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AIBU to feel so angry about the kid at school with a streaming cold?

99 replies

fircone · 18/09/2007 10:06

I'm not cross with the kid - I felt sorry for her. But her mother came in yesterday with the poor child who obviously had a temperature - hot face, rheumy eyes - and said to the teacher, "Oh, she's a bit poorly - call me if she gets any worse" and then the child is there this morning with an absolutely streaming cold, crying and her mother says "She's got plenty of tissues" and waltzes out. I was puce with rage. How dare this woman leave a child who is clearly ill, and also inflict the germ on every other 4-year-old in the class?
Anyway, am I going round the bend because I'm thinking of writing a note to the headmistress to ask her to remind parents that school is not a suitable place for SICK children.

OP posts:

Chickhick · 18/09/2007 10:12

A tricky one.. One person's idea of being ill can differ from another. If ds so much as sneezes my MIL thinks I should keep him at home, whereas I have never really considered having a cold to be serious enough to be off work or school, though if she is only 4 I think I would keep her off.


oggsfrog · 18/09/2007 10:13

How did you know the child had a hot face?


expatinscotland · 18/09/2007 10:15

If they're running a temp, they shouldn't be there. Hopefully the teachers send her home asap.


pigsinmud · 18/09/2007 10:15

No you are not being an unreasonable. I've sent the boys in with a slight sniffle - needing a tissue every 30 mins for example. No way would I send them in if they had runny eyes, obviously vey unhappy and feeling yuk. It's antisocial.


EmilyDavidson · 18/09/2007 10:16

I dont mind my kids ( or myself ! ) picking up other peoples germs because I think it does you good in the long run to have the immunity.
But I wouldnt send anyone to school/work if they had a temperature ; they need to be at home being nurtured back to health.


Hurlyburly · 18/09/2007 10:17

Yes, colds and germs are good. Temperatures are where I draw the line.


Marina · 18/09/2007 10:18

Same here. Cold yes, fever with it, no.


Emprexia · 18/09/2007 10:19

Oggsfrog, i would imagine she was flushed if she had a temperature.

Its not that hard to see if a child is sick, and if she's sick enough to be crying, then she shouldn't be in school.


fireflyfairy2 · 18/09/2007 10:20

Fircone, would you take the day off if you had a runny nose?


oggsfrog · 18/09/2007 10:21

I agree. I wouldn't send dd in to school with a temperature.
But, how do you tell somebody has a temperature just by looking at them?


oliveoil · 18/09/2007 10:23

I am not bothered by germs - or at least I pretend I am not but I do hate it when they catch colds - but leaving a obviously sick child at school is a bit mean

maybe she works and couldn't get cover?


bozza · 18/09/2007 10:25

I am often flushed with a cold. And these cold mornings can make a face flushed also.


tortoiseSHELL · 18/09/2007 10:28

Agree, if a temperature then they need to be at home, if just a cold then they should go in.

It's hard to tell with someone else's child what they're like when they're ill - ds1 regularly goes into school saying his tummy/head/back/legs hurt, but he is absolutely well. If dd says they do then I take her a bit more seriously. The other children do need to come into contact with germs a bit, and my experience of reception was that if they were off with every cold then they would barely be in!

Having said that, a really nasty bug DID go round the school, about January time, and at that point (when over 50% of the school were absent), the head asked all parents to keep their children off until absolutely well in an attempt to eradicate it.


oliveoil · 18/09/2007 10:28

see, my friend works and doesn't have any fall back if illness occurs

obvioulsy she can arrange time off but if her child wakes up ill, then what does she do at short notice? piss off her boss or piss off the school

I am v lucky in that I have my MIL round the corner so have help on tap, some do not

so she MAY have dropped her off, gone to work with an eye on booking tomorrow off or phoning round for cover


(have no idea why I am waffling, am putting off my in tray)


Emprexia · 18/09/2007 10:29

Fireflyfairy - yes, i would, because i have respiratory problems that mean if i don't take care of a cold, it can very quickly turn into a very serious sinus infection that then turns into a chest infection.

I would much rather have a couple of days at home dosing a runny nose than end up in hospital having x-rays to check if i've got pneumonia, and taking a month to recover and i've been that way since i was a small child.

some people don't suffer from "simple colds"


twofishes · 18/09/2007 10:43

she probably works and can't get childcare , I remember how crap you feel when your DC is sick and your boss is ranting cos they need you in NOW!! of the reasons I gave it up ..
If child has temp and is crying she will probably get sent home soon, they won't have her disrupting the whole class, it also makes it easier if school rings your work and says 'come & get her...' it makes it more official that you REALLY do have a sick child...sounds crap I know

If mine are snotty but okay in themselves I still send them, one of the other Mums once got a ticking off for always taking her DC out of school with a cold , 'as showing them a poor work ethic for later life..'


contentiouscat · 18/09/2007 10:53

I dont think you can keep your child off every time they have a cold but my rule is if they are well enough to be play fighting & running around in the morning then they are well enough to go to school.

Of course once they have a temperature and feel ill then how horrible for them to be at school, DS once told me he "felt better" and wanted to go to school & I took him despite having reservations, his teacher took one look at him and said "I think you had better take him home again" I felt like a really HORRIBLE Mummy but it was his decision - next time I go with my gut feeling

Like twofishes says though its very hard to get the work/child lucky I dont financially need to go to work it must be so hard for anyone who does.


duchesse · 18/09/2007 10:58

Sadly this is the reality of everybody working. Unless one has a really good support network (family, stay at home friend etc) that can take care of sick child, the alternative is missing work at a moment's notice and becoming a less reliable worker. The slack has to be taken up somewhere- in this case the child, their teacher and teaching assistant, and ultimately the rest of the class. This is essentially what round the clock childcare is about- allows everyone to be in paid work, whether it's working in an office or looking after somebody else's sick child.

The alternative for working mothers is to lose ground at work. If you have to work (and many many families now have to have two parents working just to make ends meet), this is the nitty-gritty of it.

I agree with everyone who thinks that the odd sniffle or cold is not worth keeping the child off school for, but I definitely draw the line at tummy bugs.

You sound angry in your reaction to this mother's decision, and it is coming over in your language. She most probably did not leave her child at school sick with a light heart. Imo, YABU.


tortoiseSHELL · 18/09/2007 10:59

Agree duchesse, D&V (or D or V) should be automatic stay off school.


contentiouscat · 18/09/2007 11:01

I dont know talking to some of the playgroup assistants there are some parents who just unload their sick children despite the fact that they dont work they are in the minority though.

Dont you envy those people with the helpful grannies who do the school run & childmind - it must make life so much easier.


twofishes · 18/09/2007 11:06

I agree with helpful granny thing CC..I get so unreasonably jealous of the moments notice childcare ( free!) that many seem to have .... I'm sure there is a payoff somewhere, but eventhough I only work part time I always seem to be at work when there is a school concert, assembly, dance show etc , or an after school club that DC's want to do but they can't cos childminder can't pick up ...oh the guilt !!..but thats a whole different thread..


portonovo · 18/09/2007 11:10

Some people do take it too lightly though, or just don't want the hassle. We have people coming in to our playgroup saying 'X was sick during the night but she's fine now'. To which we politely tell them thanks but no thanks, they can keep the child home for at least 24 hours.

Or even worse, the parents deliberately say nothing and the child proudly tells us later... sometimes just after they've been sick again!


vacua · 18/09/2007 11:12

Never mind the two parent thing, there are plenty of people who are alone for whatever reason and have a mortgage and children to provide for, it's really tough and sometimes it does mean children going into school when they are not really up to it. Life's not fair.


contentiouscat · 18/09/2007 11:14

I hope im one of those nice helpful grannies but I suspect I will be too old and knackered by then!! My parents are quite busy & active, I always feel as though im putting them out massively if I ask them for help & MIL is a nutter and would just feed them till they expoded and let them play with knives.


duchesse · 18/09/2007 11:16

vacua- I know! My sister is truly alone, through no fault of her own, and has a fairly sickly 5 yr old, and hale and hearty 3 yr old. The 5 yr old has to go to school no matter what, because until she moves much closer to us, she has NO support network near her and has to work full time to support her children, pay the mortgage etc... When she has managed to move nearer (which is complicated as she needs to find the right job), she will have a lot more options.

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