Parents Who Let Their Sick Kid Play With Others Should Be Fined

Rant 135

child with thermometerKids get sick a lot. Especially toddlers. They are exploring, putting things in their mouths all the time, sometimes they even like to lick things like shopping carts. It's terribly challenging to keep a kid from catching something. But there is something we as parents can do to prevent other kids from getting sick. You know, help another parent avoid a week of sleepless night, Stage 4 clingers, and crusty booger snot stains all over everything in the house. And that's to keep your kid cooped up in the house for the entirety of the sickness, and even however long after they may still be contagious.

And yet it's something so many parents don't do. Because that's damn near impossible. But the worse offense is actually letting your sick child play with other kids. Why, parents, why?!

It's clear we can't keep our kids quarantined for every little illness. I've taken my kids food shopping with me when they had colds. Yes, runny noses and all. There are just times where I have to do something and have no one to watch the kids. So they must come along. Of course if they had Chicken Pox or something extremely worrisome I wouldn't expose them to the outside world ... or rather expose the outside world to them. But for the times they are only a little bit of sick, they have been out and about with me. This is why I am now vigilant about cleaning off the part of the grocery cart where kids sit. I bet you'll be more careful now, too, if you weren't already.

One of the worse offenses a parent can make against another parent and perhaps even more than putting down their parenting style is letting your viral little hotbed of disease play in the sandbox with the other kids, or visit the children's museum or the library or actually set up a playdate and spent time coughing, sneezing, and drooling the germs all over the place virtually guaranteeing the other kids will get sick, too. Might as well just bring the tainted lollipops so we at least get a little serving of candy with your plague. 

Put down my parenting style all you want -- I can ignore you. Pass us whatever's going around because you're letting your knowingly sick kid play with others is not something anyone can ignore. Like I mentioned it's basically a sentence of sleepless nights, Stage 4 clingers, and boogers boogers boogers everywhere.

It happens, though. I know. I can't get angry. I'm not. There have been times I was in complete denial my child was sick -- boogers and fever and unexplained tears and all. And that's because of how awful it can be when our little loves are not feeling well. I may have even been guilty of spreading our sick to undeserving playdates. So for the times we have oops! accidentally done such a thing, the only way to make up for the crime is *drum roll* offer to babysit so those parents get a deserved night out. Or make them your best banana bread. Or both.

Have you let your kid play with other kids at the playground or elsewhere even when your child is sick? Does that make a bad mom or dad?


Image via Pink Poppy Photography/Flickr

a mom's life, toddler health, sick days


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Foley... Foleygirl24

ugh, i totally agree with you! i HATE it when parents let their sick kids play with others (like mine). sometime, i know, its unavoidable, or you don't realize your kid is coming down with something until it's too late. but kids can't keep their germs to themselves- it's practically an inevitability that any kid who comes into contact with them will also get sick (and if your like me, then the mommy gets sick too). it seems like no one is considerate of other people anymore, and they are going to do what they want to do and screw how it affects anyone else!

nonmember avatar Gena bell

This is ignorance at its best. My 2 year old is sick a lot, but he's TWO!! I just deal with it! Most viruses are contagious before symptoms show, and most are NOT contagious once symptoms are apparent. Secondly, my son has severe allergies and his nose always runs when hes outside. Here are my options, I can drug him up with so much Benadryl he's too sleepy to play, or I can let him and wipe his boogers every couple of minutes. How do OTHER mothers on the playground know he's not sick? Also, if you've ever been to a doctor you know that they cannot pinpoint a virus/bacterium, or even tell you that's what it is!!!! They send you home with antibiotics, and hopefully it works. Kids are gonna be sick, let them play and explore and just deal with it unless there is a specific reason not to (some type of immune disease, it's a newborn, etc). All you high and mighty mothers really need to get over yourselves!

LadyC... LadyClaire

My 14 mo old caught coxsackie virus. She then gave it to me and my 4 yo. I kept both girls home for two weeks until the contagion was safely past. We missed a couple of parties, also

missed out in going to the beach and pool during a horrendous heat wave. It sucked that two weeks of our summer was gone- but not one of my kids friends have reported getting sick.

Pinkmani Pinkmani

I couldn't have said it any better.

nonmember avatar shellie

yes, we should keep our kids in antibacterial plastic wrap and quarantine them from the world for about the first 5 years of their lives because THEY ARE ALWAYS SICK!! getting sick now is how they keep from getting sick later. so unless your kid has something horrible like pneumonia or bronchitis, then i see no problem letting kids play with sick kids because all kids in this age group are either sick, getting sick or getting over being sick. remember when a kid had chicken pox and your mom took you to that kids house to play? thats because all parents knew it was better for your 4 year old to get chicken pox than to get it when they are 12. now there is a vaccine even for that....a little overkill i think...

corri... corrinacs

I can understand where you are coming from and I couldn't agree more.  My only thing is that you don't know what other parent is going through.  Like another commenter said, my son has major allergies!!!  So, he's got booger nose 100% of the time EVEN WITH allergy meds :/.  Many times, his allergies cause a sinus infection (NOT contagious).  I'm not about to tell Caden he can't do anything with his life because he's got some boogers :/.

But otherwies, if your child has a fever, obviously ill....keep them home.

Jespren Jespren

I don't feel the whole allergy/cold/ear infection/sinus infection is worth quarinteen. Allergies and colds can be indistinguishable from each other just by sight looking out over a playground and, come on, the common cold? It's 'common'! You get exposed everywhere during cold season, adults and kids alike. And sinus/ear infections aren't particularly contagious. But the more serious illnesses I agree are major offenses to bring kids out and around where other kids will be. Once had a mother in my kid's gym class (preschool age group) bring her coughing toddler with her to the wait room. I figured cold, no big deal...until I heard her say they had just been diagnosed with Whooping Cough the night before! Gah!

Craft... CraftyJenna

The worst is people who expose people to their extremly sick children- chicken pox, HFMD, rubella, etc. I was just reading a post from a pregnant woman who doesn't think she can go to family gatherings anymore because he cousin dosen't vaccinate her kids, and brought her daughter to a family picnic, thinking that she had rubella. To actually think your child has a disease that serious, not take her to the dr and expose other people and children with it should actually be a crime, imo.

cmjaz cmjaz

I totally agree! My mom watches my son and she has taken him to the playground while he was sick with a nasty cold. I don't understand why she would do that. Not only for my sons health but the other children too. She knows it pisses me off.

cmjaz cmjaz

Whooping cough and tuberculous is making a comeback. Keep your sick kids at home and do the nation a good service.

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