Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sick Days

Every kid gets sick. Every family has sick days. Every family handles them differently.

The more I talk to other families this cold/flu/nastiness season the more I realize that every family truly handles sick days differently....

One girl that I know tries to only take half days off when her kids have colds. She's the ibuprofen in the parking lot mom. When the kids are sick she backs up the dosing schedule to be able to give a dose moments before walking her kid into daycare. Work starts at 9 a.m., so she drops off her kids at 8:30. Six hours before is 2:30 a.m. and  six hours before that is .... You get the idea.

If the cold symptoms don't show with the ibuprofen, she can make it through half the day at the office and then only use a few hours of sick time.

Another mom I know lets her kids stay home when ever they say they don't feel good. As her kids have gotten older, there are days I'm not even sure if she knows their symptoms. Could be a stomach bug or it could be a math test. She's getting into a pinch because the kids have missed so much school.

I don't agree with either of them. I hate the idea of a kid sharing sick germs with other kids. That is how they got sick to start with. At the same time, I don't want to be so lenient that my kids are out of school enough for it to impact them going on to the next grade.

Its something all parents have to figure out. What to do when their kids are sick.

For our part, Hubby and I have always tried to downplay symptoms. We don't do cold medicine unless the kids are downright miserable. In our minds, if they are sick enough to stay home, they are sick enough to stay in bed. If its a cold or something mild, we leave the kids home with the sitter, just like any other day. Our theory (and the sitters') is that she has already been exposed, and if the kids are in bed, or watching TV, basically resting all day, the sitter will also need rest. So, basically it works out. If one of the kids are seriously sick - vomiting, or needs more than an antibiotic - one of us will stay home.

A few days ago Big Girl left swimming early because she didn't feel well. When she got home she had a second wave of energy. We still had her go to bed early, but then in the morning - when she got up - she was fine. Whatever was going on came back over her in the carpool line, because she said the smell of her lunch made her feel like throwing up. She still went to school, but came home early. Again feeling bad for a bit, but getting better after a few hours.

It has made me re-think our strategy a bit. Next time she isn't feeling well, a low key day at home would do her good. have her rest up and get back to 100 percent instead of the ups and downs. She's old enough to explain her symptoms and certainly understands about telling the truth. I also have plenty of sick time. So, why shouldn't I stay home with them more? They need it, and I think the next time someone is sick, I'll try to put work aside and put the focus on the family.

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