A treatise on bringing a germy kid to school …

Apparently some mothers are completely unaware of the presence of these itty bitty things the science-folk call “germs”. I am going to have to make them sit down and watch the Sid the Science Kid “The Big Sneeze” until they begin to understand more about these mysterious and invisible creatures, the germs.

For example, if you have three children and one of those children spent the ENTIRE NIGHT with vomiting and diarrhea, yet you still bring the other two children to school in the morning, you are an imbecile. There is no way in heaven or in hell that the other two are not, to be frank, germy. They are just waiting for their own explosions of vomiting and diarrhea, and are walking incubators for the germ that made your first child sick. You need to keep them at home for a day or two to see if they, by some miracle, are not going to catch their siblings ailment. Instead, mother-who-is-clinically-insane, you have brought them into a building full of kids who will now probably get to experience the joy and wonder of intestinal discomfort courtesy of your child’s germs. Kids touch everything, and then they put their fingers into their various facial orifices. It’s just what kids do. Everything your child has touched will be touched by other children, who will then become germ factories for the masses. Everyone knows this … except, it seems, you. Therefore, the other parents are secretly vibrating with rage when you pass them the friendly info that you have a kid at home down with the plague, while your “healthy” child  is standing there, clearly waiting to licking the class pencil sharpener for maximum germ spreading. Almost all of us are thinking about slapping you for bringing the other kids into school to, in all likelihood, infect everyone else.

The wildfire spread of illness is especially problematic with the norovirus. That nasty little germ will make you puke, experience explosive diarrhea, or both. It spread best by people who don’t wash their hands well after going to the bathroom, and then touch you or (gag) your food. This virus tears through cruise ships and elementary schools like Sherman through Georgia. If one of your kids has the symptoms of this thing, do NOT bring any of your kids to school for a couple of days. And when you do bring them back to class, tell the teacher to hit them with a mega-squirt of hand sanitizer whenever they come out of the bathroom, as a precaution.

Why, oh why, is this hard for some parents to understand. Also, parents who know their kids have lice or pink-eye, and bring them to school anyway, are asshats.

Here ends the Fokker rant.

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About Betty Fokker

I'm a stay-at-home feminist mom.
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12 Responses to A treatise on bringing a germy kid to school …

  1. Louise says:

    Ach. It’s not long since a little kid on the tram was coughing, sneezing and hacking fit to infect everyone on board, and that’s before he went through his usual routine of climbing on everything. I’m not fussed about germs-in-general (I couldn’t care less if my cat walks on the kitchen bench, for instance) but I could have strangled that kid’s mother. She was there, too, so she’s lucky she didn’t wind up with her sari wrapped round her neck! Don’t think much of the school, for that matter, letting her bring him in when he was spreading his cold all over the place.

  2. Sure Thing says:

    Ah, Fokker, I’m with you, I am. But can you offer alternative solutions for the non-stay-at-home among the population?

    When my time comes, I’m gonna be a supersmart mother, with extra money saved for sick days (I’m probably going to be a working mother) so that I can afford good care for when I’m not there. But that’s me, choosing not to buy chocoalte so that I can do right by my (as yet non-conceived) children and their school mates.

  3. Sure Thing says:

    Test, a comment wouldn’t post. Am I in moderation?

  4. Diva says:

    Amen

    I teach. I cannot count the number of times a kid has said he/she “threw up last night” and my thoughts run toward the following:

    You poor darling, you should be home drinking broth under a warm blanket.

    Your parents are sadistic.

    I just touched your workbook when I graded it ARGH get me the hand sanitizer stat!

  5. I only have one child, so I never thought about being in the situation where one child is sick but there are other healthy children at home. I don’t know if our school would even excuse a child whose sibling was ill, if that child was still well enough to come to school. Not that I disagree with you. I’d still like to shout at the idiot mom who sent her kindergartner to school with the flu – yes, the real and actual FLU – and got my baby sick for a week. Grrr.

  6. Kate George says:

    I’m with you on this one Fokker! It’s amazing how many parents will send a kid to school who obviously isn’t feeling well, in case they feel better when they get here!

  7. Kara says:

    If the kid caught the illness at school, send the siblings to school if they are healthy. I can deal with that as everyone has already been exposed.

    Where I agree with you 100%, Fokker, is when someone has been to another city to visit friends or relatives and one kid gets sick. Please, please, please keep all your kids home until you are sure that they are not carrying the illness. While we’re at it, stay home yourself and keep your spouse home. Limit the spread of illness! The rest of us do not wish to participate in your germy party.

  8. Bethany says:

    This is where I want to push harder for more workplaces to have greater amounts of sick days and more flexible work arrangements (such as mine letting us work remotely) because I could easily see a parent, caught between a child who might be getting better going to school and missing a day of work. A friend of mine works for a car company as an engineer and did not get any sick days or vacation time his first Year other than the two weeks the plant is closed for maintenance (one is in summer the other is at christmas). If he gets sick, he needs to have a doctor’s note for his boss when he comes in, and gets docked a day’s pay from his paycheck. He said everyone comes in sneezing, sniffling, even sometimes vomiting, to avoid missing that day. He doesn’t have any kids, but that just seems impossible for a single parent.

    • Louise says:

      It’s insane, isn’t it? Presumably the people who make these rules NEVER get sick themselves. The whole idea of having to have a doctor’s certificate for a couple of days has just resulted in surgeries overflowing with people who have colds or a touch of flu, and should just be at HOME resting, not sitting in waiting rooms spreading it around.

      In 2007 that attitude formed part of the unions’ very effective campaign against the government’s WorkChoices scheme, which should have been called WorkNoChoicesAndNotMuchPay. (Low-wage earners on it were forced to give up holiday pay and entitlements for a pay rise of two cents per hour.) Anyway one of the union ads showed a woman ringing her boss to say she had to look after her sick child that day – and being told she’d be fired if she didn’t come in.

      WorkChoices was the issue that got that mongrel government booted out … not that the current lot are much better, but they DID repeal that legislation.

  9. vibes01 says:

    im a grown woman and i caught head lice a few years back by commuting…i was sitting on a packed train filled with school kids, office workers etc….about a week later i was sitting at my office desk and scratched my head…dandruff? something fell onto my desk and moved……i was horrified

    it took two re occurances and my then boyfriend driving 60 miles to be with me so he could de louse me as i was freaking out..

    seriously, how can parents not know their kids have lice?

  10. vibes01 says:

    oh yeh and then there was that scabie outbreak when i was at school…my pal was infested, full of scabs and his parents did nothing about it….the entire class was hit before the school and parents did anything

    oh yeh and there was the worm outbreak when i was in primary…..

    oh gads….i feel sick now

  11. Lori Dyan says:

    Pink eye at school = the worst! Also, strep and anything involving green snot. If you ever do a petition, let me know where to sign…

    (p.s. so happy to have found your blog!)

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