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COVID-19 has successfully fostered an awareness of common sense in some people which is simply as incredible as it is marvellous. It’s no longer acceptable to send one’s children to school whilst they are clearly sick.

Prior to the pandemic I remember parents being able to still send their little ones to school based on whether their child felt up to it or not, without a care in the world or a single thought for the other individuals that their child could possibly infect.

Schools Are Sending Kids Home!

School is no longer a daycare service when it comes to palming children off because we have better things to do with our time other than to be tied down for the entire day by a little one who is unwell. And thankfully schools are actually sending children home who are visually sick.

It’s no longer a matter of supplying them with enough tissues to get them through their copious amount of phlegm and congestion throughout their school day. Even if the child is eagerly not wanting to miss out on any activities.

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It Builds Immunity, Doesn’t It?

Prior to COVID-19, many parents held the belief that their little one’s illnesses probably weren’t contagious, and even if they were – it built immunity which is a huge positive for everyone who encountered their sick child right!?

Unwell children were given medicine and sent to school to avoid boredom and ensure that the little one wasn’t missing out on anything.

What About Recovery?

Whatever happened to rest though? Making sure that a child had enough rest and recovery time even if they claimed to be well enough to still participate in community activities.

As their guardians, haven’t we always had it within our power to do what we believe is right for our child no matter what?

Admittedly, some schools didn’t make it very easy on the parents either if you decided to keep your children at home. There were guidelines as to how many days per term and per year that a child could have off and if you came anywhere near those maximum number of days you could be certain to receive an abrupt letter from the school setting up a meeting with the liaison officer if any more time were taken off.

Maybe Some Felt They Had No Choice

Perhaps this made some parents feel powerless. As though to avoid any unnecessary drama they had no choice but to send their sick kids to school against their better judgement. As a way of escaping negativity from the school and to avoid exceeding the set number of absent days.

Raising awareness about the more vulnerable members in our community I believe has been a vital lesson from the pandemic. Understanding that whilst exposure to some illnesses may bring greater immunity, for some people this could also have dire consequences. And there is no easy way of knowing who is and isn’t immunocompromised that an infectious child could come into contact with and potentially put at risk.

Putting Vulnerable At Risk!

Yes of course the elderly definitely fall into the category of people we need to extend greater care around- but what about those going through chemotherapy or people with underlying health conditions which render their immune systems weak who we can’t pick just by looking at them. Added to this they could be anyone, your little one’s teacher, the other child at the playground or any number of people you come into contact with at the shopping centre.

We Know When They Should Be Kept Home…

Understandably there will always be things like nagging post viral coughs which are unavoidable. However, under most circumstances, parents know when our little ones are genuinely unwell. We instinctively know when they need to rest and we need to be able to make the decision for them to rest and recover as opposed to encouraging them to battle on and infect everyone else in the process.

The decision to do what’s right for our children, for our family as well as for our community has always been in our power. Now it’s just a matter of relentlessly ensuring that we don’t forget it. Because it’s vital that we remember even ‘just a cold’ can have devastating effects on people with underlying health conditions that we know nothing about.

Know The Difference!

It’s alright to miss out on certain activities sometimes. Added to this there is always a chance of placing an already sick child at risk of contracting a secondary infection. There are times we need to battle on and times when we need to rest and recover- knowing the difference is vital. And it is definitely time that we start looking out for one another.

Are your schools sending kids home if they are sick? Tell us in the comments below.

  • I thankfully haven’t been in the position to find out. But I have also been keeping my children home and providing medical clearance for a rash my daughter had to show it wasn’t contagious etc.

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  • Like the turn around of keeping sick children at home.

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  • My kids school has always sent kids home who turn up sick which I appreciated as mine pick up bugs very easily

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  • Keep them away so the whole class doesn’t get sick.

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  • Of course the schools are no baby sitting service, good on them for making this clear.

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  • I was very lucky that my boys never really got sick but if they had the sniffles I kept them at home. I wasn’t thinking of what the school wanted, I just knew I wouldn’t want my boys to go to school with someone who was sick. To me it was common sense so that the germs didn’t spread. Now finally the schools are are taking notice of Mum’s and Dad’s. To be fair though it’s not really the schools who were the problem it was the education department who put those rules into place. Stay safe and well everyone

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  • Finally common sense. Yes, our school is now sending sick children home. It used to drive me mad when mine caught things. I always kept them home if they were sick so as not to pass on the germs to others. We used to babysit our granddaughter and knew when she had been to daycare because she always got sick 3 days later. I know many parents HAVE to work but this is what you need to do when you have children – take responsibility!

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  • Parents sending kids to school sick has always frustrated me. I expressed my disbelief & annoyance at my sister in law who did this constantly. Or when shed bring her kids over saying “rams ok, it’s just allergies or residual cough” but dosing her with nurofen and then everyone but me getting sick.
    I have always kept.my eldest home when she was sick. The only annoying part was the school required doctor clearance to confirm she was ok. This meant taking her to the Doctor doing a urine sample, then waiting for pathology, which during flu season often takes 3 days, then returning to Doctor for the school clearance letter. So if my kid was sick for a week, she spent an additional week just waiting to be officially told she is good. This is even for non contagious issues like UTI.
    But guess what, she still stays home.

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  • I work in a school…
    Our policy is now that we send the kids home for coughs, temperatures, etc. Runny nose can be tolerated within reason.
    Just last week my class sent home 4 (yes 4!) kids who showed up at school VOMITING!! Our class only has 17 kids in, so something was shared (and it wasn’t food).
    Parents, please keep your sick kids home!

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  • I didn’t know schools babysit!

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  • Yes sick kids shouldn’t be at school

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  • It’s basic commonsense if your child is unwell don’t send them.

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  • Never send kids to school sick it just makes them feel crap and spreads coughs, cold, flus and everything else. After working in child care we had a no temp policy and all kids that were sick were sent home

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  • I have never sent my kids to school when they are sick. My son’s school rings me straight away and sends notes when a certain number of kids are sick or sent home sick.

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  • I wasn’t aware any school offered care or ‘babysitting’ for sick kids. Think the title is misleading.
    Rather the article refers to kids being at school when unwell.
    This has always been a no brainer for me as I’m immunocompromised and so are my twins who were born preemie. But seen many, many kids at daycare and school who clearly shouldn’t be there as too unwell.

    Yes it can be a hard call, I’ve heard other parents say “it’s just a runny nose” – but can’t be too careful. we all have to think of others. And who they might affect or infect. School staff, other parents/carers, anyone on the way to or from school.
    And yes I know kids get sick a lot and particularly in winter can have runny/snotty noses most of the time.
    But if unwell then plse keep home.
    I think covid19 has helped changed most people’s perception of battling on when unwell with a cold or whatever. Hopefully we all remember.

    Reply

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