Sending your kids to school/daycare sick

Esther - posted on 04/07/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )




Do you think it's OK to send your kids to school when they have a cold, or are just less than 100% healthy, or do you think you should keep them home at the first sign of a runny nose, so that they don't spread their germs to other kids? If you have a job, do you personally stay home when you don't feel well in order not to infect your co-workers?

My answers are yes and no. Yes, my son goes to daycare if he has a cold. I'm a working mom and if I had kept him home every time he had a runny nose he would have been home the entire first year of his life. Unfortunately I just don't have those kinds of vacation days (if only ....). He also goes to school when he has diarhea, since he really only gets that when he's teething so it's not a bacterial cause. If he has a fever, he stays home and he stays home for a day after the fever has broken too. If it seems like he may be coming down with something (just a little cranky etc.) he's off to school. We'll pick him up if he actually gets sick. If I have a cold - I have to go to work. My employer does offer unlimited sick days but if I stay home too often, I will be required to back it up with something from my doctor saying I was unable to come into the office because of whatever disease I was battling. A cold would not cut it. If my son spreads his germs to other kids, I'm sorry about that, but that's life. I'm sure sooner or later they'll return the favor (and they have many times already). C'est La Vie.


Ez - posted on 04/07/2010




I think it depends on the age of the child and what the illness is. I don't think an average cold is a big deal for an older child who is capable of covering their mouth, blowing their nose and washing their hands. They aren't putting toys in their mouths and wiping snot everywhere like little ones. If my child had the flu, a virus or gastro bug though I would keep them home. ESPECIALLY gastro.. as Sarah said they are contagious for 48hrs after the last symptoms cease.

For babies and toddlers though, any more than a clear runny nose (no green!!) and they should be kept home. I have had to take time off work a couple of times to care for a sick baby. It sucks, but it's the life of a mother. Milla doesn't go to daycare - my Mum has her while I work - but the times she has been very unwell she hasn't wanted anyone but me.

[deleted account]

it depends on what it is. if they are just gagging and coughing all over and really sick i would keep them home. if its nothing major its fine. with us we could only miss 20 days of school all year. i used to get bronchitus every year and it started getting bad in school so i had to leave and i was home for half the week because of it.

Amie - posted on 04/07/2010




It depends on what it is and the season. Runny noses are pretty common in kids, could be allergies, just the weather changing or a kid could just be prone to runny noses. No big deal.

If they are coughing, have a fever, or other signs of something more serious, then keep them home. It's not my issue if it affects your schedule. It becomes my issue when your child affects my schedule because of your child's illness. My kids are generally healthy, always have been. I have always kept them home when they're ill. Whether I was working or going to school. If I wasn't committed to it, I wouldn't have had them. They are my responsibility to take care of so I take care of them.

If they go to school/day care fine and end up getting sick while there, that's different. Mine have done that.. I go and get them. Regardless of what I am doing or have planned. It is not the school or day cares responsibility to help them get better. It's mine. Day cares and schools are not there to raise our children for us. Taking care of your sick child is part of raising them. This is also why my kids get vacc'd though... I know not every parent feels as strongly about it. So they get vacc'd and I hope for the best. When they come home with the flu though and are home missing school because of a bug being passed around because a parent can't be bothered to keep their kid home.. ya I get mad.

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Tah - posted on 04/12/2010




the wildfire has spread, i am now running to the bathroom, my 3 year old is still sick, my 8 year old came home from philly on spring break sat. she started loose stools yesterday and at 6am she was vomiting in her bathroom while my 3 year old was having loose stools in my bathroom and dont let me get started on me. My husband is running a prt(physical readiness test) and doing his navy fitness leader school with a queasy stomach and all the lysol, white towels and bleach has not killed it, an encapsulated virus no doubt..aaarrrrgggghhhhh.....i am out of school and so are the other 2 and i am taking them into the doctor today, hopefully my 13 year old doesnt get it, .maybe ill confine him to his room and bathroom and protect him from us, its easier than trying to keep all of us confined, esp a 3 year old who wont even sleep in his room. I know its not the school or daycare per say but parents that bring their children, lets say i gave my 8 year old a swigg of pepto and sent her to school, someone else would be having this issue next week...this is the worse..

Nikki - posted on 04/12/2010




Good on you Krista! While teaching I had so many instances of parents sending their children to school drugged up, four hours later they are running 39c temps, vomiting, sleeping in book corner. The sad part is a lot of occasions parents would refuse to pick their sick children up, I used to get so so very frustrated. While I was 7 months pregnant I had a child in my class with a 40c temp, coughing, green nose, lethargic, I rang mum and she said "oh she probably has swine flu, she got tested yesterday at the doctors and we are just waiting for the results, I can't pick her up for an hour or so!" I wanted to reach down the phone and strangle her!

Krista - posted on 04/10/2010




If I kept Sam home from daycare because of a cold, he wouldn't have been there yet. Perpetual colds, unfortunately, just seem to be par for the course when your kid is in amongst a bunch of other kids.

But fevers, puking, diarrhea? No, I'd keep him home, or at the worst, have him at his grandparents for the day. I'd feel awful if all the other kids got really sick 'cause of my kid.

Esther - posted on 04/10/2010




I agree that that's too much Loureen. Not only would I not do that to the kids and teachers in daycare, I wouldn't do that to Lucas. If he needs any kind of drug, he needs me and he stays home.

Charlie - posted on 04/09/2010




When i was teaching i will be honest it annoyed the shit out of me !!!!

Snotty nose ? fine . Cough ? fine just feeling generally under the whether ? fine , but when the are puking all over the place and running a fever TAKE THEM HOME .

There is nothing worse than a child who is so sick they cant move off their little spot on the floor and the whole room smells of vomit and all the other kids want to investigate so they go over to check them out all the while sick child is sneezing infectious germs all over them and us .

Fair enough if it just comes on half way through the day , how would the parents have known but it really makes my blood boil when i see a parent rush in dragging a lethargic child who can barely walk and obviously very sick and just brush it off with a " OH I GAVE THEM PANADOL , she will be fine " and two minutes later after mummy or daddy has ran out the door their kid is vomiting everywhere , IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME !!! very frustrating , especially when other children start dropping like flies and all of a sudden its the centers fault as if we are injecting them with viruses , so many times i would have just loved to had written up a list of offending parents to tape to the door so they all knew who kept infecting their children .

Tah - posted on 04/09/2010




my son has been vomiting and having loose stools on and off for 2 days, i said to myself, i should take him back where he got it, but i decided against it, my husband got to leave the ship early and come take care of him yesterday so i could go to work and i left at about 1pm to today, of course i had a orientee nurse with me and had to work like a hebrew slave to get all my work done before the desk nurse relieved me.

Its not really that easy for me to not go in. Its hard to find a nurse willing to get up and come in on short notice, like yesterday we were walking out the door when he had a loose stool accident and started vomiting. I had to find my sister who also had work, just later in the day and call my husband to see what he could do. So in these cases no, he won't go, but if its a runny nose i give him klennex and drop him off. No one in the house is sick so i know he is sick because someone didnt want to call out of work and took their flu having child to daycare. i am using lysol and bleach and am having a queasy stomach as we speak which is why i am laying here now.

I am glad my oldest 2 are in philly for spring break because with 3 full batrooms and everybody running for which ever one is available, it can get messy, so it irritaties me when sick children come to school and daycare and then it spreads through my house like wildfire which has happened before.

[deleted account]

When my son was in daycare I swear he had a runny nose every day! He was never really SICK just had a runny nose, so maybe an allergy problem? He went to daycare. He also suffered from diarrhea a lot, but that kid would put down fruit like nobody's business! It was generally ALWAYS dietary. If he ever seemed a little sick I would take him to the doctor just to make sure so I could work.

Jess - posted on 04/09/2010




My daughter has been in day care now since February and she has missed at least one day every 2nd week since starting due to the other people's sick kids ! So yes, I send her with a runny nose because there is no point keeping her at home. She has caught some pretty nasty germs there and when she is sick with an actual medical condition or fever I keep her at home. My easter long weekend became easter week because my daughter was unwell.

I would certainly keep her home if I knew she was in pain or really really upset by whatever she had. Sometimes you just need to be at home in your own bed with your mummy !

Lea - posted on 04/08/2010




Growing up, all the schools I went to required a doctor's note for ANY absences. You were marked truant and assigned detention if you didn't. The interesting thing is, we had no health insurance so we had no doctor. So I was always sick at school, getting worse and worse because I could never rest. My day care is really strict - they won't let a child in who has diarrhea/vomiting, coughing, or fever. Problem is, all those snot-nosed ones that are there are carrying it and passing it out and then my kid gets a high fever the next day and ... see, a runny nose, whether it is clear or not, is infected body fluid and should be treated as such. Yuck.

Amie - posted on 04/07/2010




i think most people know the difference, unfortunately there are some that don't and it only takes one to pass the flu or something more serious around really fast.

Kati, that is exactly correct. That is how my kids have gotten exposed to whooping cough, rubella and the measles. Parents figure their kids are ok. A parent should be able to tell the common cold from something more serious, apparently there are ones who don't though. If you are unsure, there are doctors for a reason. They can give you an answer, even if it's an "it's nothing serious it'll clear up eventually" answer.

[deleted account]

i think the biggest thing to prevent another kid from getting sick is good hygene. if kids wash their hands and stuff it would help them keep some germs away.

Sharon - posted on 04/07/2010




Don't have a choice after a while.

With 3 kids kid A gets sick, then kids B & C get sick.

Then kid B gets sick, then kids A & C get sick

THEN! Kid C gets sick then kids A & B get sick....

I believe that kids don't pay any attention in school when they are sick so I prefer to keep them home where they can recooperate in peace.

BUT! After so many days the school starts to get a little pissy. Excused or not - doctors notes or not, kids are not allowed to miss a certain number of days.

I only keep them home when they have a fever. Sniffly noses and minor coughs - are not excused abscences for the school.

I do my best to terach the kids, "cover your mouth" "wash your hands" I give them spray on hand sanitizer that goes in their pocket, boxes of tissues - not to mention the sanitizer I provided for the classroom already and the boxes of tissues I provided already.

?? - posted on 04/07/2010




I think the level of and kind of illness is key in the decision making process when it comes to sending them to school or not. Runny or stuffy nose, mild cough, the effects of a cold that can last for weeks sometimes - I don't think it's necessary to keep them home. However, I DO think that it is essential that if you're going to send them to school, that you teach them to wash their hands, cover their mouths, use kleenex and not their clothing, avoid direct contact with another child if you had just sneezed or coughed until you can go wash your hands, etc etc etc.

When it comes to daycare, well, the child is in daycare for a reason-- usually because both parents have jobs, or there is only one parent and they have to work. I think if your child is genuinely ill, you're going to want to stay home and take care of them regardless of whether you CAN send them to daycare or not.

If they're just feelin a lil under the weather, well, the world keeps revolving and 'taking care of them' is OUR responsibility as a parent, part of 'taking care of them' is ensuring we have the $$$$$$$ flowing in too. If we're taking every other day off and keeping them home from daycare, because they have the sniffles, you're not only missing that day of work, but you still have to pay the day care so you're wasting a whole wack of money, all for a runny nose? That just doesn't make any sense.

Children are going to get the sniffles until the end of time, and the world doesn't stop revolving because lil Timmy has a runny nose. A constant runny nose lol It is the day care providers, school employee's and parents responsibilities to be teaching children manners and how to not sneeze in people's faces, lick each others food and all that other lovely stuff... Obviously it's the parents responsibility first - but there's some parents out there that aren't all that in tune with things - so the day care providers and school educators should step up to help ensure other people's children don't get sick.

Rosie - posted on 04/07/2010




i feel a cold is nothing to stay home with-unless my kid absolutely feels bad. my oldest has had a pretty horrid cough for 3 weeks now, i'm not keeping him home because of a lingering cough. when he first got sick, he did stay at home until he felt better, he just has a cough still. i judge what is wrong with my kid, and determine from there. i will say that this year i have been particularly quick to keep them home, i don't want to spread ickiness around. i think most people know the difference, unfortunately there are some that don't and it only takes one to pass the flu or something more serious around really fast.

Sarah - posted on 04/07/2010




It's often a tough one when you have to work and your kids get sick.

If my girls have vomited, they are kept off school/childminder for 48hrs from the last time they were sick. They've both had a sickness bug recently and i really wouldn't wish it on anyone. Luckily, my work are pretty good if my kids are sick, i can go in evenings instead or something. Even if that wasn't the case, (as in my old job) they would just have to cope without me!

Colds are different, i have a stinking cold at the moment (we sound like such a healthy family! lol) I will have to go to work. The kids would go to school or whatever if they had a cold. You just can't keep yourself or kids off for every little sniffle.

You get to know your child and whether they are ill enough to stay off school or not. Mostly in my house, if you're throwing up, you're properly ill, anything else, and you're ok! (though my cold is SO bad, i may revise that! lol)

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