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Sick kids and day care inspections
Originally published June 26, 2007, thehive.modbee.com
Getting on a plane with four ounces of shampoo would have been easier than getting into day care today.
There’s been an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth virus – which sounds worse than it is, especially when I goof up and say my kid has hoof and mouth disease.
Little Guy came down with it Friday, so he had to be inspected at the border this morning. I watched nervously – for some reason, I flash back to spelling bees in these situations.
I didn’t want to face the humiliation of trudging back to my desk, head hung low, if she found spots on him that I’d missed. Except in this case, the humiliation would have been in being labeled Bad Parent Who Tries to Sneak Sick Kid into Day Care.
After a few minutes – or was it hours? – Little Guy got the all-clear.
Despite my child-like fears, I remembered the Great Pink Eye Plague of 06 and was thrilled with the inspection. I hope they keep doing it, because I'm tired of missing work and spending money because parents can't be bothered with their sick kids.
The Great Pink Eye Plague wound up costing me $75 in medication and doctor’s visits, not to mention two sick days.
I was fortunate on the sick days – Big Guy's first two bouts erupted on weekends. A quick trip to urgent care, and by the time I had to go back to work, he’d been on meds long enough to be legally clear to return to day care.
A friend wasn’t so lucky. Her kids would come down with it on Monday, which meant she burned at least two sick days per bout.
And the plague lasted three weeks. Big Guy and my friend’s kids had it once a week during that time.
Really, folks, there’s no need for pink eye to last three weeks
. It’s simple to cure – take the kid to the doctor, use the eye drops for 24 hours, and take the kid back to school with the eye drops. Apparently some parents had trouble grasping that.
The day care folks were pretty sure they knew who the slow learners were, but every time they asked, moms and dads denied the kids were sick.
I have no patience with such parents. They should
be stopped at the border. They should be sentenced to hard labor – let them do their jobs, then do the work I wasn’t getting done because my kid was sick again.
They should be forced to wear T-shirts emblazoned with Bad Parent Who Tries to Sneak Sick Kid into Day Care.
Yes, I’m lucky enough to have paid sick leave I can use when my kids can’t go to day care. I also have paid vacation I can use when I run out of sick days – and I’ve had to do that every year since I’ve had kids.
If worse came to worst and I was out of sick and
vacation time, I could miss a day without pay and still manage the bills.
I cannot imagine what life is like for parents who don’t have options – those without sick or vacation time and for whom a missed day’s pay could mean financial ruin.
I don’t think it was cases like that, though, that caused the Pink Eye Plague. I think it was simply parents who didn’t want to deal with disruption in their lives so they sent their kids to day care, where they eventually disrupted other parents’ lives. Not to mention all the other kids they made sick because they were too busy or important to be away from the office for 24 hours.
Maybe they should go back to preschool and learn a bit about courtesy for others.
Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.