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AIBU to not want DS (5) to clean tables at school after being ill with pneumonia

(73 Posts)
debs227 Sat 23-Mar-13 23:41:34

AIBU to ask DS's teacher not to give him the classroom job of cleaning the class tables before lunch with a damp cloth.
DS is year 1, they eat their packed lunches in their classroom. DS had the job of cleaning the tables everyday before lunch. he was doing this everyday before he was off sick.
He has been off school for 7 weeks due to being extremely ill with several viruses which then culminated in a week long hospital stay due to him being diagnosed with pneumonia and he couldn't breathe.
I can't help but feel that he picked up the many viruses from all the germs passed around at school and from wiping the tables!
His first day back will be Monday and I am getting very worked up about it.


hazeyjane Tue 26-Mar-13 09:14:20

But MrsJay, it is a long slow recovery, and it is entirely reasonable to go back to school, but still need to take things gently. I think it is also reasonable to try and minimise risk of coming down with something else, and if the op feels that wiping down all the tables with a cloth which does sound as though it might be a bit germ ridden, then I don't see why the school couldn't find him another job, and get someone else to do the table wiping duty.

mrsjay Tue 26-Mar-13 09:07:47

A damp cloth isnt going to harm him is it I know he mustve been quite ill but I think if he is ok to go back to school he is ok to get back to doing school things and doing the jobs the other pupils do, you are being a wee bit U imo

BoffinMum Tue 26-Mar-13 09:06:28

What I had was something called 'walking pneumonia' which is the most prevalent type for younger people without underlying health conditions. Contrary to the popular image, I did not look like I was a death's door, and I could walk up and down stairs, answer the door to people and so on. My temp was not actually that high for most of it - high 90s. However underneath all that I had a dreadful infection in both lungs, needed multiple types of seriously hard core antibiotics all at once (the blue ones were the worst), was almost admitted to A and E a few times (they only told me that later), had chest x-rays, sputum tests, and was completely out of it mentally. Luckily my GP is absolutely fantastic and looked after me with great care, so I got over it as quickly as you can. The moral is that it does not look like the film version of pneumonia, though, but people have still had a serious illness.

BoffinMum Tue 26-Mar-13 09:00:55

I've had pneumonia, when I was in my early 30s. I was appallingly ill for two weeks while it was brewing, then it got so serious I had to be off work for a month or so, and I was running at 50% for another 6 months. There were a couple of days where I quite seriously thought that it been the pre-antibiotics era I would die that day. The medication you have to take is almost worse than the disease, as the side effects can be like dysentery. Anyone who has had it needs mollycoddling for a long time.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 25-Mar-13 23:54:33

YANBU. I worked with a very healthy 25 yo who caught pneumonia. I was shocked at how long the recovery time for her was. She was off work for a couple of months at least so far as I remember. She then came back very part-time for another couple of months and was extremely tired.

I cannot believe that the people on the thread who say that if he's at school, he should be joining in as normal, have ever encountered anyone who has had pneumonia. It really is a very horrible disease.

I wish your DS a speedy recovery. Of course he shouldn't be wiping the tables. He does need to try and avoid other infections, within reason.

nicelyneurotic Mon 25-Mar-13 19:06:57

How crowded are schools these days? If they are all squeezed in together that could be why.

debs227 Mon 25-Mar-13 12:43:33


debs227 Mon 25-Mar-13 12:43:04

Well we decided to try the morning. I collected him just before lunch and he is fine, albeit a bit pale and tired.
No table wiping thank goodness and no extra jobs.

cumfy - azythromicin and co-amoxiclav, they started with just azythromicin but his temp wouldn't come down so they combined the too.

I have been working with him at home during his time off so i am happy with his work situation and after all he is only 5!!

Thank you everyone, especially for the supportive comments.

Stressy - the more you read about pneumonia it does seem strange that healthy young children can get it. One article i read said that it is more common in prisons and areas of overcrowding or in people with compromised immune systems.

SquinkieBunnies Mon 25-Mar-13 01:36:51

Makes me wonder too stress, the only people I remember having pleurisy were very old and pneumonia was rare in youngsters.

stressyBessy22 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:25:55

Up until winter last year I had never heard of healthy young people getting pneumonia, but since then there seems to have been so much about.That and pleurisy which I assume is similar? I wonder why it has suddenly become so much more prevalent?

Fairenuff Sun 24-Mar-13 20:38:49

Might be best to keep him off entirely for the next four days so that he can rest properly and be kept away from germy children for a good long stretch.

Sirzy Sun 24-Mar-13 20:31:21

Flogging - recovery from pneumonia can take ages, if it was to wait until he was well enough for "business as usual" he could end up missing another couple of months. Sometimes reasonable adjustment has to be made so a child gets back to school as soon as possible.

cumfy Sun 24-Mar-13 20:29:18

The reason I asked about TB is that often a combination of antibiotics (eg. isoniazid and rifampicin) is given.

Floggingmolly Sun 24-Mar-13 20:27:17

He will not have gotten pneumonia from wiping tables! If he's well enough to be back at school, it should be business as usual. They're hardly sending him up a chimney.

hazeyjane Sun 24-Mar-13 19:37:03

Hopefloats, the op's ds is 5 and had pneumonia, there is not much that can be done about missing schoolwork! Recovering properly from the pneumonia is the most important thing.

I would definitely be asking for my dc to not have any extra jobs for a while.

BeehavingBaby Sun 24-Mar-13 19:32:54

My stepsister has had a lung transplant and was discharged with the warning that the greatest infection risks were small children and dishcloths so I would say YANBU. Also be=mused by the lack of job rotation.

montage Sun 24-Mar-13 19:26:36

Can you avoid the issue entirely by having your DS have hot lunches then?

It does seem a pointless job - if the tables need to be cleaned before being eaten at, there is little point asking any 5 year old to do an effective job cleaning them!

hopefloats Sun 24-Mar-13 19:16:34

I think you should worry more about all the schoolwork he has missed tbh.

nicelyneurotic Sun 24-Mar-13 18:12:54

I think you've found the source of the problem then OP! That cloth is never sterilised and is kept in the sink - it probably contains a term's worth of germs. Complain!

debs227 Sun 24-Mar-13 17:36:54

Just reading through all the comments!! wow, thanks everyone for your input. I do feel like he needs a phased return to school and having spoken to DH we are agreed for half days this week.
I would have kept him off this week but given that the Easter Holidays start on Thursday i thought just doing a few days would do him good, i think i am just really keen to get his life back to normality after all he has been through. (although DS isn't that keen about going back to school!)
I will catch the teacher and ask her.

Cumfy - yes TB, they asked in the hospital several times whether he had been near anyone with TB. Which really made me worry. I couldn't think of anyone and i don't think he would be able to catch that from anyone at school?? but then i maybe wrong. I don't quite understand TB.

All children who eat packed lunches eat in the classrooms, this happens in every class in the school. Only those having hot lunches eat in the hall. It is a large hall so i have no idea why packed lunch children eat in their classrooms. My DD who is 8 has hot lunches but i have asked her what happens in her classroom and she says her teacher wipes over the tables before lunch with the same spray you have mummy (which is dettol anti bac spray!!) So it looks as though it depends very much on the teacher of the class.
They also have water bottles which are kept at school and just rinsed out each day, i'm not even going to start thinking about that!!

DS said the cloth is a cloth that is kept in the sink in the classroom. He sees no spray.

lljkk Sun 24-Mar-13 16:14:54

Lots of schools have too pokey halls for everyone to eat in there at once.

jamdonut Sun 24-Mar-13 16:05:38

Interesting....we (teachers and TA's) were told off for using anti-bac spray for our classroom tables! (we sometimes sneak it in if we are doing baking though! blush)
Only council approved cleaning stuff is to be used,by the cleaners. Also the cleaners are not allowed to use bleach in the toilets. It is no wonder that they smell so much! (The toilets, not the cleaners!)The world is going mad!

Strangely, children really like to wipe down tables with wet cloths/paper towels. They fight to do it! But usually only after painting or crafts. We don't eat lunches in the classroom,ever.

cumfy Sun 24-Mar-13 15:47:22

Yes, why aren't packed lunches being eaten in the dining room/hall ?

thebody Sun 24-Mar-13 15:46:52

Must have been very worrying for you all.

I work in a school and don't really see its the kids job to wipe tables really, that's done by lunch time supervisors usually.

However any task should be rotated so if he's doing it all the time that's unfair. If they take turns I suppose its ok but still not the kids job really.

alistron1 Sun 24-Mar-13 15:42:27

Without wanting to sound like a Daily Mail writer this is a real H&S issue. I work in a school. At lunchtime many of the kids want to help with table wiping ( in the hall) but they aren't allowed to because of exposure to the sterilising solution used to clean the tables.

I can't believe that kids at your school are eating lunch in their class room. Lots of studies have shown that work spaces (and I'm thinking offices here, not schools) are festering with all sorts of pathogens. I'm actually stunned that your kid is eating in his class room!!

Wrt to pneumonia - my 16 year old had it before Xmas. She was off school for a month. When she went back she was excused from PE/games for a few weeks. Even now she's still not 'right' and gets very tired. Keep an eye on your son and if you think a reduced timetable would be beneficial for him then ask for it. It's a debilitating thing and recovery should not be rushed.

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