The truth about sick kids and daycare

Sending a sick child to daycare is not the best option.
Sending a sick child to daycare is not the best option. Photo: Getty Images

If there's one thing that goes hand-in-hand with starting daycare, it's germs, germs, and more germs.

Unsurprisingly, our little dude came down with a bug in his second week of daycare.

When I took him to the doctor, she asked if he had been around other kids at all and when I mentioned that he'd started daycare the week earlier, she rolled her eyes and said "That'll be it".

I wasn't shocked; I knew it came with the territory.

At the basic root of it all, it's almost impossible to avoid.

Now that he's crawling, and teething (so therefore sticking EVERYTHING in his mouth), germs are going to make their way into him. There's little I can do, short of following him everywhere he goes and wiping every single surface, toy and person with antiseptic.

What gets me though are other parents who don't seem to do the most obvious of preventable contagion control, that being KEEP YOUR SICK KID AWAY FROM OTHERS.

When I realised that our son was too sick to go to daycare (rules say if they've vomited in the past 48 hours, they're not welcome), I rang them immediately.

I didn't even consider sending him along and pleading ignorance to his state.

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But I can imagine other parents do, and this really, really irritates me.

Don't get me wrong; having a sick kid at home on a day when you had other plans (for me, I have a very important hair appointment, hah!) is pretty miserable, but I far prefer that than thinking for one second that my poor parenting decision would have an effect on other kiddies.

And yet these parents exist. These parents 'She'll be right' attitude has such a huge flow on effect for daycare centres, and all kids really.

Actually it's not even just the kids; Mr Greer ended up contracting the little one's illness so I had two babies to look after!

These lurgies can rip through families so quick and suddenly any plans that were in the works are put on hold.

I think the whole 'treat others how you wish to be treated' really comes into play here. You wouldn't ever want your child to be sick, so don't expose other kids to your child's germs.

Isolate, and the evil circle of contagiousness will end. Well, at least until the next lurgy rolls around.

Also, give your friends and family a heads up about the situation.

Let them decide if they want to risk being exposed to your germs; don't just spring it on them at inopportune times or once the decision has been already made for them by you.

- Stuff NZ