Kids' Health

Stop Sending Your Sick Kid to School or Start Paying My Pediatrician Bills

Rant 146

girls back sick kids

In addition to the flu, there are a whole host of other nasty bugs floating around out there. Like many parents I know, I'm getting sick and tired of my kid bringing home all sorts of funky ailments from school.

Right before the Christmas break last year, I attended a holiday concert at my son's elementary school. And while I was sitting there trying to enjoy the music, I found myself being distracted, shocked, and appalled over how many kids were hacking up a lung, sneezing all over the place, and who looked flushed, feverish, and miserable.

And the only thought that kept running through my mind was, "What the hell is wrong with their parents? Why are they sending them to school sick?"

Yes, you heard me right. I'm judging parents who send their kids to school sick. And I'm not talking about kids who have allergies, or a little sniffle, or maybe a slight cough from a cold they just can't seem to shake.

I'm referring to the kids who are visibly (and audibly) sick -- with fevers, flu, or some sort of infection that obviously needs to be treated with antibiotics and a ton of rest.

Parents who send sick kids to school are the reason our healthy kids are getting sick -- and it's just not fair. And I honestly can't understand why they are sending their kids to school when they're sick, but I'm guessing it's because they're either selfish, lazy, or just plain careless. Or a combination of all three.

My son has been sick with every bug under the sun since the school year started, and I'm positive that school is to blame. He's had the stomach bug. He's had a sinus infection and horrible cough. And right after school let out for the holiday break, he was diagnosed with the flu. (And then of course, I caught the flu from him, which has taken me over a week to get over.)

And just this morning, he woke up a bit congested and sniffly, so I'm really not getting my hopes up about him remaining germ-free for the rest of the year. You know what else? I'm 100 percent confident that if I went over to his school right this second, I'd be greeted with the sounds of plenty of coughs, clearing-of-throats, and sneezes.

And it HAS to stop.

Parents, please, PLEASE stop sending your children to school when they are sick. You're making life unnecessarily miserable for the rest of us who do the right thing by keeping them home when they're ill -- even if it means having to scramble to rearrange our busy schedules.

Take them to the doctor. Let them rest and sleep on the couch all day. I don't care what you do -- just don't send them to school to infect my kid. (I'm begging you.)

How sick do you think is "too sick" to go to school?

 

Image via Elizabeth Albert/Flickr

elementary school, kid health, illness

146 Comments

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nonmember avatar NoWay

OK, while I don't think you should send your kids to school when they are very obviously sick, I have a problem with your assumptions. "I'm guessing it's because they're either selfish, lazy, or just plain careless. Or a combination of all three." Not everyone can work from home. Sometimes, when parents stay home with sick kids, they don't get paid. Sometimes you can't get alternate care and many of us live paycheck to paycheck. SO, before you go spewing your judgemental bullshit, maybe you should consider other people's life situations. Don't get me wrong, I don't send my child to shcool with a fever or vomiting, but if they wake up with a sniffle or (not severe) cough, I send them to school. It miraculous how they usually feel better a couple hours later, too.

szinna szinna

It enrages me when parents send their sick kids to school. I have a job and a life too, and I don't want to catch whatever nastiness your family has because you think your work/school/life is more important than mine.


It is beyond selfish behavior, and can be dangerous. When my son was in daycare at around 14 months old, a parent brought in her 11 month old the morning after a visit to the ER. The diagnosis? CROUP. I reamed my daycare for letting her do that (she had announced it on facebook, so they weren't aware of it), and immediately picked my kid up and took him to the pediatrician, where luckily she said we caught it super early and it was easy to treat.


If you send your kids to school sick, you are a selfish person begging for bad karma. I don't usually feel this strongly about other people's choices, but those choices directly affect me and my family's welfare, all because you wanted to get your nails done that day. Arg!

fleur... fleurdelys3110

It gets even worse once your son gets to college because of the dorms. No such thing as a germ free environment in college. I remember my freshman year of college I was sick more times than I had been the rest of my entire life combined.

mommy... mommytojack0524

My son's daycare won't let a child stay if they are sick or get back in without a doctor's note. My son got sick and they brought it up with me. We took him to the pedi who diagnosed a (non-contagious) ear infection. He needed a note to get back in to daycare today.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I was just ranting about this myself today. If they are feverish, WAY overly snotty or hacking up a lung its probably best they stay home.

aeneva aeneva

First off my children are still coughing from the flu they had 2 weeks ago but our doctor says they are NOT contagious anymore and are perfectly fine to attend school and no way in HELL I am keeping them home for over 2 weeks when the doc says they are NOT contagious.  Second you are most contagious BEFORE you show symptoms.

nonmember avatar What2do

I am going to throw my problem out there and see what you all think. Bc now that I have a child, I understand some moms' situations better than others.
I have a problem at work. They frown upon me taking days for my sick child because I will make myself negative in vacation days. My child was exposed to other kids whose parents don't care that my child will get sick, so then I used up a ton of my vacay days early on in the year. To make matters worse, I was "talked" to three times last year alone about this "problem".
ITS ANNOYING AND IT SUCKS! What do I do though, if I am barely making ends meat? I can't get a day off for fear that I will lose my job, my only means of cash flow, what puts food on the table and pays the bills? Now what if its a single mom who doesn't have "help" from other family members or even the child's own father or vice versa (the number of women abandoning their kids is alarming).
What does that mom or dad do, when they are trying their hardest, and their kid is sick, but their job is endangered if they do take the day off? Also, what if day care won't take them, bc duh, they will make other kids sick.
How about u write an article about that and give us ideas.
Now before I get yelled at, I leave my kids with my mom, or take days unpaid, even if I can't afford them.
Do u all think work places should be more understanding, as long as PROOF like a doc;s note can be provided?

Alexa... AlexandAsMom

I won't let my daughter go to school sick...but I don't judge other people. Do I hate it? Yes, but I don't know that family's circumstances are. If a parent doesn't have the leave and can't afford go leave without pay, if they have to work and don't have friends or family who can watch a child what are they do it? Kids get sick a lot and that can exhaust your leave. Again, I don't send my child to school sick but I can't imagine that a parent would do that to their kid unless they had no other option. 

szinna szinna

First, left over coughs and stuffiness is not "sick."  I'm talking obviously feverish / vomiting / diarrhea.  You know when your kid is sick or about to be.    


Second, while I understand there are people that don't have sick leave, etc., I don't either!  I do not get sick days from work (not exaggerating - if I'm out sick, I don't get paid), and it's just me and my husband where we live, with no family to help out.  So just because you may be in that boat elicits no sympathy from me, because when my child is sick, I stay home with him.  It's a sucky position, but what makes your situation more dire than mine?  I don't think that just because I don't have the luxury of sick time that I should then get to inconvenience others who may also not have that luxury.  

nonmember avatar kaerae

Kids get sick, they're supposed to, it's how they develop an immune system that doesn't turn on itself. Some parents get paid hourly and can't stay home for a week. You are contagious with flu before you ever show symptoms and can be coughing long after you're no longer contagious, so you just don't know. And before you say "Don't have kids if you can't afford to take a week off work," You sohuldn't have kids if you can't pay your own peditrician bills.

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