Unless you have been living under a rock these last few weeks, you may have heard that we are having a rather rough cold and flu season. While influenza steals the headlines, there are other viruses that are just as scary, like RSV, hand, foot and mouth disease and croup. I have two young children and both have had their fair share of nasty bugs this season.
It irritates me to get a note from a school or daycare stating that a child was sent home and later tested positive for “insert any communicable disease here.” This means that the infected child’s parents willingly sent their son or daughter to school while sick and they have exposed the entire classroom.
Illnesses like RSV and influenza are known to kill children every single year. When you send your sick child to school or church, chances are other children are going to contract whatever it is your child has. If any of those kids have compromised immune systems, then there is a chance that the illness your child brought to school or church could send another child to the hospital.
I know missing work to care for sick kids may be hard for some parents. Trust me, I don’t like making “sick child” calls to my boss either, especially if there are important meetings or projects due. However, this is what we signed up for when we made the decision to have children in the first place. If you don’t have a sympathetic or flexible employer then I suggest finding a new job. In the meantime, utilize mommy friends or neighbors who may be able to step in and take care of your sick child so you can fulfill work obligations. There are also websites, like Care.com, that can help you find babysitters if you are in a pinch. And I promise you can miss church to care for a sick kid.
Bottom line folks: If your kid is sick then they should stay home.