This is a bit of a rant, so please bear with me. My kids, 4 and 6, have been sick with colds, strep throat, ear infections, and stomach bugs on and off since Thanksgiving. It actually got so bad for my 4-year-old, he is getting daily breathing treatments to keep his asthma at bay, and three weeks ago we finished his fourth round of strep throat. Now I'm not trying to walk on a high horse or take the intellectually superior road—well, I kind of am.
It has gotten to the point where I have to have my 4-year-old son's tonsils out because he is continually exposed to infections and gets them repeatedly.
My kids are special needs kids, and do not have the cognitive ability to tell me that their throat hurts or they have an earache. I can tell by their behavior that something is about to come down the pike like a cold, flu or stomach bug. It is clear: they are tired, crabby, lethargic, or just have a bad look to them. And it is hard with my 4-year-old to tell because he just goes and plays hard if he has a 103-degree fever or is well. His rosy cheeks are my indicator. I have taken him to the doctor because he just wasn't acting right, and he has had horrible double ear infections, and I feel like the poorest mother of the year award is about to be delivered to my doorstep.
Now I digress.
I see kids on the bus, and at school drop off on a daily basis that are clearly too sick to be there. What I don't actually say to the parents out loud is "Hey Idiot, the kid is too sick to be here, and I don't want my child to get this plague again. Do you mind driving back to your house until green and brown snot is not rolling down his face?"
When school calls me to pick up a child because they have gotten sick at school I keep him home for a day or two - OR UNTIL HE IS BETTER! I don't take him back to school the next morning and say "Well, he got home and played all day and acted fine," while I see the glassy eyes, and SNOT (my least favorite substance on the planet) rolling down his lip and the glistening snot on his sleeve, and then he wants to hold my child's hand!!! STOP THE MADNESS.
I'm not waging a war between stay-at-home moms and working moms, it really has nothing to do with it. School is not the place to care for sick kids. It just isn't. If you don't know your kid is sick and he gets called home that is one thing, but if you are insistent on bringing a child to school that is sick, and loudly saying "They call me to pick him up a couple times a week because he has a fever.....", don't be surprised one day if I am no longer my charming self to you at drop off.
Here is a lesson in some common sense:
- If you child has a fever, keep him home until he is at a normal temperature for 24 hours WITHOUT Tylenol or some other fever reducer.
- Green, Brown or any colored snot - besides being completely disgusting - IS AN INFECTION - Keep them home!
- Not eating, drool, or spitting may indicate a horrible sore throat - KEEP THEM HOME.
- Diarrhea - KEEP THEM HOME.
My kids have missed nearly 6 weeks of school - 19 days for one and 16 school days for the other. It is our job as parents to care for the kids. If we ALL (yes even you) kept our kids home for 2-4 days when they are sick, the sickness may stop spreading over and over and over again. You know who would really appreciate it, I'm sure is the teachers! You think they want to wipe that disgusting slime off any ones face? I don't even like to wipe my own kids noses.
So please, before I have to unleash the bitch within that wants to come out and slap some common sense into some parents, stay home and cuddle your kids on the sofa. You may have to cut a vacation short a couple of day because of personal time at work - but guess what?! WE DIDN'T GET A VACATION THIS CHRISTMAS BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE INFECTED US WITH THE BUBONIC PLAGUE. So I'm not sympathetic to that excuse in the least bit. My job is to care for and make my kids as happy and healthy as possible. Please do not make it your job to send sick kids to school.