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Moms Talk: How Sick Is Too Sick for School?

We want to know how you decide when to miss school due to illness.

A sniffle. A wee cough. Pink cheeks. Might be the onset of a flu or could just be one of the many little pseudo-colds that children bring home weekly from school.

Short of a raging fever, it can be a tough call to decide whether to send your child to school. Are they well enough to play? Feeling good enough to learn? Will the other parents look at you in horror when you bring your child to the classroom? There are so many factors to consider.

We at Patch want to know: What is your yardstick for judging illness? How do make the call on attending school? Do the reasons change according to the age of your child? Does the season play a part?

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Marie Malahi October 04, 2011 at 09:38 PM
We are the complete opposite. I notice my kids seem to catch things and stay sick longer if I send them to school. I error on the side of caution except school policies make that difficult & DD ended up being really ill & miss 15 days of school for one illness. We are higher risk & I have to say that teachers & school staff have actually thanked me for keeping kids home when ill especially in grade school. When you know your kid is sneezing all over the place, nose is running or coughing, this just insures everyone around will be sick soon. Kids especially young ones do not cover their face when they sneeze. They wipe their nose with a swipe of a hand & do not wash or sanitize hands regularly or after a cough, sneeze or nose wipe. Period. Last year at one point nearly a third of the school was out sick. Wonder how? Sending a kid to school sick. Schools need to ease up on absences so parents can do the right thing & parents also need to realize that a school is a community and as such, we need to show courtesy to others as a whole. You child might weather thru that flu, but pass it to another who can get gravely ill or take it home to a family member who can not afford to miss work or themselves get very ill.
Catherine Myman-Kaplan October 05, 2011 at 12:25 AM
Hi Marie! What is the absence policy at your child's school? How did they handle it when a third of the school was out sick? Thanks for commenting! :)Cath
Marie Malahi October 05, 2011 at 01:49 AM
CCUSD is pretty strict, but like in my daughter's case and grade level, there was a bit of slack in terms of additional days of that no Dr. notice was needed. Keep in mind I already provided 2 as after 2 days absence, you must have the note. I understand the reasoning for this & was at the doctor for DD anyway, in the case of a really bad cold that bed rest is best for...without a Dr's note, your child is truant and legally can be persued by police and/or Child Services. Plus they cannot make up work if not excused. My son is in high school and he will go to school on his death bed because playing catch up along with doing regular homework can be extremely difficult. Planning makeup tests, writing papers etc. within. The "1 day absent, 1 day makeup" rule is very grueling for a child who was sick is kind of ridiculous.
Marie Malahi October 05, 2011 at 01:55 AM
What can the school do when so many are out? Parents provide tissues & antibacterial gel to classrooms. A letter did go home asking parents to keep kids home that are ill, but with rules and work for both kids & parents, they opt to send them to school. School does provide flu shots to those that want it, but last year it was in November, I believe and parents like me opted to pay for it early in the season than to wait.
Catherine Myman-Kaplan October 06, 2011 at 12:08 AM
Hi Marie! Thanks for answering my questions. Wow, you are right---kids have to work hard while they are sick so they don't fall behind on homework/exams/projects. Thanks you for helping me gain insight into my daughter's future! :)Cath

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