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How often is your child off sick from school?

(46 Posts)
pepsi Sun 04-Jul-04 13:07:00

Just out of interest I wondered how often kids are off sick from school. Mine children are not in fool time education yet so no real experience. Its just that a friend of mine who has a 7 and a 5 year old always seems to have one at home sick. Particularly the 7 year old. In a 7 week term you can guarantee 5 days of ill with colds, tummy ache, conjunctivitus. Both children dont have any proper medical difficulties. I know if they are sick they are sick, but I wondered what a school takes as normal on this subject. Sounds like I being a bit anal about it all but sometimes I think she just keeps them off because she likes to have them at home with her. I visited once when one of off ill with a tummy bug and she seemed fine to many.....managed to run about the garden ok!

pepsi Sun 04-Jul-04 13:07:41

Sorry for mistake, I meant Full time education.....I think I need to go back to school too.

Slinky Sun 04-Jul-04 13:14:40

I have a friend like that who has at least one child off school for the most minor things, ie child may have sneezed twice that morning - NO JOKE!!

My lot on the other hand are very rarely off - DD1 (now in Year 3) hasn't been off sick since Reception. She had regular ear infections due to tonsil problems but this has been sorted since tonsil/adenoid removal - and now she is as "fit as a fiddle".

DS1 (Year 1) had a couple of days off last October, when he had tonsilitus.

My kids are incredibly healthy and VERY rarely ill (TOUCH WOOD!!). DD2 (not at school until Sept) had chicken pox in May - this was her first illness!

roisin Sun 04-Jul-04 13:14:57

My 7 yr-old has had two days off this school year, I think. Having said that if I'm not convinced he's 100% I definitely don't send him. Round here kids get special certificates if they've never had a day off primary school ... i.e 7 or 8 years! And about 10% of children get these, I think. Personally I think that's outrageous. A child who hasn't had a day off in 7 years, has been sent to school when they are ill. I don't particularly want my boys to be at school in a class with an ill child, and it's unfair on the staff, and definitely unfair on the poor child themselves.

pepsi Sun 04-Jul-04 13:24:11

I agree with you Roisin that it would be very unlikely that a child would never have a day of sick and yes at some time they must have been feeling under the weather at school. I would say the danger of being off a lot when you are little, for minor things, is that as they get older they get wise to the fact that they could "put it on" and stay at home and perhaps avoid subjects they dont like or I guess in many cases PE. Following the thread last week about taking kids out of school for hols, I guess coupled with sickness it must be terribly hard for schools to make sure every child covers everything in a term. There are lots of other issues involved with my particular friend, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I suppose some kids have a weaker immune system and pick up everything.

Kittypickle Sun 04-Jul-04 13:29:14

One of my friends children always seem to be off school with something or other and I was quite smug thinking DD (in reception) was doing really well with just 2 days off for conjunctivitis (the school won't let them go with that) and thought the time off her children were having was totally ridiculous. She then got chickenpox at Easter and has been constantly down with something ever since and I have now lost count of the time she's had off since then - the latest lot was 4 days for tonsillitis.

JanZ Sun 04-Jul-04 13:48:33

It's over a year away, but I'm keeping my fingers corssed that ds will be healthy at primary school and not need to take many days off. The reason for this is that they don't have a full week off for half term (just the Monday and Tuesday) and we will be wanting to ake him out of school to take him skiing. He'll be in "school" (ie ski school) for all of that week, learning a new skill. Apparently if the school attendance record is good, then they will allow such absence as "authorised".

We can't leave it until those year's when Easter comes early, as they've "set" the holidays, so that the "spring" break is the first two full weeks in April - which is too late for good snow for a beginner. (The get the Easter wekend as a long weekend).

He's been pretty healthy at the child minder's - althugh he does seem to have a permanent snuffle. He might catch a wee bit of a lurgy if one's doing the rounds - but he always seems to bounce back, while passing them on to us with a vengeance!

marialuisa Sun 04-Jul-04 14:19:14

The schools expect Reception kids to be off sick a lot. When i was working on a project relating to time-off school, both authorised and unauthorised, Recetion came out top.

DD seems to be going through a pretty "sickly" phase, she's off today, but oddly enough I seem to be catching every bug going too.

Jaybee Sun 04-Jul-04 14:42:58

My two are rarely off sick - ds is in year 5 and has had 1.5 days off sice he has been at school. Dd is similar has had about 2 days off since been at school - now in Year 2 - I wouldn't send them in if they were poorly they just don't seem to get poorly. Saying that I have always worked and they were often off whilst at nursery with coughs and colds so maybe they have built up their immunity.

Galaxy Sun 04-Jul-04 14:44:07

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codswallop Sun 04-Jul-04 14:45:16

4 days in 2years

dinosaur Sun 04-Jul-04 14:45:16

This is DS1's second term in Reception and so far he's had three days off for chickenpox and one day for a tummy bug.

Hulababy Sun 04-Jul-04 14:47:59

Can I just say, asa teacher, please don't send your kids to school when ill. I have had 7 days off sick in the past 12 months I seem to be able to pick up these bugs so easily and many of our pupils come to school obviously not well, and just pass it all on.

Not sure I can blame pupils for today's tonsilitus, or for the bruises/aches from falling though.

codswallop Sun 04-Jul-04 14:48:19

when I taught there was a kid who had NO DAYS OFF IN 6 Years

noddy5 Sun 04-Jul-04 14:49:46

About 2/3 days every year

dinosaur Sun 04-Jul-04 14:50:54

I am always a bit uncertain about how to judge when to send them to school/nursery. My instinct is always that colds alone are not enough to justify a day off - there has to be something else like a raised temperature, vomiting etc. What do other people do?

Hulababy Sun 04-Jul-04 14:51:05

coddy - was he jus really healthy or did he come in ill? If latter then everyone else around him probably suffered

beetroot Sun 04-Jul-04 14:51:40

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Hulababy Sun 04-Jul-04 14:52:04

dinosaur - I would work on whether you feel that they can cope with a full day of work at school and to be able to concentrate/stay on task during the time, and take part in normal day to day activities.

iota Sun 04-Jul-04 14:53:29

So far ds 1 in Reception has had 2 single days off since he started in Sept.
I agree with Jaybee- they catch everything going at nursery and buikd up their immunity there.

frogs Sun 04-Jul-04 15:01:43

I had a childminder when dd1 was tiny whose children were constantly off school -- cough, cold, 'oh it's a bit chilly today, I didn't fancy the walk', dentist's appointment at 11 am = whole day off -- that kind of thing. It staggered me at the time, having been brought up with the 'Well you'd better take your tummyache to school then, it'll take your mind off it' school of parenting.

Now I have two school-age children I tend towards the latter myself. I keep them at home if they've (a) been sick in the last 24 hours or (b) have a temperature or something that's obviously infectious. With colds or minor unwellness I tend to send them to school anyway, since that's where they picked it up in the first place. With infant-age children I'd probably mention it to the teacher so they could send the child home if it got worse.

Having said that, I have sometimes kept a child at home who was not definably ill, but clearly exhausted and in a completely weepy/grumpy/useless state, on the basis that they were overtired and needed to spend the day at home chilling out with their Lego. Just before Christmas is peak time for this -- when I've told the teachers why the child was off they've always thought I was right to do this, and wished more parents would. But now the MN school-attendance police will probably come and get me.

pepsi Sun 04-Jul-04 22:15:30

Its interesting to read everyones comments and that generally everyones kids seem to be pretty healthy. Other than keeping off for the obviously chicken pox, eye infections and sickness the attendance seems really good. In my friends case perhaps a week off in every term for something or other. Its good to hear from teachers view points to. We had a year for ds between 2 and 3 where he got absolutely everything but touch wood doing well for the past year.

tamum Sun 04-Jul-04 22:27:55

I feel a bit hacked off at this idea that anyone's child who is rarely off school must be sending their child in to infect others, presumably because they're too selfish to want to bother looking after their child at home. My ds has had about 2 days off in 5 years at school. Dd is just finishing her first year at school and hasn't had a day off. I'm *not* sending them in when they're ill! They both used to be off nursery a lot when they were little (and yes, I stayed off with them whenever they were at all under the weather), but are far more healthy now they're older. I have friends who keep their children off school far more, but I think some kids are just more prone to catch everything that's going.

I do agree that it seems barmy to reward children for never being off school, the implication is that illness is something that the children have control over!

Posey Mon 05-Jul-04 01:04:54

Dd is just at the end of y2 and since nursery (4 years at school) her general resistance to illness, and her stamina have increased so she doesn't have so many days off for being under the weather. This school year she's had time off for chicken pox, and was sent home one day when she was sick (in the classroom sink, totally embarrassed poor thing but not as bad as 2 boys who the previous day had been sick on the dinner table and in their tray )

I am finding that now, at the end of the school year, she is beginning to look tired and has caught a summer cold. I think they're ready for a long holiday.

essbee Mon 05-Jul-04 01:10:15

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