school kidUnless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you've probably heard that we're in the midst of a flu epidemic in this country -- and we still have a couple months to go before the season peaks.

And 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 this 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 in September, 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