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To think the school should follow the rules on sickness?!

(21 Posts)
MrsGinnyPotter Sun 29-Nov-15 15:14:39

Dd's primary school staff chop and change their mind about how long you have to off with S+D. Some office staff say 24 hours and some say 48 (depends who you speak to). I checked their policy and it's 48 hours... I have no idea why they don't all follow this.
Child in Dd's class was sick Monday afternoon and sent home. Policy says 48 hours after last S/D so she shouldn't have been in school before Thursday. She was back Wednesday as office told her 24 hours was fine. Now over half the class have had it... I'm not saying it's this child's fault as it's not at all but if the office staff all followed the same rules, maybe these things wouldn't spread so much!

AIBU? I have raised it casually before but am wondering whether I direct a letter to the Head about it and ask for clarification.

AliceInUnderpants Sun 29-Nov-15 15:21:14

You don't need clarification if you know it is 48 hours. What you need to do is complain.

tiggytape Sun 29-Nov-15 15:24:34

YANBU - you cannot really blame this girl since she followed one set of advice but 48 hours is best and is the general rule especially with younger children where hand hygiene is unlikely to save them from it.

It might be worth letting the school know that, whilst their official policy says 48 hours (as the NHS recommend) some staff are giving out confusing incorrect versions of this advice. It is peak norovirus season from about now so would be nice to limit it if possible.

chillycurtains Sun 29-Nov-15 15:25:31

Half the class have it because the bug was spread when the child vomitted in the classroom on that first day. It has nothing to do with when they returned to school. The bug is in the sick and poo. Gross but true. It either wasn't cleaned up properly or it's just one of those things.

tiggytape Sun 29-Nov-15 15:27:47

Half the class have it because the bug was spread when the child vomitted in the classroom on that first day.
That's not quite true - People shed the virus even after they stop vomiting.
So people with no active symptoms are contagious and can pass it on.

The incubation period can be as short as 12 hours with stomach bugs so whilst being sick in school is a definite source of contamination, so is returning less than 48 hours after the last instance of vomiting. One can be avoided - one can't.

TheHiphopopotamus Sun 29-Nov-15 15:36:56

It's pointless anyway. A lot (but not all) parents who work can't afford to be off, so either lie about what the dc have, or don't adhere to the 48 hour rule.

The worst person I know for doing this is a headteacher, who should know better.

thebestfurchinchilla Sun 29-Nov-15 15:39:02

48 hrs from last symptoms. Problem is, parents feel under pressure to get back to work. if you have a child that is sick and take 2 days off, then your other child gets it and you take another 2 off, then you get it yourself and so another 2 days. It's a nightmare!

thebestfurchinchilla Sun 29-Nov-15 15:40:21

chilly you can be contagious 48 hrs after being sick. Check NHS website.

tiggytape Sun 29-Nov-15 15:43:19

For all the school know, the girl was vomiting all of Tuesday night as well and still came in on Wednesday. But the school know for a fact she was sick Monday afternoon so should have refused to take her on Wednesday even if her parents did try to bring her. Our school frequently had to do this and say no to parents who cannot get a day off / don't want their child to miss the school play or who think the rule is silly if the child feels fine.

Schools rely on parents being honest where the vomiting doesn't actually happen in school because it benefits everyone in the end as well.
If parents cannot afford 48 hours off work after vomiting, can they more readily afford 7 separate single days spread through winter and spring when the bugs go round and round the class due to people not observing the rule?

mrsjskelton Sun 29-Nov-15 15:46:43

This needs addressing with the school - my school the policy is 24 hours from the last bout so really it won't have been that child unless they had it at school before that - I.e when they were sent home X

tiggytape Sun 29-Nov-15 15:47:49

And of course it is worse than lost money for some as in many classes there will be a child who could need to be hospitalised if they got such a bug or a child who has a close relative undergoing steroid or cancer or other treatment who could really do without catching a nasty stomach bug from school where it is avoidable. It isn't always avoidable but the 48 hour does at least bring it to a halt more quickly.

TwllBach Sun 29-Nov-15 15:51:40

As a pregnant teacher, this is really beginning to grate on me! I know that it is difficult for parents because they have pressures at work etc, but I am catching any bug going and it is difficult enough to cope with the morning sickness sad so when parents come to me at lining up time in the morning saying "my child was sick in the night but I brought her because she wanted to come" it makes me really angry. What about the rest of the class that could catch it? what about me when I catch it??

withaspongeandarustyspanner Sun 29-Nov-15 15:59:35

We've had exactly this this week. Maybe it's the same school? I had to take a day off, and get my parents to help the following day when one child who was sick earlier in the day, was collected at normal home time and then was back in the very next day.

Makes me cross.

tiggytape Sun 29-Nov-15 16:01:21

24 hours is not enough - that is why medical bodies recommend 48 hours. It is because children remain contagious for that long.
Schools who choose 24 hours are going against guidance from the NHS and HPA which says "at least 48 hours" is required.
I know of one case where parents challenged the 24 hour rule at school as going against health guidelines and got it changed to 48. This was after the year where the entire school had to be shut for days since so many staff caught the bug so the school didn't take much convincing but the rules should be set with medical evidence not school policy in mind.

And of course with all these rules, parents bend them so it is better to be lax about a 48 than 24 hour period. In a 24 hour rule school, many children will be returned 19 hours after being sick (because it is practically 24 hours) and in a 48 hour school, some children will be returned 39 hours after being sick which isn't ideal but is better.

The younger the children, the more the 48 hour rule should apply because fewer of the other safeguards will be in place (washing hands, not being sick in public spaces, not handling shared objects etc)

EnglishRose1320 Sun 29-Nov-15 16:06:30

The policy in our school is 48hrs is they are repeated sick but no time off if they were just sick once! The headteacher hates her attendance going down. What it actually means is that all the working parents claim their child was just sick because they ate too much/got over excited etc and send them back in straight away and then children like my ds who don't have a great immune system end up taking at least a week off. I know it's hard when you have to work but dp and I both work and it's a juggle at times but sending an ill child to school is not worth it

tobysmum77 Sun 29-Nov-15 16:49:36

There is so much ignorance about how tummy bugs are spread it is just untrue. The biggest reason that they spread like wildfire in schools is because children don't wash their hands properly after going to the toilet. They can also be spread through droplets when someone is actually sick. The reality is that you are infectious for far more than 48 hours but people see this as 'safe' when the reality is that they go to the toilet then are spreading it round the classroom yuck. It would be much more effective to stop the spread through improved hygiene than exclusion and people getting het up over 24/ 48 hours.

Kennington Sun 29-Nov-15 16:56:09

I do not understand the 48 hour rule. What happens after 48 hours?
The best thing is to ensure good hand washing and hope for the best.......I think.

Fairyliz Sun 29-Nov-15 16:56:31

Probably the office staff are sick to the teeth of parents arguing that their child wasn't ill but over excited. Perhaps the Head hides in the office when parents are swearing at staff. Perhaps some parents just dump their children and run and don't answer the phone when you ring. Perhaps they are fed up with superior parents telling them what important jobs they have so can't possibly collect their child.

Perhaps the office staff are human and make a mistake, easy to do when you are paid for six hours a day but usually work nine without a break to get all of your work done.
Easier sometimes to just give in?
Can you guess where I work?

EnglishRose1320 Sun 29-Nov-15 16:56:49

Having worked in schools I would say they go hand in hand and the schools that stick to the 24/48 hrs are also the ones that encourage better hygiene and see less cases of d&v, imo anyway and obviously you can't avoid every case.

EnglishRose1320 Sun 29-Nov-15 16:59:25

Fariyliz I offer you my sympathies, every school I have worked in would fall apart without the office staff, you really do keep the whole school going!

tobysmum77 Sun 29-Nov-15 17:02:17

I think it's also about toilet cleaning as well as handwashing. Tbh if you have a bug for at least 24 hrs you feel awful anyway.

Glad that schools are starting to turn the corner on the hygeine aspect. When I last worked in one they were cleaned once a day.

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