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about the 48 hour school rule

(80 Posts)
QueenofKelsingra Thu 08-May-14 20:42:23

Basically i was called to pre-school for DS1 (4) as he had been sick. he is slightly pale when I pick him up but by the time I get home with him (5 min walk) he is bouncing around wanting to go outside to play and asking for cake hmm. He eats normally all day, no sickness no bowel issues. he has a habit of sitting with his fingers in his mouth (copying his teething brother) and I think he probably made himself sick accidentally.

I called the pre-school and explained this and asked if he could come in tomorrow assuming still no other symptoms - so 24 hours clear. a blanket now as the policy is 48 hours for ANY sickness OR diarrhoea.

AIBU to think this is an extreme policy and that a bit of common sense should be applied? of course if he had a D&V bug I would keep him off until he was 48 hours clear. but for ONE incident of sickness??

oh and naturally they will charge me for the missed sessions despite it being at their insistence.

and also WIBU to write to the school and challenge this policy as being extreme and unnecessary for one off incidents?

hazeyjane Thu 08-May-14 20:44:12

YABU, because you can't know for sure what caused your ds's sickness. That is why it has to be a blanket policy.

meditrina Thu 08-May-14 20:45:03

Every school and nursery my DC have been in has had a 48 hours rule.

YouTheCat Thu 08-May-14 20:47:39

The trouble with trusting people to apply common sense is that usually they don't.

We get kids sent in regularly who are clearly sick and parents who say 'oh but he hasn't been sick since last night and he ate his breakfast' as you're scraping vomit off the walls. hmm

Sirzy Thu 08-May-14 20:47:52

YABU. You don't know why he was sick the policy is there for a reason

QueenofKelsingra Thu 08-May-14 20:52:03

I find it frustrating that because of other people's inability to make sensible decisions I am no longer allowed to make decisions for my child.

I had no qualms about collecting him but I cant believe that 24 hours clear for a one off is not enough.

I am 90% sure of why he was sick, he has done it before. he can also be sick if over excited or over tired. or if he coughs to much. he has an overactive gag reflex.

Groovee Thu 08-May-14 20:53:13

YABU, having worked in a nursery where parents wouldn't follow the 24 hour rule we had and then had the cheek to moan when the owner had to close the nursery because every single member of staff had the sickness bug, it was not pleasant.

48 hours is a good rule and should be adhered to, to prevent the spread of an infection which can really floor people.

elliejjtiny Thu 08-May-14 21:02:55

YABU. When my DS2 was a baby a sickness bug would usually result in a hospital admission. It's better to have 48 hours off than infect someone vulnerable.

WooWooOwl Thu 08-May-14 21:03:27


I believe that you have probably made the right judgement about why your ds was sick, but they have to apply blanket rules with no leeway because of the amount of selfish parents who would send their children in after sickness even if they weren't sure what caused it.

They have these rules to protect our children, and while I get that it's inconvenient, you just have to deal with it graciously.

aquashiv Thu 08-May-14 21:05:19

I would adhere this is school they won't bend. You might as well argue with the t towel.

ThermoLobster Thu 08-May-14 21:06:15


nulgirl Thu 08-May-14 21:08:59

Whilst I agree with the 48 hour rule in general, there does have to be some flexibility for known conditions which cause vomiting. I know a child who suffers from abdominal migraines. As a result he is sick at least once a week. Do people really think it is realistic for him to miss circa 40% of his education for something which is not contagious?

QueenofKelsingra Thu 08-May-14 21:10:07

I will just have a strong word with DS that he is to only randomly throw up for no medical reason at home in future so the school wont know.

before I get flamed, I would not send him in ill (I'm a SAHM, its no 'bother' to have him home except I had planned to eat some chocolate without wanting to share with him ) I KNOW he was not ill in this case and he was really upset not to be able to go in today.

elvenbread Thu 08-May-14 21:12:09

Just before Christmas parents in my class thought the rules didn't apply to them too. Several kids were 'fine' when they got home. I ended up with 18 of my 26 children off within a three week period. I was furious with those parents who sent kids back while still poorly. I had 4 kids sick in the classroom, one on my hand. Lovely. Just what I needed before xmas.

KatyMac Thu 08-May-14 21:12:53

I run a nursery - if a parent says "xxx had loads of blueberries yesterday & he might be a little loose", I am unlikely to send him home if he is. If however a child is loose & when I ring up to send him home the parent says that "xxx had loads of blueberries yesterday" he goes home

Pre-discussed and 'known' conditions are one thing; 'known' conditions that are only explained after the fact are another

Waltonswatcher1 Thu 08-May-14 21:47:50

Glory be , it's a known rule . It's there for a good proven reason . Enjoy the day off together !

TheGruffalo2 Thu 08-May-14 21:50:42

It is amazing how many parents have reasons like this (not saying OP is one of them) when they bring their child back to school before 48 hours. Some drop and run, so we have to bring the children in to school, then when we try to contact them to collect they are unattainable. Some children accidentally disclose that despite parents telling me they have been clear for 48 hours they were sick again in the night or even before school. I know how tough it is needed the child back at school so we can go to work, but I think the OP would be amazed the number of parents that push the 48 hour regulation, hence schools needing to make blanket rules to protect the other children.

Waltonswatcher1 Thu 08-May-14 22:10:40

My neighbours dd had a tummy bug 10 days ago that she assured me was all clear .
The runny stinking nappy I changed today said otherwise !

Parents lie to themselves about this all the time . So many excuses - teething , ice cream , sun shine ,blueberries .
Pants . Its mainly pants and it makes me really cross .

It's not worth risking . Too many of us have serious medical conditions and its a far bigger issue to us than a day of wasted preschool fees .

junkfoodaddict Thu 08-May-14 22:16:14

I understand about the need for the blanket rule in principle but when a child is sick in the premises of a school or nursery, then the other kids have all been exposed to the virus/bacteria anyways!
So what sense is there in keeping off a child when he/she has bounced back?

This very same thing happened to my child - twice. The first time, I kept him away from his childminders for 48 hours and the other kids STILL got sick - because he vomited whilst he was in the childminder's care. The second time, he vomited at the childminders literally 15 minutes before we arrived to pick him up but because he ate very well, slpet very well, woke happy and cheery and was never pale or hot we sent him back 12 hours later. The childminder was surprised to see him and I explained that he was showing no signs of sickness. Childminder informed me 4 days later that she had 2 children go down with the bug and made out that it was my insistence on him attending that made the others sick. i later found out that the 2 children came down with the bug that SAME night he was sick at the childminders - NOT because he went back the next day.

I'm all for agreeing that children should be kept away whilst actively vmiting and going to the toilet on a more than regular basis but to keep a child at home for 48 hours when otherwise seemingly healthy is just been OTT. Sickness bugs DO spread like wild fire and once a child is exposed to another ill child, keeping them away for 48 hours IS NOT going to save the other children from getting it.

I've had a child go home from school yesterday with sickness. He isn't in school but I've had 5 more who were sent home today with tummy ache and showiing signs of the same bug. They came down with it regardless of the 48 hour rule.

DammitChloe Thu 08-May-14 22:26:59

And if he came into school, he'd infect more than the 5 children who already seem to have it.

If you really think the rule is OTT, you could take it up with the HPA or DoH. It's their rule, tthey are the ones that issue the guidance.

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Thu 08-May-14 22:41:38

In that instance yab slightly u. At our old school one isolated incidence was treated differently to 2 or more episodes so when my son was sick with a cough 24 hrs was ok. As long as not sick again. DS had a sensitive gag reflex and was often 'sick' at lunchtime... I.e ate lunch went running around playground, threw up. If genuinely ill I kept him off for 48, but they allowed me (eventually) to use my discretion also. At preschool it was 48 hrs. Was hard going as he often had toddler diarrhoea.

Takesalongtime Thu 08-May-14 22:48:51

This rule should be followed. As a cm drives me mad when find out after having children that they were sick night before but was only due to phlegm/eating too much/etc or that's what they say & then a day later my poor dc have & I have to take time off because the parents don't want to take time off.

tiggytape Thu 08-May-14 23:19:34

YABU - It may be a one-off. It may be a slow-starting bug. You say you are 90% sure. That's not much consolation if all the other children and staff spend next week with stomach bugs because you were 10% wrong.

If you seriously want a system where parents are allowed to use their common sense then be prepared for your DS to catch a lot of sick bugs!

Parents already try to take vomiting children to school because they have a meeting at work and claim it is just a touch of car sickness. If it wasn't for the 48 hour rule, whole classes would be infected every month.

You say you sure it is because he put his fingers near his throat or coughed a lot or got hot or got excited. Well that's what every single parent says who doesn't want to stick to the 48 hour rule and needs to get to work!

allisgood1 Thu 08-May-14 23:25:56

YABVU. You have no idea if it was a bug or not. Some children are sick once, others end up in hospital with dehydration from the same bug. Good for the nursery for sticking to their policy! I hope mine does!

tiggytape Thu 08-May-14 23:26:57

I'm all for agreeing that children should be kept away whilst actively vmiting and going to the toilet on a more than regular basis but to keep a child at home for 48 hours when otherwise seemingly healthy is just been OTT

It isn't OTT. The child continues to be contagious even after their symptoms stop. So just because they haven't been sick for 10 hours doesn't mean they won't infect the whole class if they return.
And whist a sick bug may be a bit of a pain for one family, for a school as a whole it can mean teachers off work and extra cost and disruption plus potentially very vulnerable children (or their vulnerable family members) being exposed to things that could hospitalise them. This cannot be avoided totally but the 48 hour rule protects everyone from the worst of it.

It isn't just a silly rule schools make up out of thin air - it is based on clinical research about how these things spread and the best way to limit mass infections.

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