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To expect teacher to ask DD 6 a few more questions about her illness when she is crying with pain?

(59 Posts)
GobbolinoCat Wed 23-Oct-13 22:00:57

Twice now the school has surprised me with this.

1) Sunday DD seems to be ill, dreadful headache, glassy eyes but no other symptoms.

Monday morning she seems totally fine, we send her to school she is v happy to go.

I email and call the school to tell them, she seemed to be v ill the day before but fine today however, she is shy and will probably not feel OK to approach a teacher yet to say she is ill. Can someone just ask her if she OK at some point to make sure, and if not I can pick her up.


Pick up DD she looks horrendous, pale, red round eyes, tired, weeping, goes straight to bed when gets home and says no one asked her!

Call school, only get office staff who said she did pass on the message and someone told her to put her coat on confused. Didn't take it further as thought maybe they did ask her but that she did not relate that to me.


DD sick sunday, off school Monday, mostly OK Monday back to school Tuesday, fine Tuesday and Tuesday night and Wed am.

Collect her Wednesday am and she is in another dreadful state, the lady has her arms round her, and as soon as she gets in the car she vomits everywhere, wailing with headache etc.

Ask her did she not tell the teacher and she said she did tell the teacher and the teacher said " don't cry".

That was it.

I do not know how to proceed with this, what is general policy?

I would expect a teacher or someone to notice she was ill as she is crying, pale, looks ill - it was obvious today, and ask her a few more questions and perhaps phone me to come and get her?

I took her to docs after and the doc was carrying her for me, I have never seen him be so nice, he was saying, you poor thing you don't look well! It was obvious she wasn't well and the teacher had spoken to her.

What do I say? Is this normal? Its just we get lots of strong messages to make sure the children go in...

clam Thu 24-Oct-13 20:56:50

Whilst it's often (although not always) easy to spot the tell-tale signs of illness in one's own child in a 1:1 situation at home, it is totally different in school, where there are 30 children all clamouring for attention at once. It is regrettable, but sometimes these things do get missed - if there were, indeed, any visible signs during school time. Remember, you didn't see her until an hour later, and it could have been within that time that she deteriorated.

GobbolinoCat Thu 24-Oct-13 20:46:10


I think you need to accept that your dd should not be in school if you arent sure she is well.

Absolutely!! The first time I sent her in was most definalty a mistake.

Second time round, she had been off school with no more sickness or temp and seemed fine.

I will be erring on the side of caution in future.

I just find it all at odds with the attendance thing and being soo strict about attendance.

GobbolinoCat Thu 24-Oct-13 20:43:04


I do not think my school has anything in place as you describe. What you are saying you do is what I expect to be done.

My DD is in year one and has lots of enthusiasm for school and enjoys going. Even if she did not the concept of putting something on, is beyond her at the moment. I know some children do not, but I do not see why we are sort of tarring all DC with the same brush.

It just seems odd to almost ignore illness and never ask the dc questions, in case one is putting it on. When as a few posters have said its pretty obvious when a child looks ill.

What if that one time a child is seriously ill and they are being ignored because Tommy makes it up?
i do not see the harm in being "pro active" and asking a child who looks and is acting ill, are you ok.

cansu Thu 24-Oct-13 20:08:51

i think children can pick up and go downhill very quickly. I have been called in to collect dd urgently to find her skipping out happily to meet me after vomiting everywhere and crying on TA knee. an hour later she looked awful again. I think you have to recognise that maybe she seemed Ok then felt poorly then maybe got on with things and then went down hill. perhaps by the time she was looking rough it was nearly the end of the day anyway. tbh no teacher will risk a child throwing up in class but they probably dont have a minute to sit down when dealing with little ones. I think you need to accept that your dd should not be in school if you arent sure she is well. Teacher wont have deliberately ignored your dd so she either misjudged it (which is easily done as they can seem fine one minute and dreadful the next) or didnt notice. Either way I dont see the point making an issue out of it.

clam Thu 24-Oct-13 19:53:28

We've had complaints from some parents about phoning them re: their children presenting as ill, as they're reluctant to leave work to collect them unless they're "really" ill. hmm They clearly think that the school is fussing, and therefore the pendulum has swung back the other way a fair bit and we will try to jolly them along until home-time.

One parent recently refused to come and get her child as she "was busy" and why couldn't we put her to lie down somewhere.

This is the line that school staff have to walk. For every parent who wishes to be informed (as you are), there's another who doesn't.

I agree with those who say it's generally not the best idea to ask a child how they're feeling, as it can serve to remind them that they've been feeling rough. We have a lot of parents who send their kids to school in the morning with the promise of "tell your teacher if you feel ill and I'll come and get you home." Lo and behold, they decide they're feeling ill half way through maths.

I've developed a pretty good radar for genuine illness over the years, as opposed to "I'm tired and fed up and want my mum," but even I have cocked up occasionally. It's early in the year for the teacher to know your child well enough, but there are some who you take one look at and say "let's call Mum." It does sound as though this might have been one of those occasions, but it was missed. I don't think it's worth going in "all guns blazing" though. Half term is coming up, so she'll get some rest and recuperation there and hopefully it'll all behind her.

If not, get her checked out for migraines.

OldRoan Thu 24-Oct-13 19:25:19

I was teaching my Y2 class - they were eating snack on the carpet and I was worried about one boy (who is v shy and rarely speaks anyway). I took him to one side, asked if he was ok - he nodded, I prompted "a bit tired maybe?" - shakes head, "are you feeling sick? Do you want to go for a drink of a water?" - shakes head.

15 minutes later he vomited onto his maths book.

You have my sympathies, OP, but it really is difficult. I hope your DD feels better soon.

BonaDea Thu 24-Oct-13 19:10:06

OP - I also started to suffer from migraines around that age too. When you said glassy eyes and vomiting it just hit a nerve. Maybe get it checked out. I also often got them on Sundays although I know that sounds weird - dont know whether it was the excitement of the weekend or dreading school (I hated school although I always did well).

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 24-Oct-13 16:59:44

TbH Op, I would be concerned about the amount of head injuries your child seems to be having...

Tabby1963 Thu 24-Oct-13 16:49:56

OP, at my primary school teachers refer pupils to support staff who are first aiders. The children have to approach their teacher and say they feel unwell first though.

If I am on first aid duty I will take the child aside or to medical room and ask various questions to get more information about symptoms etc. I may ask if they have felt like this before so I can get a better picture of what's going on. We have good facilities at the medical room (bed, medical equipment, ice packs, filtered water etc).

It is usually easy to see if a child genuinely feels ill, they look tense, subdued, uncomfortable. However, I have to contact a member of the management team to get permission to phone home to get a member of the family to pick up child.

Occasionally, I will be told that I can phone to let family know, but will keep child at school and monitor them. If they continue to feel very unwell, we will call back and ask for a pick up.

A lot depends on the age of the child too. Younger children may feel less able to describe how they feel. I would be more likely to phone home for infants.

OP, next time your daughter attends school after a weekend of feeling unwell, please write a note detailing your concerns and asking for a phone call home if she becomes unwell again.

I would hope that the school will be able to do this for you. They are unlikely to keep asking your daughter if she feels ok though, they will wait for her to alert them if she feels ill.

It is wrong of the teacher to have told your daughter to "stop crying" when she felt ill. Hope you can sort it out.

babybythesea Thu 24-Oct-13 14:45:25

I also think that it's possible she looked ok until shortly before you arrived, and that the 'Don't cry' was a sympathetic one because they knew you'd already be on your way (which might also explain why they didn't ring you).

If my dd (reception class) says she feels unwell, I encourage her to go in anyway - often, by the time we get to school she's forgotten. And we've been lucky so far - she hasn't been unwell this half term so haven't had to deal with anything like your dd's bugs. However (and this is the relevant bit), if she's said she feels unwell, I go in to see the teacher in the morning, and catch either her or the TA personally to say "DD said first thing she had tummy ache/earache. I think she's fine, and she's been fine since she ate breakfast, but if she fades let me know - I can come and get her. I've told her to tell you if she feels ill." I don't rely on messages being sent through from the office, just in case! I also then say my goodbyes to dd and tell her then that if she feels unwell, Mrs X/Miss Z know that she felt funny this morning because I've told them so they won't mind if she tells them she feels poorly, which hopefully means she will feel more comfortable saying to them if she feels off. I don't expect them to ask her though - I know from my own experience with DD that if I ask her if she feels ok she's liable to discover a headache or similar so I wouldn't want them prompting her to feel ill at school! The exception would be if they thought she really looked unwell - obviously I'd expect them to question that but as I said before, I would check that this didn't happen 10 minutes before you arrived anyway. Do you know for certain, for example, that she said she felt poorly before the after-school club? Or did she actually only say it towards the end of the club?

Is it possible to go in to school yourself if she's been unwell in the run-up, and explain? Our school is very rural, and tiny, so they encourage lots of popping in and out - I realise it might not be possible elsewhere.

GobbolinoCat Thu 24-Oct-13 13:34:11

Bona Thanks flowers, I was posting to get an idea of what teachers do at other peoples schools, what policy is.

Yes I have been thinking about migranes as I am a sufferer though they have become thankfully rarer.

It has crossed my mind she may get them too I think it was at this age I started to get them sad.

Re: The teacher can't tell and does not know, I did try and make it as clear as possible from my OP just how ill she looked, so ill, she was being escorted by the the after school lady and also the doctors reaction. She looked ghaslty and she was crying.

This really was not border line.

She was not, not ill in the am, which is why we sent her in, she had been the previous day all as normal.

Just chatting to some other people about it and they seem to have a sort of sick room, they take the childs temperature, and call you if they think the child is ill.

Our school said this am, they do not get sent home unless they are actually being sick into a bowl, confused

Redhelen as said in op she was clearly very obviously ill. I had no idea she was ill as no one told me or called me, hence as usual she went onto this other club. She didn't have too and I would not have sent her had I had known.

singinggirl Thu 24-Oct-13 09:47:05

Also worth remembering that while you know signs of illness in your child, the teacher doesn't. Some children, especially at this end of the term, are so pale and tired that it is a normal look for them. Children of this age also go downhill, and uphill again very rapidly. DS2 at five was admitted to hospital one day with convulsions and a temperature of over 40. Fine by the next evening and back at school the following day! Have a conversation, but try not to go in all guns blazing.

BonaDea Thu 24-Oct-13 09:30:11

As usual on MN, heaven forbid that a teacher should be in the wrong or be actually expected to do anything other than teach! I get that time is short and that they cant give tons of individual attention, but surely to god if a child clearly looks ill they should do something.

OP - I don't think you are being precious at all. I think it is worth mentioning to the teacher in a polite but firm way.

Btw, have you considered whether she might be suffering from migraine?

DeWe Thu 24-Oct-13 09:29:18

Children don't always give the correct answer.
If you ask dd1 if she's feeling ill, she will always tell you she's fine. She was saying that (age 8) as I took her into the doctors where he diagnosed cronic pneumonia and was surprised that she could even sit up let alone stand with her statistics. She was trying to walk to school...
Dd2 will always tell you something's wrong. If you suggest a headache... she's got one, tummyache... yep that as well... She can even make herself look pale. Don't know how she does it... can produce tears at will too.

Ds is the easiest for me because he gets a distinctive smell, and a particular look when ill. I can tell. No one else can. I remember once though he did a 30minute class. Bounced in, skipped out. All fine and happy. 10 minutes later his temperature was over 40degrees and he could hardly stand.

It's not easy for a teacher.

RedHelenB Thu 24-Oct-13 09:10:23

Oh & the golden rule as a teacher or a parent is NOT to ask a child how they are feeling if they seem ok cos they always then develop complaints! If she was unwell before she went to school the responsibility lies with you I'm afraid.

RedHelenB Thu 24-Oct-13 09:08:54

If my child was under the weather I would not put them in an after school club if i was at home so YABU there. If your child was crying in class, even if she was too shy to tell the teacher there would definitely be a lot of other children who aren't at that age & will say X is crying!

GobbolinoCat Thu 24-Oct-13 09:03:04

Thanks people I feel a bit calmer about it today now had some sleep, all i can do is have a quick word with the teacher.

horrid they have to give us a slip when they hurt their heads and she gets them loads.

thehorridestmumintheworld Thu 24-Oct-13 00:49:57

That head injury thing is a bit strange I have never heard of that before. It seems like she gets a lot of head injuries? I would be a bit concerned about that. Why does she keep bumping her head? Why does the school have a special slip?

pennefab Thu 24-Oct-13 00:45:40

The only idea I would add for future consideration (past is past, can't change what happened, only plan for future)... What about canceling after school club on the days she's not in peak health? You just make decision to pick her up that afternoon and communicate it to all in the morning.

Sometimes it's those hours after school time when they start to feel effects of long day and start to feel worse exponentially quicker. Seems like they can mentally/physically hold it together until 2:30 ... By 3:00 it's a whole other thing.

Plus, if she knows that she's going into the day feeling 75% good - but knows that the day will end at regular school hrs & she doesn't have to push it further ... She may feel less stressed about holding it all together until she sees you. The stress of holding it together takes a toll.

Just a thought & hope she's feeling tip top soon.

Pancakeflipper Thu 24-Oct-13 00:45:19

And I think all the children are looking wiped out at the moment - they need half term.

Pancakeflipper Thu 24-Oct-13 00:44:11

It's not fun. And sending you an illegal MN hug.

I would talk to the teacher that you feel twice your child had been ignored (and keep in mind you think your child hasn't the confidence to approach their teacher). See what the teachers take on this is.

Hope you get some rest.

thehorridestmumintheworld Thu 24-Oct-13 00:43:55

You should go in Cat and just have a little chat with the teacher, go in after school when they are not so busy. Its good to get to know the teacher a bit, can you do some kind of volunteering and get involved that way. I know not always possible with a baby. But don't be scared to go and talk to the teacher, they don't mind unless you are there every day with some quibble. Anyway she can now stay off till after half term so you don't have to worry for a week.

IamInvisisble Thu 24-Oct-13 00:42:49

The teacher didn't know either Gobbolino. Children deteriorate really quickly. She might have thought your DD was tired. If your DD doesn't tell her, how is she supposed to know? How many days after she has come back from being ill do you want them to check that she is OK? They probably think that as you have sent her back to school she is well enought to be there and she shouldn't need checking, tbh.

GobbolinoCat Thu 24-Oct-13 00:41:05


I do not trust the school I guess.

Before on collection they have told me I owe dinner money when did not. Got DD home and she is pale all of a sudden then tells me she had a head injury before she came home and had an ice pack confused. There was no slip and they did not tell me, it was almost too late to call the school to find out if this was true!

GobbolinoCat Thu 24-Oct-13 00:37:50

pancake yes I am stressed, have baby who has been not sleeping and I have hurt my back, having to carry baby and sick 6 year old has not been fun.

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