I swear, every time my daughter comes down with a cold I do the “not again…” heavy sigh, and then I run through all the kids in my head that I know who are sick and try to figure out who gave it to her. What good does it do? None, really. But I feel better knowing who to blame. Yes, it’s terrible. But, come on, you do it too, don’t you?
I am usually quite cautious about letting my daughter out when she is sick. I don’t want her to be “the sick kid.” The one that all the other moms are looking at and trying to steer their children away from.
You know you’ve been there. You’ve spent the entire playdate watching the toddler with the snot bubble like a hawk (to the point that it’s a little creepy and a whole lot obvious), and just as they are about to hand a toy over to your child (or, if you’re a real germaphobe, perhaps they just take a step in your kid’s direction), you shoot up out of your seat from across the room and say with a smile, “time to try and go potty, honey!” It’s a legitimate reason to leave the room. No one will deduce your true intentions, right? Ok, so maybe it’s a little obvious.
So I’m curious… what’s your policy on leaving your child at home when they have a cold?
I leave my daughter home if she has a fever, obviously, or isn’t feeling like herself. That’s usually the first couple of days after the cold hits. And I have a general rule that if her nose is running like a faucet, she stays home. I just don’t think it’s nice to ask other people to clean her snot. Yuck.
But it’s not always easy; we have commitments: school, work, church… Eventually I hit the “well, what am I suppose to do, keep her home forever?” wall and let her go out and possibly infect the world, because quarantining is just no longer an option.
In light of my eventual defeat, I was curious to know just how long kids are contagious when they have a cold, so I did some research. Apparently they are contagious the entire time they are sick (which could be as long as 2 weeks- yippee!), but most contagious during their peak days, which are usually days 3-5. Unfortunately, they could also be contagious up to 2 days before symptoms even appear (sources here and here).
So do you think if most parents followed the rule of quarantining their kids during their peak days, would we have less sickness being spread around? Because, let’s be honest, I don’t think the peak day quarantine is happening for most kids…
I propose we all take a silent “3-5-Peak-Day” pledge. Or a “snot-bubbles=stay at home” pledge.
Because letting your kid infect other kids is just mean, even if it isn’t intentional.
Sigh. Thank God the flu season is almost over.