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sick kids and playgroups

1195 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  stafl
We have a playgroup that meets once a week at alternating moms' houses. There are 4 toddlers and moms involved. Last week was my week. After the kids had been playing for an hour or so, it was pointed out that 2 of the kids were coming down with colds.

This kinda ticked me off because, had I known, I would have suggested meeting at the playground or something where our kids wouldn't be in such close contact. Or I would have bowed out with my daughter.

I don't normally mind so much if my dd is exposed to a cold bug, but I'm almost 37 weeks pregnant and if I or anyone in my family gets sick by the time I go into labor, it could be majorly inconvenient.

Anyway, in the past, I have always called the hosting mom in advance if my dd is sick and let her decide if it's ok to bring her over. Under normal circumstances, it normally is, but in this case I wish I had had a choice about exposing my dd (and myself) to a bug. I wish I had been extended the same courtesy that *I* give when my kid is sick.

Urg. I guess this was just a vent. Thanks for reading. Maybe some of you can commisserate.

peace, Beth
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I am the type of person who will tell other mothers "Look. I think that my child is sick or I know he is sick. Do you still want to get together?" It's one thing if you don't know that your child is sick, but I don't think it's fair to KNOWINGLY expose other children to an illness wiithout letting the mamas know.

In fact, I stopped going to a playgroup because one mom did this all of the time. My ds#2 was suffering from boughts of RSV last winter, and this woman knowingly brought her two children to my home when they had a cold and possible flu. Then she mentioned that she thought she was getting sick too. And she knew that I did not want people KNOWINGLY hanging out at my house with sick kids. BTW this was about five days before Christmas and my ds#2's first birthday. Well for Christmas and his birthday, he spent half the day getting breathing treatments.

My sister in law is notorious for bringing her sick kids to family functions. Two years ago she brought both of her kids to the family Christmas gathering with pink eye and ear aches when I was due any day and had a 21 month old. Once again I expressed that I would just like to know these things in advanced, so that I would have the option of not going and exposing my family if I don't want to. The same year, my other sister in law came to see me in the hospital after the birth of my son and then she tells me that her son may have strep throat and she thinks that she is getting sick. Ummm. What the h-e-double hockey sticks are you doing near my newborn then?

I understand what you are talking about, Beth. I think that it's common courtesy to let other mamas know if your kids are sick and that you still intend to attend a playgroup.
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This is a pet peeve of mine. I don't bring ds anywhere playgroup wise (like music class) if I know he is getting sick or is sick. If we are supposed to get together with a friend, I will let her know and we usually won't get together. I mean, ds has been sick about 4 or 5 times, so I haven't had to deal with this a lot, but I am very sensitive about it.

When we were supposed to go over to my in-laws for dinner one time, my MIL called to tell us that she was going to invite SIL as well. So I called SIL and left a message that ds had a cold, and I just wanted to let her know because her dd was about 6 months old at the time. Well, SIL didn't get the message, came, and then was a bit irritated when her dd caught ds's cold. But hey, I did what I could. I felt bad, but I tried.

Sometimes ds will have a runny nose for a week or two after all his other symptoms are gone and he has been feeling fine. If it's just a little runny nose, and I know that he is no longer sick, I will sometimes bring him somewhere, but I don't bring him if he has thick snot coming out.

And I have to say that it even really bugs me when we're on the playground, and down comes a kid with thick green snot hanging out of his nose, getting smeared everywhere, and then ds comes down the same slide. I mean, I know it's the playground, so it's kind of a free for all, but it still bugs me.
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Wow, I can't believe other moms do that. There are 7 adults/kids in our playgroup and we all bow out if the kid has the slightest chance of sickness. None of us risk passing it along. 5 of us are pregnant too, but we've done it this way since the babes were tiny.

How inconsiderate of your 'friends'.
I stopped taking my DD to our regular playgroup because of this. One of the mamas put her DD in daycare so she is sick ALL THE TIME. Since I stopped going DD has not been sick since - and that was in May. (knocking on wood...) Some people are just really inconsiderate.
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Well, it's official--as of this afternoon, I'm a walking hanky!

Dd seemed a little out of sorts this morning (grouchy, extra clingy and cuddly) which is what prompted me to do the original post. Then this afternoon, she started sneezing and snotting all over the place. Once she catches a cold/flu she doesn't let go easily--we're easily in for 10-14 days of this.

I'm so irritated. If my dh and I get sick, I might have to go over and slap my friends around for a while...

peace (kind of...), Beth
Well I guess I'm in the minority here but I get together with 2 other moms at least 2-3 times a week (the same ones) and generally we still get together even if one of the kids has a runny nose or slight cold. We figure that we get together often enough that if one kid comes down with something the others have already been exposed. But we're all okay with that. And we don't feel the same way about sick kids who we see on occasion (don't want our kids around them).

But ITA about your situation, I think for us it's just that we've agreed in advance. Once two of my SILs popped over to visit (driving 2 hours on the way
: ) while DS had a cold and brought their 3 sick kids with them, 2 of whom were on antibiotics for something or another. My DH said "why did you come if your kids are all sick when you know that DS is sick?" They replied "oh since our kids are already sick they'll be fine." Hello! We're talking about my kid!
Anyways, luckily DH kicked them out pretty quickly.
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This is my pet peeve, too. I keep my kids home and warn everyone if they are coming down with a cold- especially preg. moms or those with new babies. We go to a music class and get sick all the time from it.

I'm just now finishing up a nasty cold after it worked through the family. Usually 3-4 days after class it starts.

After this last one I am so wiped I'm ready to quit the class. We do OK with playdates- I know the moms and we all say up front if the kids are sick or suspected sick and let everyone make up their mind if they want to risk it.
I think it is rude to bring a sick child to your home, especially when you are pg. It is a pet peeve of mine because my ds had a febrile seizure at 16 months of age so I REALLY like to keep his exposure to illnesses down. I truly think that most people who do not want their kids to get sick have pretty good reasons such as the ones mentioned above.

Our group started to meet in parks instead of at homes and if I noticed a sick child there I would remark something like, oh, it looks like he is coming down with something or that's a bad cough or just come up with an excuse to leave. I would wash all of the toys after sick kids had been in contact with them at our house so it was easier to meet at a public place. I don't put my child in daycare because I don't want him to be sick. If I meet people who try to pass illnesses off as "allergies" I will just not hang out with them. Our playgroups started out as organized functions where we defined okay and not okay behavior and everyone signed the agreement. It was pretty basic stuff like no smoking, swearing, yelling or sick kids. Fortunately, we never had any smoking, yelling or swearing but the sick kids one was one that people seemed to forget about. Maybe you can just bring it up at your next meeting, suggest coming up with some guidelines so that kids aren't all getting sick.
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Maybe Montrealers have more colds, because if we didn't see one another when anyone had a running nose, then we would never see one another -- in the fall at least.

I don't expect advance warning about other children's minor colds, but I do sometimes provide it to mothers who I know would rather stay home than risk illness.

In fact, I did this a couple of weeks ago, phoning a friend before dd's birthday party to say that she (and half of the guests) had a cough. The weird thing is that because I knew how fearful this particular mother was of illness, I felt as though I was putting her into a position where she could not go to the party, as though I was disinviting her. Sure enough, she didn't come. She missed a great event (and none of the non-sick kids got sick anyway).
Bringing kids with colds around other kids doesn't really bother me.....I figure (maybe erroneously?) that it is better for dd to get these bugs now than when in school. BUT---bringing kids with colds around a pregnant woman? Due to deliver in the next couple weeks????!!!!! Inexcusable! Pregnant women have few options for cold symptom relief, and need ALL their strength for labor. I would be pretty peeved if someone knowingly exposed me to illness in late pregnancy. Sorry this happened to you, Beth.
We have a weekly preschool/playgroup and it's understood that we will tell the other moms beforehand that our child has a cold and the symptoms involved. If anyone objects it's not taken personally and the sick child stays home. We have a new baby in the group and I'm 22 weeks pg. so we are on guard and do distinguish between a small cold and a full-blown nasty infection.

Normally if the child just has a slight cold with clear runny nose but no fever it's okay, we just make sure that child's nose is wiped well and hands washed often. If there's a fever or green/yellow discharge, rash, or anything that requires antibiotics, the child stays home.

My dd went for months without getting sick, then we joined a library class and now she gets sick a lot. If I were to keep her out of all activities every time she got a slight cold she would be at home all the time.

Her immune system needs the chance to get stronger and I feel that these little colds help her in the long run. My immune system is more developed and most of the time I don't end up getting the colds, even though I have a lot of close contact with dd. Three weeks ago she got a nasty 12 hour stomach flu with fever of 103 and severe vomiting. Last week she got a slight cold with clear runny nose. Neither dh or I got sick.

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I totally agree. If I wanted my child sick all of the time, he'd be in daycare. We were in a class last winter that I don't think ever washed their stuff. Ds was sick all the time! I am interested to see if this winter differs. We're not in that class and we go to weekly chiro appts.

However, I think there's a difference between a residual clear-nose run and full-blown cold.
This is a major pet peeve of mine, and I think Im known in my group as "the mom you need to call and let her know your kid is sick before she comes over"mom.

My question, How do you know at the begining of an illness that its JUST A COLD?? How do you know its not something more, like strep or something worse?

A mom I know, she always brings her kids around sick to playgroups, library etc etc. Her kids have been through a staph infection that lasted for months, (a highly contageous rash), strep throat, fifths disease and hand/foot and mouth disease. All of these illnesses start out pretty innocently as common ailments. Im so thankful I dont hang out with her and contracted these things. Though all are curable, they are not pleasant and require treatment from a doctor ($) and sleepless nights.

If you have an agreement to bring your kids together sick or not, great. BUt for us, we are still nursing and cosleeping, and during this time when dd gets sick, ALL of us are up all night, including my dh who has a stressful job to go to in the morning. Even a cold is a major event for dd, who cant blow her nose yet and will cry all day and night bc she cant.

WIsh people would think about how their kids illness affects everyone when you bring them out to others homes! Esp pregnant women!!!!!
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rainsmom, we're in the same boat as far as sleeping arrangements.

I just wanted to clarify that *I* only think it's okay to bring them around at the end of an illness (when you think they're not contagious anymore, not the beginning b/c I agree that you never know what it is.
It wouldn't bother me so much unless it was full-blown flu or if the kid was running a fever. The only time my DD ever caught a cold from other kids was when we spent two entire weeks with my sister's snot-nosed sickly kids. But apparently my daughter has a super-human immune system.
Now, a mom in third trimester or with a brand new baby, I think should be told ahead of time and allowed the choice of not attending (or hosting, in your case). That's just common courtesy!
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