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Norovirus in school - dh with chronic illness

(22 Posts)
carameldecaflatte Thu 03-Nov-16 21:01:23

School sent a letter home today warning parents of an outbreak of norovirus (or similar) in school.

Dh has been seriously ill for the past two years with terrible gastric problems and has recently been diagnosed with BAM (Bile Acid Malabsorption) and is on a long road to recovery.

Ds is in reception and Dh picked him up from school today. When dh read the letter he went back to the teacher and told her that he couldn't risk catching norovirus as he would probably end up in hospital and we would be keeping our son home for a few days. She said she understood and we would get a call in the morning to discuss it.

I want to compose an email to explain our position but I also want to let the school know that we don't take absence lightly (ds has already been sent home/off sick twice) and as dh recovers his health this sort of thing won't be a regular occurance. Do you think this is a good idea and is there anything else I could/should say?

ihatethecold Thu 03-Nov-16 21:08:22

I was ready to die when I got norovirus in April.
My system still hasn't fully recovered.
I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
I would most definitely keep my child away from it if possible.
Especially with the health issues you mention.

carameldecaflatte Thu 03-Nov-16 21:16:01

Thanks for replying ihatethecold (me too!)
I'm pretty sure we're doing the right thing. I'm just worrying as we've already had a letter about attendance and taking my son out of school just in case isn't something I'd ever considered before.

CuppaBiccieBliss Thu 03-Nov-16 21:21:33

God definitely keep him off. We've only just stopped vomitting, all four of us, and horrendous runs, we can still only manage water and dry crackers! It has completely floored us, most of dd1s class has been off with it. Maybe ask if there's some work he can do at home? Hope your dh gets well soon.

Rhythmsticks Thu 03-Nov-16 21:25:26

How long will you keep him off though? it could go on for weeks?

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl Thu 03-Nov-16 21:28:43

Difficult one. If a child vomits in his classroom whilst he is off and it isn't cleaned properly then he could still catch it a week later. I totally undrstand how you are feeling. Could dh go and stay with family for a little while

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 03-Nov-16 21:34:32

There are going to be grim bugs doing the rounds in schools from now until March at the earliest. They're breeding grounds for illnesses.

You've really got to find a better way of managing it than keeping him off, because he's really going to miss out.

Maybe your DH's doctor could advise?

carameldecaflatte Thu 03-Nov-16 21:42:57

CuppaBiccieBliss - Oh your poor family! I hope you recover quickly. Good Idea I will send the email to the head and his teacher and ask if there is any work we can do at home.

Rhythmsticks - I really don't know. I don't want to keep him off for that long but the risk to dh's health is real. I'll get dh to call his dr for advice and I'll ask the school for advice too.

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl - Not really. Dh has a very restricted diet and is also quite anxious about when and where he eats so even if he could stay with family it would probably make him ill.

carameldecaflatte Thu 03-Nov-16 21:46:55

TheTroubleWithAngels - I know, I hate that he will be missing out and I don't want this to be a regular thing. I am, however, at a loss as to how we can manage it any better at the moment. Dh is recovering but is still fragile, hopefully he will continue to recover and this will become a non-issue.

CuppaBiccieBliss Thu 03-Nov-16 21:49:07

Honestly ds is only in reception so I wouldn't worry. There's loads you can do at home with him. Plus it's coming upto Christmas so there's not a great deal of work going on anyway smile

NeverGoOutOfStyle Thu 03-Nov-16 21:53:55

I would definitely do the same. DP has Crohn's disease (he also has bile acid malabsorption, from the Crohn's) and has recently started some powerful immunosuppressants and we really can't risk him getting sick as things that would be unpleasant for us could have a really severe reaction in him and it really isn't worth it.

lougle Thu 03-Nov-16 22:02:22

I don't think it's workable to keep your DS in case he gets noro. It could go on for months. When will you deem it safe for him to return? You'd be better to just increase hand hygiene.

Believeitornot Thu 03-Nov-16 22:04:18

What about other bugs? Do you work? What if you unwittingly bring some bugs back?

I would keep him in school and practice very good hygiene.

J0kersSmile Thu 03-Nov-16 22:06:42

I understand where you're coming from.

It isn't a workable long term solution though. Sickness bugs go around September to March in every school and you can't keep your Ds off for long periods of time like this once he's five as you'll be fined.

I'm not really sure what you can do either, there are steps to take to prevent you and dp catching it from your Ds but you can't stop a random child vomiting in a classroom your Ds is in.

thisagain Thu 03-Nov-16 22:18:49

My son is in year 1 and last year in reception, there was a sickness bug going round. Every day, there were children being sick in the classroom. I put up with this for several days before I thought that if I don't get him out now, then it definitely will be him soon. I pulled him out of school for the three days prior to a half term, and after the half term it had all settled down. I don't myself have huge health issues, but I am on steroids for life and do have a tendency to pick up all illnesses and get them worse. However, rather than go in to any of this with the school, I just phoned in and said that he was ill with it. I have 3 children and various ages and have only had to do that once before many years ago. At this point I explained the truth and the head was less than sympathetic.

I would definitely keep him off. I wouldn't worry about how long, what about other bugs etc. In practice I have found it to be hardly ever. On occasion, it may be your child who goes down with something first and therefore isn't an issue. You can assess when to send him back. A lot can change in a week. If your child is under 5 then their absence isn't even an issue.

Mishaps Thu 03-Nov-16 22:25:18

Bile salt malabsorption is misery - and I should know! I would not hesitate to keep him from school till the outbreak has died down. He will of course be assaulted with many bugs in school, but noro is not to be messed with, especially with his existing problems.

carameldecaflatte Thu 03-Nov-16 22:31:23

NeverGoOutOfStyle - I'm so sorry your dh is suffering too. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Thank you all for the advice. I know it isn't a good solution. I have just sent an email to the school explaining dh's illness and letting them know that we are seeking advice from his dr. I also let them know that this won't be a regular occurrence and we are happy to take on work for ds at home. I don't know what else I could do at the moment.

I'm not currently working as I have my own health issues and I have been caring for dh. I honestly thought we were going to lose him last year. He lost so much weight due to the chronic diarrhoea that it was frightening to look at him. He was in almost constant pain and barely left the house. When ds makes a wish all he wishes for is "daddy to get better so we can run around in the park" sad He is so happy when dh is well enough to pick him up from school.

I think we'll be dousing ourselves in hand sanitiser for the foreseeable future.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Thu 03-Nov-16 22:47:14

Being the first time it's not compulsory education yet anyhow.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Thu 03-Nov-16 22:48:17

Term not time.

Blu Thu 03-Nov-16 22:56:48

Hot soapy water , a good wash, much better against noro virus than sanitizer.

carameldecaflatte Fri 04-Nov-16 09:50:42

Thanks Blu, we do wash as well I was just thinking of extra precautions. smile

Well, I copied my email to the head teacher, Head of early years and his class teacher last night and I still got a text this morning asking where Felix was hmm

Waiting for a phone call from both dr and school now.

TeenAndTween Fri 04-Nov-16 16:33:27

Well, I copied my email to the head teacher, Head of early years and his class teacher last night and I still got a text this morning asking where XXX was

To be fair, you emailed last night they may or may not have read their emails first thing.
&&
The school office will be the one sending out texts. Normal protocol in schools is to inform the office if your child will be off.
So
I don't think you can blame the school for this.

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