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to worry that it's not normal for DS to be ill this often.

(43 Posts)
Stripeyclock Thu 04-Dec-14 11:15:26

Sorry this is long as I'm flapping a bit.

My nearly 3 year old DS started nursery in September. He only goes two mornings a week.

I'm a SAHM so I don't have to send him if he is ill. I probably keep him home in circumstances when other parents who have to work will have no choice but to send their DCs in, such as mild temperatures etc.

Since the bad weather began he picked up a cold, or a series of different colds, I'm not sure.

This means he has missed quite a few days of nursery. Not consecutively but still quite a few because of snotty noses, mild temperatures etc. His nose has been running for over four weeks now and I think in the last four weeks, he missed one week entirely and then one day of each of the last three weeks because of cold type symptoms. He also missed one day when he was well, but I had to keep him off because of the 48 hour D+V policy.

I think part of the problem is that in the last few weeks, every time he's been to nursery he picks up something else and it's developed by the time he is due to attend again. Also we have relatives with young DC in another city we visit regularly, so they give each other stuff.

I always email the nursery to notify when he is going to be absent. Today when the practise manager emailed back, she was very pleasant and said she was sorry to hear he was ill and that he seems to be picking up a lot of bugs.

This comment has made me a bit paranoid now. I thought this was fairly normal before and people told me that kids pick up everything the first 6 months of starting nursery. We still effectively have 3 months of the first 6 months to go.

Now I'm worried. I'm worried that DS has some underlying problem. At the same time however I feel silly because I can't imagine that the Doctor will take me seriously as he just appears to have a cold.

Has anyone else found themselves in these circumstances?

Lostriver Thu 04-Dec-14 11:19:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 04-Dec-14 11:19:49

If I kept my 3 year old home from preschool every time he had a runny nose he would only be there about 50% of the time.

Kids do get mild illnesses at a lot at that age, I think it is probably your attitude towards these minor ailments that differs from a lot of parents.

mummymeister Thu 04-Dec-14 11:19:54

so it could be one of two things. first, he is at the peak age for attracting coughs, colds and bugs. my 3 were snotty nosed for almost an entire year. you are also keeping him off when others wouldn't because he is your pfb. make sure hand hygiene with him is good. either you do it or get him to do it himself before he eats anything. you could try boosting his immunity with some of the childrens vitamins. we did that to one of ours and it made the world of difference. second there could be something underlying so keep a proper note of when he is ill, temperature etc to see if there is a pattern ie. worse on foggy days. if you think there is go and see your GP. this is one of those stages though more than likely. it will pass.

NoSundayWorkingPlease Thu 04-Dec-14 11:20:58

he missed one week entirely and then one day of each of the last three weeks because of cold type symptoms

You may be being a bit ur.

Ds1 (6) has the constitution of an Ox...the majority of colds completely miss him, even when the rest of the household is full of cold.

Ds2 (4) however...if I kept him home every time he has a cold, he'd barely be there Nov-Feb.

If they have a temperature, I keep them off. A cold or cough...they go in as usual.

Perhaps the nursery's comment was a bit pointedly sarcastic? As in...really, he has a sniffle, send him in.

stargirl1701 Thu 04-Dec-14 11:21:02

Yup! My DD1 who is 27 months old has had one snot free day in the last 6 weeks. I put it down to picking up viruses at the childminder's. I would rather she did this now than at school though so I'm not stressing.

What did annoy me was the pharmacist refusing to give me liquid paracetamol under Minor Ailments last night. Yes, she has a cold. Green snot, cough, crusty eyes...I would take paracetamol if I had those symptoms. He didn't think paracetamol was necessary for a cold. Needless to say, I just bloody bought some. Next time, I'll just lie and say temperature.

Thurlow Thu 04-Dec-14 11:21:08

It is pretty normal for them to pick up a lot of bugs when they start childcare, because they are exposed to them for the first time.

Do you think because you can keep him off, you might be keeping him off in some circumstances when he is ok to go in? Snotty noses are mucky and nasty, but don't always mean your child is actually unwell. It doesn't sound excessive, to me, and colds/tummy bugs are very common, so it doesn't sound like he has caught something very bad.

But if you are worried then you could go and see your GP. They're normally very nice. I took similar age DD this week as she just seemed more tired and pale than usual and the GP was lovely and gave her a blood test just to check that everything was ok.

coppertop Thu 04-Dec-14 11:24:14

It's completely normal for children to pick up every bug going when they first start nursery. Mine used to go through a phase of having a day off nearly every week for the first few months.

The good news was that by the time they started school, they generally had a much better immunity to things.

SageSeymour Thu 04-Dec-14 11:25:36

It's normal.

However , why are you keeping him off with a cold? High temps, D and V - yes. A runny nose - OTT and a bit precious

NoSundayWorkingPlease Thu 04-Dec-14 11:25:50

I would take paracetamol if I had those symptoms. He didn't think paracetamol was necessary for a cold. Needless to say, I just bloody bought some. Next time, I'll just lie and say temperature

I'm confused by this. Paracetamol is for pain relief or to help reduce fever.

If she did not have a temperature and was not in pain...even though cold symptoms are unpleasant...why on Earth would you give paracetamol?

SomeSunnySunday Thu 04-Dec-14 11:26:10

One of mine was ill constantly around this age. I did worry - he seemed to pick up everything going, and often was just under the weather with non-specific symptoms (temp, lethargic).

I particularly remember, the summer he turned 3, that he had an on/off temperature (sometimes very high, i.e. 40 degrees) for 6 weeks.

The GP didn't seem all that worried, and felt it was fairly normal for a child in nursery, although eventually he prescribed a course of antibiotics "just in case", which didn't really help. We were told that the next step would be bloods / a paed referral, but when it came to it he just got better. He's now a very healthy 6 year old, who rarely has a day's illness (maybe he got all of the bugs early on?).

My non-medical interpretation is that he did just keep getting one thing after another, that his immune system took a real battering and he wasn't getting the chance to shake things off before the next thing came along.

MinnieM1 Thu 04-Dec-14 11:27:16

I think you're being a bit precious keeping him off school with a snotty nose
He will of course pick things up from other kids and you as the adult need to learn to cope with them and show your child how to cope with them in a reasonable manner
I agree some vitamins to boost his immune system for now and lots of hand washing and send him to school, he'll be fine

Dolallytats Thu 04-Dec-14 11:27:17

My DS, now 6, seemed to be forever off when he was at nursery. I think this is pretty normal when children start mixing with each other.

By the time he got to reception he wasn't half as bad and now he doesn't have much time off at all.

BarbarianMum Thu 04-Dec-14 11:33:52

DS1 was constantly (and I mean constantly) ill with coughs, colds, random viruses, conjunctivitus and ear infections b/w the ages of 3 and 4. This coincided with him starting nursery. It got to the point when I was planning to whisk us (him, me, ds2) off to the Mediterranean for a few weeks of camping just to stop the endless cycle of illness (I was really at the point of booking flights). Then spring came and he got well again.

So it is normal and will be a valuable boost to his immune system. However, I wouldn't keep him off preschool for a cold unless running a temperature/visably unwell. Preschools are used to snot.

HighwayDragon Thu 04-Dec-14 11:34:32

Unless dd has a fever or d&v then she goes to school. Runny noses? Goes to school.

barcoda Thu 04-Dec-14 11:37:21

I keep off for d and v or high tempeature

I don't possess a thermometer but I can tell when they have a proper high temperature (hand to head, the look in their eyes)

I wouldnt dream of keeping off for a runny nose or cough

barcoda Thu 04-Dec-14 11:39:16

paracetamol doesn't help colds confused

the pharmacist was right to tell you that your child didnt need it?

Showy Thu 04-Dec-14 11:41:07

Dd attended preschool from 3.7-4.2. She was ill all the time. Coughs, colds, conjunctivitis, ear infections, chicken pox, hand foot and mouth and random viruses. I actually did go to the gp as I was worried. He wasn't. She had never been around other dc before and her immune system had a lot of catching up to do. She is 7 now and rarely misses school. Ds is 3 and snotty most of the time. Getting better at bouncing back though.

RiverTam Thu 04-Dec-14 11:42:42

I wouldn't keep him off with a snotty nose - as long as he hasn't a temp as is well in himself then it's fine for him to go. Do remember that pre-school daycare is exactly that - unlike school it is absolutely used by working parents as childcare, and so yes, they (we) will send DC who aren't 100%.

Better he gets things now when being off nursery on occasion doesn't matter, than when he starts school and it will matter.

stargirl1701 Thu 04-Dec-14 11:43:52

Really? I always take paracetamol if I feel poorly. I find it eases the symptoms. I live on Night Nurse overnight when I have a cold.

What do you give your toddlers to ease their symptoms? Everything decent seems to be 6+.

Showy Thu 04-Dec-14 11:45:58

Stargirl, paracetamol should not be given for "just" a cold. Likewise it should not be given for a fever alone so lying may not get you anywhere. It should be used for pain or discomfort caused by an illness. With a cold things like decongestants, warm drinks, steam and sleep are much more effective.

Thurlow Thu 04-Dec-14 11:48:07

For colds you can use saline nasal sprays, decongestants humidifiers at night, something like SnuffleBabe on their chest and feet, but that's it. Unless they are struggling to breathe, in pain or have a very high fever there's no actual need to ease their symptoms.

Stripeyclock Thu 04-Dec-14 11:49:39

OP posting here

Thank you for all the replies. I'm probably being a bit over sensitive by keeping him off as often as I have. I think I've worried too much about being judged negatively by the other Mums and the Nursery staff by sending him in when his nose is streaming. I don't want to be seen as the soft mum who keeps her kid at home, but I'm afraid of being seen as a horrible mum who lets her kids infect all the others. It's a minefield!! confused

I'm going to send him to the doctors just to double check he is doing OK.

PurpleCrazyHorse Thu 04-Dec-14 11:56:19

DD goes in with a cold, only if she needs regular meds or is clearly not herself, does she stay at home (or is contagious). This seems the prime age for picking up everything going. DD had chicken pox via a child at the CM at age 3 and then hand, foot & mouth within weeks of starting reception. Apart from very high temperatures and the usual D&V, she's rarely off.

Nursery/reception are used to snotty children grin and sometimes I've sent DD to the CM with a very mild temperature after having a dose of paracetamol in the morning and asked her to see how she goes. More often than not, she picks up and is totally fine. I'd start sending your DS like this, with a bit of a heads up and see if you need to pick up early. Clearly your DS will spread the snotty nose around, but this is par for the course with nurseries.

PurpleCrazyHorse Thu 04-Dec-14 12:03:47

I'm sure the nursery will ring you if they feel he needs picking up, and if you're home anyway, then it seems a reasonable idea. Have a chat with the nursery manager if you wanted. I'm sure they'd be happy to let you know what they're used to dealing with and when they might ring you or suggest you keep your child at home.

I think there's a difference too with parents who work and therefore need to take the day off if their child is ill. DD would have to be so ill that I was prepared to speak to my boss at short notice and/or arrange a half day co-ordinated with DH. It gives a different perspective on decision making! However the nursery will be really used to calling parents to collect if a child is either too ill or goes downhill during the day.

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