Every year there are the seasonal outbreaks of the flu, colds and even chicken pox and every year we are told to wash our hands, stay home if we are sick and keep our sick children home from school.
Well I do all of these things and still I see the same red cheeked kid in class with the obviously infectious green goop hanging from his or her nose. Every year I ask, is this child going home or will I be pulling my kid out for the day because I really don’t want him to become ill. It breaks my heart when I see this happen especially when a parent knew full well that the child was sick because they spent the early part of the morning cleaning up the vomit in their car.
I feel for the parents that are working and will face the scorn from their boss should they have to miss work and I surely feel for the stressed out mom that needs a break from a tough weekend spent caring for a disabled child or any child for that matter but think about the kid for a second. How awful they feel, how utterly miserable it is spending all day waiting for option 1 on the emergency call list, option 2 then option 3 only to have spent the entire day laying around in a bean-bag chair. How much better it would be to have stayed home tucked in a cozy bed, feeling a cool palm on their hot forehead and being soothed by caring cuddles.
This year it may not be an issue only because the schools are threatening to close when a certain percentage of the population is suspected of having the H1N1 virus. Unfortunately this may be the first year that no one has to call in their child’s absence.