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To school or not to school with a bit of a cold?

(27 Posts)
var123 Mon 09-Feb-15 10:49:49

DH and I are slightly at odds over this one. I am a SAHM so there's no inconvenience to me whether the Dc are at home or at school.

When they have a bad cold (not a just runny nose but a sore throat and a chesty cough and maybe a small temperature), I keep them at home. He thinks they should be in school.

If they were doing their GCSEs then I'd agree. But at primary school, it seems to me that the pace is so slow that c a child could miss three months without it makign any meaningful difference (especially in KS1).

What do other people do when its easy to keep the DC at home?

onepieceoflollipop Mon 09-Feb-15 10:53:19

If it is a "bit of a cold" as per your op, then send them on.

If it is a "bad cold", as you describe in your next post, and they seem distressed I would keep them off school, in the circumstances you describe.

camaleon Mon 09-Feb-15 10:59:08

Depends on how often they are sick too I guess. Mine are never ill (fingers crossed). If they wake up and tell me they are not feeling too well, I tend to keep them and take a day off work. The oldest in in Y5, the small one in Y3. Between both of them, this has happened 5 times since reception. Only once, the child was really ill and not good enough to be sent with a bit of paracetamol, or nothing.

Because I work, I would have to take a harder line if this happened more often. In principle, I agree they are better at home if they are not feeling great, but attendance restrictions on the school side are making these decisions more complex than they need to be.

MrSimms Mon 09-Feb-15 11:09:50

I agree with DH. I think you need to start as you mean to go on, so if they would be expected to be in work, then they should be in school.

I also think you're sending a very poor message to be dismissing much of their schooling as unnecessary. A what point will you suddenly change from yes, have some time off for a cold, to no, today's lessons are important?

ouryve Mon 09-Feb-15 11:11:10

If people stayed off school or work with "a bit of a cold", then they'd probably be off more than they're in, in the middle of winter.

Bramshott Mon 09-Feb-15 11:15:25

Temperature means day off for me (for primary aged DC). No temp and they go in. However, in my book a temperature is 38 or over.

TheRealMaryMillington Mon 09-Feb-15 11:16:11

Well, this is a relevant thread for me.

DD has never missed a day from school, she's year 3 and would drag herself there under any circumstances.

little DS is in reception and missed a day last week for a bad chesty cough, slightly raised temp and very snotty. Is fine now.

DS1, however, is having his third day off this term with a cold, his glands are up, absolutely full of horrible snot, asking for calpol - but I think he could have made it through the day. Mainly I am hoping that a day off today will prevent 3 days off later in the week (when both parents have full on days at work).

camaleon Mon 09-Feb-15 11:25:43

I really don't get people who compare missing a day of school at the age of 7 with missing a day at work. It is not the same. They will spend all day sharing their germs with other 29 + kids in a closed environment, without any possibility of taking a little break or an extra bit of medicine to keep going as adults do.
Not sending a child who is poorly to school is not equivalent to 'dismissing' school either.
Of course, there is a point when you become stricter with this and with many other things. When do you know a child is ready to come home alone MrSimms? Or to shower alone, helping with domestic chores, cooking, etc? Most parents send their kids to school regularly and need a good reason not to do so. In my book, not feeling well (in a context of kids who rarely ever miss a single day) is good enough.

var123 Mon 09-Feb-15 12:45:36

DH describes every cold as "a bit of a cold". Hence my confused description!

castlesintheair Mon 09-Feb-15 12:50:04

Depends on the child/scenario. One of my DC gets really quite unwell with colds (like me). He often has the day at home. The other 2 only get them mildly so they go in.

var123 Mon 09-Feb-15 12:52:50

I've never had a problem with school regarding attendance. I've no idea what my Dcs attendance % is but its obviously high enough not to raise any concern.

I just feel that when you are little, and feeling poorly, its ok to be at home with your mum. Apart from anything else. young children bounce back so quickly, so its not like they need a week off.

However, i do not expect them when they are in their 20s, 30s or 40s to be looking for a day with me if they aren't feeling well (in answer to the work question).

MrSimms Mon 09-Feb-15 12:56:28

But how will you change their mindset OP? If they've grown up thinking that it's OK to skip every time they feel a bit unwell what will suddenly change when they become adults that means they think it's necessary to be in work if they can be?

It's the reason we try to show them how to behave in all sorts of ways - because if they don't learn it young, they never will, unless they have a truly exceptional reason/drive to change as adults.

var123 Mon 09-Feb-15 13:01:38

Its a gradual thing. My DC are now aged 12 (year 8) and 11 (in the last year of primary), so it has already started to evolve into something more professional.

So, this year - year 6 - there is some real teaching going on, until the SATS are over. DS was not feeling great, but I sent him in today. However, come June, when I know from experience that absolutely nothing is taught all month, then he'll get the choice if he's not well.

noramum Mon 09-Feb-15 13:06:54

If DD is coughing permanently, is so snuffy that you can't understand her, she won't speak, drink or eat as her throat is sore than she stays at home. And obviously when she has a temperature.

If not, she goes in.

zzzzz Mon 09-Feb-15 13:07:05

Sending your child to school with a bad cold or a temperature is antisocial. Teach them to wash their hands regularly, how to blow noses and cough for minimal transfer, not to suck pens/chew fingers. Teach them that the right thing to do is to protect your classmates from illness.

Please stay home if you are ill.

coppertop Mon 09-Feb-15 13:12:40

It really depends on the cold.

I'd send mine in with a few sniffles and a cough.

I'd keep them home if they had a temperature or a bad cough, especially if they seemed tired or otherwise uncomfortable.

Heels99 Mon 09-Feb-15 13:14:17

Cold, yes go in.
Temperature and chest infection, no don't go in.

They are not the same thing.

If your kids aren't learning anything in three months you need to find a different school, mine seem to learn new things every day! It's lovely to experience!

Lucyccfc Mon 09-Feb-15 13:15:23

Missing time in primary school for a 'bit of a cold' is a big deal.

At GCSE level, they are old enough to catch up for the themselves and research any missed work. They can't do this at primary level and I wouldn't agree the pace is slow. My DS has 100% attendance apart from a week off with shingles when he was in Y4. He missed out on learning the basics of using the grid method for multiplication and really struggled for a few weeks until I spoke to his teacher, who showed me how to do it, so I could help him. He was also a week behind with the project he was working on.

It's all about setting the standards when children are young and ensuring they know that attendance is important. This will stand them in good stead for the future.

There is no need to keep them off school for a bit of a sniffle or cough.

var123 Mon 09-Feb-15 13:31:57

We lived abroad and Ds1 missed school for three consecutive years! (Reception, year 1 and year 2). Where we lived, children didn't go to school until the September after their 7th birthday.

So, he started in year 3 and I thought it was going to be incredibly difficult for him to catch up. It wasn't. It was really, really easy! the teacher offered him no extra support or anything. The school just didn't do very much at all for the first three years (and not much after that either).

minionmadess Mon 09-Feb-15 13:40:15

I had a similar thread in AIBU last week and the majority of replies said I was NBU for sending ds (6) to school with a cold.

If children were off school every time they had a cold the attendance levels would be a lot worse than they are now.

plantsitter Mon 09-Feb-15 13:45:08

I think you have to judge each case on its merits. For example Dds 1&2 had colds last week but whereas DD2 was still chirpy and running about, DD1 was really miserable, tired and hot. So Dd2 went and dd1 didn't.

I'm not one who thinks people should drag themselves into work come what may though. Keep your germs at home and get better more quickly I reckon.

var123 Mon 09-Feb-15 13:51:14

When I used to work, I was never thrilled to find that my colleague had dragged themselves into work with a stinking cold that would then get passed around the office.

Ditto travelling on crowded trains and tubes in the London rush-hour.

Some people think they deserve a medal for coming into work ready to infect the whole office.

Then again, I wasn't very indulgent of people who took the day off because they thought they "might" be coming down with something.

Heels99 Mon 09-Feb-15 14:01:06

Some stay at home parents like th company of having child at home so are more likely to let them stay off. Is that what your husband is concerned about?

var123 Mon 09-Feb-15 14:04:57

No, he's just never thinks anyone ever has an illness that can't be shaken off by getting on with things.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Mon 09-Feb-15 14:20:31

It completely depends on the cold really. Some colds are annoying and inconvenient and make you feel a bit grotty. Some make you feel horrific and would mean a totally unproductive day at school. I also don't think it's in anyone's best interests for the rest of the class to be infected too!

FWIW I can't remember how many days I had off ill at school (but I'm sure I had some!) and rarely take sick days now. I'm not sure how relevant the number of days you're off sick as a child is on your attitude to sick days as an adult!

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