got them sick.  But that's okay, I'm okay now and not as mad, especially knowing that her boy isn't over it 100% still.


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