It’s cold and flu season, and those grubby little germs are everywhere. And once your child brings home an illness, it can be tough to prevent it from spreading through the family.
There are times when your kid wakes up fine and you send him or her off to school… only to get the dreaded call from the school nurse. Your son or daughter is sick and needs to be picked up.
But there are also times when kids wake up with an obvious fever- and parents still send the child to school anyway.
There always seems to be a lot of tension surrounding the reality that children that are sick with fevers should be kept home, but one mom has made it quite simple.
A mom’s Facebook post urges fellow parents to “Be Like Sam”, because “Sam” keeps her fever-ridden children home, regardless of what activities are on the agenda.
Mom Samantha Moria Reynolds describes how “Sam” woke up and noticed that her son wasn’t feeling well.
Sam took her son’s temperature, and wow! A fever.
So Sam, like most parents, takes the next logical step:
Sam gave her son Tylenol and then…
Here’s where the “THEN” becomes critical. Sam gives her son Tylenol, which obviously helps to lower his fever. But although her son no longer has a fever once the medicine kicks in,
Sam did NOT send her son to school.
This is often the point of contention. Some parents think that if their child no longer has a fever shortly after medicine is administered, the child can go to school, right?
Tylenol or Motrin may temporarily alleviate the actual fever, but- your child is still sick.
(Translation: Your child is still contagious to other children.)
While it can be inconvenient to have a child that unexpectedly needs to stay home from school, -especially for working parents- it’s not just our own child’s well-being that should be considered.
Samantha gets it:
Sam missed work knowing that the well-being of her son and the kids who attend his school is more important than work missed.
Calling out from work because your child is sick can be nerve-wracking. Maybe you and your spouse are juggling who has taken more days off. Maybe you’re a single parent with a limited quantity of days left to take off.
These issues are the reality for many parents, but- it’s not about just your child. There’s a classroom full of children who are at risk if you send your feverishly sick child to school.
Kids with fevers need to stay home & recover… even if it means missing important events.
Sam gets it; her son had a fun, action-packed weekend ahead. But with a fever, those plans were a no-go:
Sam’s son was invited to THREE birthday parties over the weekend.
Sam’s son has been so excited to go, but he will unfortunately also have to miss them because Sam’s son is SICK.
Missing parties, games, and cool activities can feel heartbreaking for young children. Most of us have experienced the difficult task of informing our sick child that he or she can’t go to an event they had their heart set on attending.
(If my 8-year-old daughter were present, she’d chime in, “YEP! Remember when I was in first grade & threw up & couldn’t go to Daniel’s party at Adventureland & I was so sad??”)
Yes, it’s sad when kids miss out on something they’ve been looking forward to.
But “Sam” reminds us that the worst birthday gift we can pass on to another little kid is a big old case of the flu. Or a cold. Or whatever germ is responsible for your child’s fever.
Sam knows passing along a sickness would not be a great birthday gift regardless of how bummed her son may be.
Too many parents are dismissive of fevers, assuming that a dose of medicine is enough to pop your kid back into public. Nope!
A critical point that some parents overlook is sending their child to school too soon; sometimes one day isn’t enough recovery time.
The school nurse usually tells parents this fact, but it bears repeating:
Sam knows her son is still contagious until he is fever-free, WITHOUT medication, for 24 hours.
Yup. It often happens; your child’s temperature drops back into normal range for most of the day… only to spike back up in the evening. That’s why the 24-hour rule exists.
Yes, it’s a hassle when kids get sick. It complicates things, and makes many parents have to scramble in desperation to accommodate the unexpected.
But someone else’s child should not have to pay the price of catching what your child has because your son woke up with a fever, yet you sent him to school after a quick dose of Motrin.
Be. Like. Sam. … and keep your feverish child home.
Based on the fact that Samantha’s post already has 139K shares since she posted it on January 24, it’s obvious that most parents are thankfully “like Sam”.