Please keep your sick kid at home and away from the rest of the class. Don’t bring them to daycare, or school, or extra-curricular activities, or summer camp. Keep them far, far away from all the other kids. Nobody wants their germs. Trust me.
Here we are battling a wicked summer cold, picked up from…you guessed it: a sick kid at camp. As I write this, I have a whiny, boogery, blob of a kid begging for a popsicle to soothe a sore throat.
I will have to take time from work to care for him and take him to the doctor. I will have to budget unexpectedly to pay for the visit, the medicine, and the extra chicken soup. My son will be missing a fun day of exercise, activity, and learning. He is potentially going to pass his germs on to my husband or I causing us to possibly miss more work. It’s a domino effect or a cascading waterfall of germs and snot.
All this expense and inconvenience because some other parent was too self-involved to keep their snotty, congested kid at home.
Can I Get Some Hand Sanitizer Please?
I cannot even begin to count the times I’ve brought my now five-year-old into his classroom only to see kids with sad, sick red eyes, or large globs of thick snot dripping down the face. And how many times I’ve heard disgusting hacking coughs in the classroom. And I have to whisper to the teacher, “please try to keep that kid away from mine.”
So to clarify, I am not talking about a mild cold.
You can just visualize the gross juicy germs emanating from this otherwise adorable tiny human. The kid just needs some medicine, some extra cuddles, a couch (maybe an episode of The Price is Right?) and some rest.
“Confirmed Case of *very contagious germs*
Yet, the germs spread like wildfire across a pre-school classroom where kids play together and share toys. Unsurprisingly soon after is a message on the school app, “Confirmed case of *insert illness* in the class! Beware!”
Serious Repercussions For Some Children
Bringing a sick child to school is irresponsible and potentially dangerous to children with weaker immune systems. My son was a preemie and born with some lung issues he has since overcome. When you send your sick kid to school you may be infecting a child who will end up having to miss weeks of school or even land in the hospital. When he was younger, even a common cold meant days of inhalers and nebulizers and a cough that lingered for weeks.
I’ve seen parents try to justify sending their clearly sick kid to school. I get the struggle as I work too. The work may pile up, the deadlines may pass and there is only so many days of PTO available, but choosing to send your kid to school is intentionally infecting the other kids.
It sucks that people don’t feel comfortable, or worse yet, don’t have paid time off available to them should their child (or themselves) be sick. Even the most heart-warming article about teacher’s donating their PTO to a sick colleague has a dark underlying message. Companies do not value their employees if they are forced to beg for sick leave.
Employees should not live in fear of losing their jobs because they must care for a sick child. We should be working to live, not living to work. Employers need to do better. This comes from providing work/life balance and sick time.
But in the meantime sending your kid and their illness to school is just passing on germs and paying forward your struggles. (And some may have it worse than you.) That is just not fair.
My kid is home with me today because I don’t want to infect yours. Return the favor and keep your sick kid home when the germs invade your household.