This Grinds My Gears

How many times will I have to ask myself "WHY would any parent in their right mind send their child out in public with a fever?"

In my mind, any child with a fever stays away from other children, and preferably inside, for at least 24 hours. Until I see the fever gone they don't have contact with other children. Until I know what virus or bacteria is causing their body's temperature to climb, I don't send them out. In my mind, if your kid has a fever of over 39 degrees the night before and is still up there in the 38 degrees range he DOES NOT BELONG AT SCHOOL!

(Yes. This actually happened today at Ben's preschool.)

I mean... HONESTLY! Am I completely deranged to think the best place for a sick kid to be is at home? I don't want my kid sick, I'm pretty sure your kid's teacher doesn't want to get sick, and you would think the parent of a sick child would want their child at home resting so they can get better faster. Especially if they don't even know what their kid is sick with yet. Usually the fever comes before the other symptoms. It's after the fever that you find out your kid has been spreading around whopping cough, strep throat, or chicken pox. In the meantime, you've put other children at risk and sent your sick child out and about. Good thinking. 'Cause preschool is THAT important. Heaven forbid your kid misses the day they paint with spaghetti. It's totally worth the risk to send them out. Totally worth it.

I'm telling you people. There isn't much that is guaranteed to raise my temperature faster than obviously sick children being dragged out to play with other kids. Especially my kids.


Next time Ben gets pink-eye he's going to school. None of this keeping him home garbage. He's going, and I'm going to tell him to lick stuff.


  1. Hahaha! No you won't. I know you better than that. LOL

  2. Just smear the pick eye germs on notes to send home with all the kids and keep Ben home where you can snuggle and mother him like you know you really want to! As weird as it sounds I don't mind when Chloe is sick(not with anything major) so I can snuggle her!

  3. I do not know the specific circumstances of the sick child you encountered at Ben's school today. But I do know that as a single mom, I absolutely dreaded the thought of my kids getting sick. Because I didn't know whether I would be able to find a baby-sitter for them if they were sick. Sometimes its very difficult for people to just skip a day or two of work. I didn't get sick days at my job so if I missed a day of work, it was coming out of my pay. That can be extremely difficult for a single mom when you absolutely need every penny. My guess is that sometimes these are the circumstances surrounding a child with a fever going to school. Sometimes the solution is not so cut and dried.

  4. (Except in this instance it was a stay at home mom.)

  5. Sorry. Maybe I'm a mean cow, but it is cut and dried for me when it comes to a fever and young children. This is school, not a babysitters. As a teacher, and a parent, I think when you send your sick child to school you are putting other kids at risk, and I think it is irresponsible. I understand minor sicknesses like colds showing up at school is somewhat unavoidable. But when a child has a fever you don't know what they could be spreading. It's dangerous for the child and for other children. Some of the other children often have other medical conditions (like asthma) that can make the illness your child could be spreading even more severe. Some of those children may be bringing those germs home to infants or elderly people. It's not safe.

    I'm not saying I don't feel compassion for people who have to work and who find it very difficult to find other places to take their kids. I get it. The fact is, though, by sending one sick kid you could be making many other families who are in the same position as you are have to face the same struggle to find a sitter.

    And in this particular case, it was a mom who was at home, and it was for a preschool class that only runs two afternoons a week. You can't tell me that finding a place for him for two hours, when he obviously has a place all those other days and hours, would have been that difficult. It was irresponsible to send him. (I got the teacher to call his mom to come and get him. The poor kid was completely zoned out and almost falling out of his chair.)

    And I'm not even going to mention the numerous times moms brought their sick toddlers to play at the mall playland with fevers, and even vomiting and diarrhea. I suppose my point is: If they don't NEED to be there and they're sick, they SHOULDN'T be there. If there's no other choice, I suppose there's no other choice... But there almost always is. I wish people would think about that choice more than they do.

  6. Fair enough. You raise good points. And I certainly wouldn't have sent my child to school if they were zoning out and couldn't function. But in the case of coughs or sniffles, sometimes it was a guessing game as to whether this child was sick enough to stay home (and me missing work) or not. And chances were that whatever my child had, he'd caught from some other kid at school, so it wasn't like by staying home he would have prevented everyone else from catching a cold. I guess I've come to accept that kids will pick up stuff from other kids at school. But I also haven't been put in a place where my child being sick would ensure that I couldn't spend time with a family member fighting cancer or put them at risk. If I was in that place, I would probably be much more sensitive about this kind of stuff.

  7. I'm mostly talking about severe symptoms here. Obviously a kid can be sick with a cold for weeks and it's not practical to keep him at home. It's the feverish kids showing up that really bugs me the most. Partly because at that stage you usually don't even know what they're cooking up. I will admit to possibly being overly-sensitive since Dad got sick. I hate finding out my kid has been exposed to whooping cough or hand foot and mouth disease and now has to stay away from his Grampa for two or three weeks.

    Thanksgiving is coming and I don't want to miss it because someone else couldn't miss an afternoon of preschool.


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