Vent! Sick kids in school - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS started kinder two weeks ago. Last night he woke up in the middle of the night with a very croupy cough...bad enough that we needed to sit in the steam from the shower for him to be able to breath. I expected & feared that starting school would expose him to all kinds of fun new germs, but man!
What really pissed me off was that last night at parents night I heard at least three parents saying how great their kids were adjusting: "She's/he's so happy that she wants to come school even tho' she's got the sniffles/runny nose/cough." I'm thrilled that your kids want to come to school. But, please please please keep them home if they're sick!

Of course, all this big reaction on my part is added to by being very pregnant (due tomorrow!), trying to keep my sick kid occupied, & not wanting to labor with a cold. Also, my DS has febrile seizures...so we're super careful about exposure to fevers, etc.

Thanks for listening, parents...can anyone else identify? Or am I being unreasonable?

Loving mama to magical boys Skyler (11/21/03) and Gryffin Emrys (9/30/08). 

 

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#2 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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Best wishes and strength for your about-to-be-borne babe!!!

This is one of my biggest irritations as a parent and I am NOT pregnant and do NOT have a child with any particular medical condition. In fact, I'm actually worried that she doesn't get sick enough and therefore isn't building up immunity.

When dd was 2.5 yo, I tried her in a big, institutional YMCA daycare program part-time. She was sick for 2 months straight. One day, I went to pick her up and there was a little boy sitting away from the other kids (not that far away, though; at the other end of the table). He looked miserable and while I was there, the teacher had to run with him to the bathroom for him to throw up. The teacher said he'd been vomiting since NOON and his parents were on their way. It was 4 o'clock!! In a room with lots of other little toddlers. I was dumbfounded. My dd had just gotten over a horrible infection with 8 days of 104-degree fever and a bright red, sunburn-like rash that included the whites of her eyes.

I took her out. I worked nights and weekends for a year.

Then we happened on a wonderful little home preschool with 14 other kids. The owner is ALWAYS washing things down and getting the kids to wash their hands. And you know, despite being there 2 full days/week she was only mildly sick once all last year.

Cleanliness in those situations is everything, IME. I would try to find out more about the school's cleaning procedures, if you're concerned. I would also find out what the policies are around sick kids and make complaints if you think they're being violated.

I know lots of parents feel they have no other choice, because of work or whatever, in sending their kids to school sick. And I know colds can really just be colds and you can't keep them home with the sniffles all the time. But I absolutely cannot tolerate people sending sick kids to school. It's just not fair.
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#3 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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My daughter's school has very specific guidelines for when children should be sent to school and when they should stay home.

We are supposed to send kids to school with a cough unless it's accompanied by a fever or the child is coughing up phlegm. If the child is coughing up phlegm, we take the child to the doctor, and if the doctor says the child can go to school we are supposed to send them even if the child is still coughing up phlegm.

We are supposed to send them to school if they have a runny nose with no fever.

We got a list of symptoms and when to send to school. I really think our school's policy is standard practice, and that your expectation that every child with a runny nose stay home is unreasonable. Here are a couple of links:

http://www.pediatricsnow.com/metrowe...when_sick.html

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/fe...ick-for-school
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#4 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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My child's school has very unfriendly absence policies, which means that yes I usually send children to school if they only have a cold. If I kept her home for every cold, the school would be harassing me for excess absences. However fevers and diarrhea are definitely stay home worthy.
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#5 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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hmmm-i just started a similar thread about this in the parenting forum...

i have a one year old. he doesn't go to school yet and isn't in daycare but it applies to playgrounds and play groups as well.

i often hear other moms complaining and blaming other kids (and their parents) for "getting their kid sick". it seems a bit silly. it happens. me being irritated about it isn't going to stop my kid from being sick or make him better quicker.

do i want my kid exposed to the flu? no not really, but getting sick and recovering is part of developing an immune system.

i would not purposely drop my feverish, vomiting, or diarrhea afflicted child off at school, day care or take them to a play group. those bugs also get passed around before the symptoms manifest.

the sniffles/cough/clear mucus- not much you can do about that and i don't think it's that big of a deal to be honest.

at school age it does become an absence issue. maybe the best thing to do would be to teach older kids to wash their hands, keep hands away from mouth and face, and start a vitamin c/cod liver oil regimen.

OP- sorry you are pg and dealing with a sick child.
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#6 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stickywicket67 View Post
i would not purposely drop my feverish, vomiting, or diarrhea afflicted child off at school, day care or take them to a play group. those bugs also get passed around before the symptoms manifest.

the sniffles/cough/clear mucus- not much you can do about that and i don't think it's that big of a deal to be honest.

Yep, I agree. I don't consider plain old sniffles/light cough/runny nose to be sick. Add a fever to any of those and that I consider being sick.
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#7 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stickywicket67 View Post

i would not purposely drop my feverish, vomiting, or diarrhea afflicted child off at school, day care or take them to a play group.
You would be supprised at how many parents have no problem doing this.......
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#8 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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You would be supprised at how many parents have no problem doing this.......
Well vomiting and diarrhea violates health department guidelines whereas a basic cold does not.
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#9 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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Colds they go. If they are acting sick by being lethargic, fevers, throwing up they don't go. Actually my 1 child if she throws up she may go, she's hypoglycemic & if her blood sugars get low she gets a headache & throws up. An hour later she's fine.

You can't keep kids with colds from school. you also don't know 100% that the child got it from school. Everyone carries germs all the time. It could have come from going to the store, if you work, if your DP works it could have come from there.
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#10 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stickywicket67 View Post
do i want my kid exposed to the flu? no not really, but getting sick and recovering is part of developing an immune system.

i would not purposely drop my feverish, vomiting, or diarrhea afflicted child off at school, day care or take them to a play group. those bugs also get passed around before the symptoms manifest.

the sniffles/cough/clear mucus- not much you can do about that and i don't think it's that big of a deal to be honest.

at school age it does become an absence issue. maybe the best thing to do would be to teach older kids to wash their hands, keep hands away from mouth and face, and start a vitamin c/cod liver oil regimen.

OP- sorry you are pg and dealing with a sick child.
: Aside from being an attendance issue with school-aged kids there is also the fact that for working parents you cannot take a day off everytime your kid has a sniffle. I know, been there, done that and its not good for your job security. My dd is in daycare pt and I am self-employed so I have some flexbility when it comes to her having a cold but with my eldest kid I was a single Mama and I had to work. Did I take him to school when he was clearly sick, of course not...but a sniffle/cough, yeah he went, just like I would go to work in the same situation.

I also know that come winter time in our house, colds tend to pass around so much that if we stayed home for every sniffle we would never leave the house.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#11 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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Im going to play devils advocate here for a second, NO one knows 100% where and when their kids get sick. And by the time the symptoms are showing the incubation period has long passed so they have been sharing those germs way before they even showed any ANY signs of being sick.

so sorry you little one is sick and yucky... thats no fun, but it is building up his immune system
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#12 of 17 Old 09-18-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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The first year (fall/winter) in a new school is tough. Lots of new germs. My oldest was sick non stop his first year at preschool at age 4. Actually we decided not to send him to preschool a year earlier at age 3 because I did have a brand new baby. I knew he would bring it all home and he did. His second year there went much much better.

My little one has a runny nose right now. It was not bad yesterday so I dropped him off this morning not thinking about it. Of course it got worse all day : No fever, no acting sick, just runny nose. I got the evil eye when I picked him up. Our school handbook says no runny noses.
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#13 of 17 Old 09-19-2008, 12:37 AM
 
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Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my mother was a paramedic... I ask my ds the same questions she would ask me "Did you throw up? Do you feel dizzy? Does the light bother you?" If he says he fell and hurt something "Can you move your fingers/toes/etc. Squeeze my hand. Are you bleeding?" Then I find out if he's got a fever. If he's got a fever he stays home, if not off he goes. Sometimes I get a call from the school, but not so far this year.
Basically, public schools, daycare, playgroups, playgrounds and any other place children get together for any length of time are bacteria farms. Illness sucks, indeed. But it builds immunity. It's the reason people have pox parties. I hate for my kid to be sick, but if he's not a little sick now, it's likely he'll get very sick later.
And, not every runny nose is illness. Often it's alergies. I've got a terrible runny nose, but it's because they've started harvesting crops, wheat and feed corn and such, and the dust and molds on them are breaking loose. I'm miserable, and pregnant, and there's not thing one I can do about it.

:Pagan Mom to Danny and Mal , Wife to Charles Pet Parent to kitty Paige.
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#14 of 17 Old 09-19-2008, 02:02 AM
 
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The first year of school usually means one illness after another - I personally think it's healthy to be exposed to things to build immunity. Kids incubate things, touch things, lick things, pass it all around, and not necessarily when they're symptomatic. I was hideously hyperaware with my first child - I wanted to put her in a bubble and was really po'd at parents who brought in sick kids. I chilled out - sick happens...it happens a LOT in school. Her immune system is quite strong now, and we fortify with vites, fish oil, manuka honey...and lots of vite c if there are sickies. She does ok.
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#15 of 17 Old 09-19-2008, 02:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SkyMomma View Post
"She's/he's so happy that she wants to come school even tho' she's got the sniffles/runny nose/cough." I'm thrilled that your kids want to come to school. But, please please please keep them home if they're sick!

Thanks for listening, parents...can anyone else identify? Or am I being unreasonable?
Even if they were willing to keep home sick children, strict attendance laws prevent that. I've heard here that a common policy is to fail a student with more than X absences, excused or not.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#16 of 17 Old 09-19-2008, 03:09 AM
 
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Even if they were willing to keep home sick children, strict attendance laws prevent that. I've heard here that a common policy is to fail a student with more than X absences, excused or not.
We have that rule here I would love to keep dd home more when her allergies or asthma is flaring up but with that rule I am afraid to.

I know what you mean about them catching things at school though. My dd started pre k and her and ds literally stayed sick until school let out. Both fine 1st grade starts up and whamm sick all year again with only a week or 2 healthy in between.

This year 3 days after school started back dd came home sick : and I thought oh crap here we go yet again. I posted here and got some advice on how to boost the immune system and I have started giving a multiple vitamin and so far so good.

I am thrilled but still not convinced things wont get bad as the weeks go by again.

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#17 of 17 Old 09-19-2008, 03:22 AM
 
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Even if they were willing to keep home sick children, strict attendance laws prevent that. I've heard here that a common policy is to fail a student with more than X absences, excused or not.

That makes me really sad. I know a woman whose daughter got sick often, and she would keep her home from school. The school said she had to have doctor's notes because the daughter missed so many days, so she went to the doctor every time her daughter got sick and got a note. No one could figure out what was wrong with her, but it was obvious she was not healthy enough to be in school all the time. But the school got snippy about the daughter missing so much school and called CPS and the mom almost lost custody because the daughter was sick. It was a sad, sad situation.

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