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Illness, nursery and work

(32 Posts)
JonesMalone Wed 22-Mar-17 13:07:39

Hi all,
I think this will be a what do you do/ am I being a terrible mum/ advice going forward all wrapped in to one.

Basically, I have an 18m DS who has been at nursery since just before he was a year.
He just seems to be unwell so often. In Jan he was off with cold/flu type virus and another headachy virus (hubby and I had them as well). Understandably, no nursery.
February he was sick at nursery so I had to collect him(again, understandable). In Feb he moved in to the toddler room and seems to be setting in well but earlier this month I had to collect him because he developed hives on his legs (no cause was discovered and they went away after about two days).
Monday I had a call saying that he had a fever of 37 and wasn't himself - he was clingy and whingy. I got the impression that they wanted me to collect him but I asked if they could give him calpol. I got a call about 10 minutes later saying he refused calpol so I had to collect him. When I got there I was told he'd been off his food and looked unwell, though his notes say he ate everything they gave him except yogurt. He was fine the rest of the day/evening. Took him again on Tuesday and was called in again because he had a fever and refused calpol.
Again he was fine the rest of the day but did get warm again in the evening.
Was ok overnight and this morning but I was called again because he had a fever and they weren't going to attempt to give him calpol.
He's home now, he's fine with no fever. confused
I work 2.5 days a week. My company is very generous with holiday but contractually, I have to take a two week block holiday from work (which I've done for later in the year) and I've book 1.5 days to go to a wedding.
I have to take his ill days either as holiday or unpaid. I have 2 days of holiday left until January next year and we literally can not afford to take the days unpaid. Hubby commutes to work so would be useless to collect DS if he was ill (would take more than 2 hours in a best case scenario).
I have no one I can ask to collect him when he's ill. I really don't know what to do.
So, my questions are:
What do/would you do in this situation when facing 9 months of random toddler illness with 2 days of holiday?
Am I being a terrible mum for continuing to take him in? Although he's mainly been fine at home it's clear he has some sort of virus.
Are the nursery being too quick to ask me to collect him? This week he's had on and off fevers but he's been ok within himself.
And does this sound normal or should I seek a doctor's advice? He has no known health issues. He eats a well balanced diet and eats a fair amount as well. He is still breastfeeding so (supposedly) benefiting from my immunity as well.

I'm so stressed out about it. I can't start taking it as unpaid leave sad

TL;DR- son is always ill (though perks up at home. I'm facing having to take unpaid leave from work.

Thanks!

wickerlampshade Wed 22-Mar-17 22:22:40

Monday I had a call saying that he had a fever of 37 and wasn't himself

37 is a normal temperature. You need a more sensible nursery. Mine was much less trigger happy about sending home. But there will be inevitable sick days and you need a plan which should ideally involve both of you spreading the load of days off whether unpaid or out of AL.

there are nanny agencies too that come at short notice - google "Gillian Assor nanny to the rescue" for an example (that isn't me - I just know her on FB as she is local to me)

harderandharder2breathe Thu 23-Mar-17 13:19:54

They do sound very quick to send him home, if he's unwell in himself I can understand but if he's fine just slightly feverish they should keep him

Unfortunately it sounds like you'll need to use unpaid sad you could try talking to work seeing if they will waive the 2 week block requirement this year (if you aren't going away)

RedBugMug Thu 23-Mar-17 13:23:41

or your husband needs to take the next occassions off. he's a parent too.

smilingsarahb Thu 23-Mar-17 13:31:35

I appreciate your husband would take 2 hours to get home....but can he not leave in the first place if you know your child had a fever the day before (an actual fever) he needs to do a bit of working from home, unpaid leave etc.

Your nursery does sound a bit wet

BumWad Thu 23-Mar-17 13:36:00

Your nursery sound very quick to send him home!

I have 22 month old DS he is ALWAYS ill and I have only been phoned up once touch wood

It's like they really aren't even trying that hard to give him the calpol. Plus I thought a temp of 37 was normal confused

Jackiebrambles Thu 23-Mar-17 13:39:08

It's so hard isn't it. My youngest is 20 months and I'd say the last 6 months have been pretty bad. She had chicken pox so obviously was off for that. But then she had runny nappies (so off for 2 days), one vomit (then off for two days), and two different instances of a temp (around 38 - my nursery give calpol but then have a policy whereby you must collect and they are then excluded the next day). Then she was sick over the weekend so abiding by the rules I didn't send her in at the start of this week.

Here's what I do - work from home where I can (ie catch up in the evenings and when she is napping, take holiday (appreciate you are running out), take unpaid, my husband and I share it - he'll do a day then I will (he's an hour's commute away, as am I) - and finally, we pay a sitter from sitters.co.uk.

It's galling to pay for a sitter when you are already paying for nursery I know.

It was the same with my eldest but I promise you it DOES get better. They just get stronger and ill less!

Jackiebrambles Thu 23-Mar-17 13:40:38

To answer your other questions - I think it all sounds very normal indeed. But it is relentless. You could take him for a GP check up for peace of mind though.

Hellmouth Thu 23-Mar-17 13:43:00

37 is a normal temperature!

I don't have any advice, but solidarity!

I feel your pain, we are having a similar issue with our DSs nursery. For example, they sent him home for throwing up yesterday, saying it's policy because he had "loose stools" the day before. He was his happy self when I picked him up.

I wish they would exercise some flipping brain power. If a baby is still happy and acting normal, a little bit of sickness doesn't matter.

DP and I have had to take so much time off in the past, we're thinking about changing nurseries!

PrincessWatermelon Thu 23-Mar-17 13:43:20

One other thing in addition to what has already been said (and I'm aware this may be a tad controversial) is to consider giving calpol at home in the morning - at least that could buy you time!! Also practice him having it so he accepts it if needed at nursery.

But the nursery do sound like they're taking the easy option a bit too often.

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl Thu 23-Mar-17 13:44:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RedBugMug Thu 23-Mar-17 13:50:24

what dh and I sometimes did (dc are now older so they are happy snoozing on the sofa whilst I work from home) was working short days each: me starting very early and dh going to work around lunchtime when I came home.

Wolfiefan Thu 23-Mar-17 14:04:04

Don't give your child calpol in the morning in case he might spike a temperature. And don't practice giving medication.
Educate the nursery. NHS says up to 37.2 is perfectly normal. Maybe take his temperature at home to establish what is normal for him.

Sharonkh76 Thu 23-Mar-17 14:04:40

Mine used to get Ibuprofen in the morning before nursery if they seem off colour. It is then Calpol sachets in the bag, so no danger of them being overdosed. The nursery used to say they couldn't keep them if they were being too clingy when a bit off colour as then the staff couldn't do their jobs, so that might be why they send him home.
Unfortunately, that nursery shut down and the new one won't give calpol whatsoever. sad

JonesMalone Thu 23-Mar-17 14:07:04

Thanks for responding everyone! I really appreciate it.
As far as hubby taking time off, he certainly will but he can't be called back halfway through his day. Also, if one of us has to take unpaid it will be me because my wage is significantly smaller.
I am, unfortunately unable to work from home.
I dosed him up with calpol before I sent him in on Wednesday but unfortunately I was still called at about the same time as the previous days.
The trouble is that he doesn't like the taste of calpol so I cradle him in my arm and syringe it in to his mouth. They told me they aren't allowed to do that. They literally just offer it to him on a spoon so he turns his head away.

I guess it seems like a strange situation to me because he seems fine when I collect him and he's fine most of the day so I can't see why they won't keep him even if he does have a slight fever.
I might ask in future if I could administer calpol myself and go back to work.
Do you think if would be out of order to mention that I might have to find somewhere else for him? (Although, I'd really hate to)

And thank you for the nanny/ babysitter suggestions. I didn't realise there were organisations like this.

NoLotteryWinYet Thu 23-Mar-17 14:10:02

it does get better, honestly. I remember in tears on the phone to my mum because i was being hauled up to HR for clocking up 10 days off in a rolling year with DD at exactly this age. Then from the age of 2 and a bit to 4 I didn't have one sick day. Your nursery probably does know if he's been poorly, I'd say you have to grit your teeth and get through it. Talk to your nursery but if they've been in business a good while, have a good reputation and inspection, they have to follow strict infection control policies. With the second DC it was still tough but at least you know it gets better.

JonesMalone Thu 23-Mar-17 14:11:46

Sharonkh75, I did consider that this might be the case. I'd frequently come to collect him in the baby room to find him sat on someone's lap, and they would always remark how cuddly he was. This is his normal behaviour so I could imagine he might want cuddles if he's feeling a bit off.
I guess it's difficult with a room full of toddlers.
This isn't the reason they gave though.

shirleycartersaidso Thu 23-Mar-17 14:11:49

Dts were pretty much continually sick in their first year at nursery, it was horrendous. On the plus side they're now in year 1 and have never had a day off school so it does get better.

Apart from anything else 37 isn't a fever!

NoLotteryWinYet Thu 23-Mar-17 14:12:05

Surprised they'll even try to give calpol - the nursery my DC went to would only administer prescribed medicine, and only then after they'd had it 24 hours (no reactions etc).

JonesMalone Thu 23-Mar-17 14:33:01

Lol this is making me feel lucky that they will give calpol!
They will give medicine as long as it's something I have given him before.
I sure hope it gets better soon!

HiMyNameIsUnknown Thu 23-Mar-17 14:53:14

When I was visiting prospective nurseries one refused to administer any medication (even GP prescribed) and said they would call us to go there, give Calpol and then call later if collection was required if the temperature didn't go down! We ruled out that as the nursery is near our home and would be a nightmare to get to for this.

I think it's worth you looking around at other nurseries, their policies & availability. It may be there's a waiting list for one you like and if so I would be tempted to put their name down now. It does sound like they are quick to send children home but if that's their policy there is nothing you can do.

Just a thought but are you living actual Calpol or non-branded equivalent? I know kids who will only take one or the other as the taste is different so is it worth trying both to see if your DC will take one from a spoon? As others have said you can't practice giving medicine but you could try it next time

MissJSays Sat 25-Mar-17 00:01:10

Sorry haven't read the whole thread but I work in a nursery and 37 isn't considered a high temperature. The only way we give calpol is with the syringe provided to ensure we get the correct dosage - I'd question why this isn't 'allowed'? Theres nothing in the EYFS to say it isn't allowed. Although I do agree there is nothing worse than having poorly children at nursery, they belong at home. It's odd to me that they send children home so easily, it's always a last resort for us as we know parents are in work etc.

insancerre Sat 25-Mar-17 07:19:30

If you need to dose him up with calpol to send him in then he is too poorly to be there
You would be better to just keep him off than send him in and have to go and collect him
That way you could go to work and your dh could take his turn to have tha day off
Nursery is no place for poorly children as they need 1-1 which cant reasonably be provided
Lots of nurseries won't give calpol
Mine doesn't
We only give prescribed medication and only after the child has been excluded for 48 hours

Kennington Sat 25-Mar-17 07:23:26

Find a different nursery.
Mine would take them with colds and only call and treat with calpol if fever over 38.5
Also they only told you they were ill at the end of the day
I took 1 day off work over 3 years!

welshweasel Sat 25-Mar-17 07:26:19

Your nursery sound ridiculous! Mine will happily give calpol (regularly send him in with a bottle if low grade fever or teething), text me when he had a perforated eardrum to tell me but I didn't have to collect him as he was well. He was a refluxy baby so always puking, not an issue. I've only been rung to collect him once in 10 months, he had a fever of 39 and they'd given him calpol. He was fine the next day so they happily took him as normal. You do need to agree a fair way of covering illness with your husband though. We would take it in turns (have no other childcare options).

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