Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Such A Rebel!

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Both the wee ones' schools - as I'm sure the majority of yours - have a rule. If you child is sick, the child must stay home. If there is a fever over 99.5 degrees, diarrhea, vomting, etc - stay home. And that includes for 24 hours after symptoms subside.

I understand the rule completely. There have been plenty of times when I thought the wee ones were fine, only to have symptoms recur four or five hours later. I'd much rather ensure the wee ones are totally healthy before sending them back to school than push them and have them be sicker longer.

The parents who send their kids back to school because they gave their kids Tylenol and the fever went away? Oh they drive me nuts. Tylenol is a fever rdeucer not an illness remover, and those children are most likely still contagious and getting others sick when they're at school when they shouldn't be.

On a side note, I firmly believe that this rule should hold for teachers, too. I get that you have only so many sick days (although being married to a teacher, you have way more sick days than I ever did, and he'll likely retire with the maximum days banked) and don't want to miss out on teaching if at all possible, but I don't want you getting my wee ones sick either! Stay home if you're sick.

I write this as my husband - a teacher - is upstairs sleeping at 1:30pm. It's the second time in the last two or so weeks that he's been sick (shouldn't he be immune by now?), and he's miserable. He called a sub last night and didn't even go to the school to set up the classroom for the sub, which he usually does even when sick. When he had his cold two weeks ago though? He went into school just dosed up on DayQuil, much to my chagrin.

I haven't always followed this requirement though.

In fact, I can think of a specific instance when I sent Little Miss back to school about eight hours after her last incident of diarrhea. I had a good reason, though. I promise.

Little Miss has had a huge issue with dairy, and we've kept her clean for almost two years. Or ... nearly clean. Her teachers in preschool a year and a half ago gave her cheddar Goldfish, not realizing that there would be dairy in them. I'm not sure if the word "cheddar" or "cheese" was more confusing, or if they simply neglected to look at the box with the big milk in bold letters just under the ingredient list showing allergens.

Needless to say, I got a call from the nurse shortly thereafter saying that I needed to come pick up Little Miss, as she'd had two nasty bouts of diarrhea already. I found out about the Goldfish the next day.

That was on a Monday. On Wednesday, she was still suffering, my poor girl. She'd missed three days of school because her teachers had given her a food she was not allowed to have - though her allergy was well-known and documented in the classroom. I was not a happy camper.

Once she made it through Wednesday overnight unscathed and it had been almost three full days, I knew she was fine. She'd managed to get to the bathroom in time the entire previous day, and her classroom had a bathroom in it. There was no way she was contagious (much as I wished at that time that she could pass her dairy allergy along to the teacher who gave her the Goldfish), as she hadn't been "sick" before that anyway.

So.... Thursday morning, I sent her off to school. Luckily, she had no issues, and I received an apology from the teacher. But technically, she shouldn't have returned to school probably until the following Monday, as she was still a little ummmmmm off on Thursday. Shhhhh, don't tell that I broke the rule there (and no, if it was an actual contagious illness, I wouldn't have done it).

My only hope right now is that we contain the current illness to the "sick room" (read: guest bedroom) where my husband is currently quarrantined. I'm already tired of being the nurses on call! (And I mean that in the nicest possible way....)

Wish us luck. I'm off to go down some more Vitamin D!


kt moxie September 16, 2010 at 2:39 PM  

I'm with you... if it's not a contagious illness, the 24 hour rule doesn't count! My little guy is *highly* prone to diarrhea (he has was is deemed "toddler diarrhea"). If I had to keep him home 24 hours after ever bout... he'd never make it back to preschool!

WeaselMomma September 16, 2010 at 3:41 PM  

Thanks for taking away any craving I will ever have to eat Goldfish again.

Joanna September 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

I would do the same thing. I have horrible seasonal and mold allergies, and if my mom had kept me home every time I had a reaction I would have maybe made it to class 1/2 of the year. If it's not contagious and your little one feels good, I say they're better off learning!

septembermom September 17, 2010 at 5:47 PM  

I bet you make a cute nurse in hubby's eyes. Hope he feels better soon. I'm glad to hear that you got an apology from the teacher.

Karen September 17, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

This is one of my pet peeves, too. And it extends to church. There are two families in our church who bring sick kids repeatedly. Their kid vomits, I get them, they say, "he's been sick for 3 days now." SO WHY DID YOU BRING HIM?!

Some people need smacked.

End rant.

Mama Kat September 18, 2010 at 11:27 PM  

Ugh! The sick days are on us aren't they!?!

I run a daycare and you KNOW I've got enough stories to keep me going all night on this topic!

Pat September 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

It sounds like her teacher did the wrong thing and you did the right thing, since LM wasn't contagious. How annoying that the teacher was oblivious to the allergens in the goldfish crackers. Maybe an allergy bracelet on LM would work. Do they still make those?

Michelle September 20, 2010 at 9:51 PM  

kt moxie - Ouch, I feel for you! I definitely keep them home DURING such issues, but if I know the why and know it isn't contagious....

WeaselMomma - You're welcome. Just think of all the calories you're saving :)

Joanna - I'm with you. If I'm not getting anyone else sick and not disturbing learning, I'm good to go. Fortunately, these rules didn't exist when we were in school!

Kelly - Ummm no. He feels I'm not compassionate enough since I call his doctor - who dispenses prescriptions withOUT seeing patients - a quack and threaten to report him to the medical board.

Karen - Uhhhh yeah. That is just wrong. Really really wrong. Then again, some people feel like it's church and no one could EVER get sick at church because God will protect them (yes, I've actually heard this).

Michelle September 20, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

Mama Kat - Oh I can only imagine the stories you have... and the stuff you have to deal with. Yikes!

Pat - In that instance, yes. They do make those, but it wasn't a lack of awareness of the allergy; it was a lack of paying attention to what she was serving. It just never crossed her mind that it might have dairy. *sigh*

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