- November 8, 2014
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I have a pet peeve with some of my fellow parents, who are bringing their sick and likely contagious children to public places. Common sense tells us to keep kids in bed when they are sick. Yet, over the years, I have seen parents bring their kids to public places time and time again. What is wrong with you people?! Seriously, keep your kids at home or at least, away from other kids. I know some people have the philosophy of ‘kids get sick, it strengthens their immune systems’. Or the most ludicrous one I’ve encountered is, and I directly quote, “Well, what’s the point of keeping them at home when they don’t feel well?!” I was at a playgroup once and a mom literally wiped the vomit off of her son’s mouth before bringing him into someone’s house. We only knew he threw up because he announced it. The mom claimed it was something he ate. The child then proudly announced that he had also vomited three times the previous night. When the mother was gently asked to leave the playgroup in someone’s small living room, she huffed that she didn’t want to “coop up” her son in the house all day. She said she would then take him to a public park [to infect many other children].
What these parents don’t take into consideration is that it isn’t only inconvenient for the children and their parents who become ill, but can have more damaging effects. Some of these sick kids live with older grandparents or pregnant moms, namely people with more sensitive immune systems. A mom-friend of mine, recently had cancer and during treatment, she couldn’t take her daughter to her activities. She explained that because people bring their coughing kids with dripping noses everywhere.
There are situations that are inconvenient but we owe it to our society to keep illness at bay when we actually have some influence over the spread of an illness. There was a group of us from the same preschool who took our kids to an amusement park for the day. We had rented a hotel room and as we checked in, my daughter vomited on me. We holed up in the hotel room and skipped the amusement park. Oh, well! Another parent, whose child got the virus as well, took her son to the amusement park. I heard that he literally would throw up on a ride and she would force him to get right back on. After all, they did spend a pretty penny and were determined to get their money’s worth. I was disgusted. I couldn’t help but think of the other people who were infected, people who would go on airplanes after their weekend. I couldn’t help but think of the life that this virus would take because of one selfish person who didn’t want to be inconvenienced.
I understand when people have to work and they have to send their kids to school when there is a slight illness. Would it be better if they didn’t? Sure. But that isn’t realistic. But for stay-at-home parents, I don’t think there is an excuse for sending your sick kids to school, to libraries, to parks, to playgroups, etc. Keep them at home. Let them rest. Don’t spread the illness, please!