I can't keep this in, I'm sorry. I'm not one to usually use my blog to rant,especially since I'm not good at ranting, but I need to today. Simmer, simmer, simmer, I have to get this off my mind, so here goes...
Both my kids have been sick a lot this winter. I expected the colds, but the stomach virus took me off guard. Our family has stayed home for well over two weeks. Before that, we stayed home off and on while Laurel and Ian were getting over other colds. This was done intentionally to let my sick little people recoup and so they wouldn't infect others.
Today, I felt it was safe to take Ian to Jumping Beans, a little exercise class provided through the city I live in. To say he was excited to get out of the house would be an understatement. "We're going to jumping cwass, hurray!" he shouts as we load up into the van.
We arrive at class, take off our shoes and sit and watch some girls run around on the mats in the middle of the floor. "Mommy, there is children here!" He smiles ear to ear. Ah, it's good to be out around other people again.
We start class by marching in a big circle. Ian holds my hand and tries to march, actually he's taking gigantic steps without lifting up his knees. Next, we walk sideways, backwards and then on tiptoe. Ian's having a blast trying to imitate the teacher. We are warmed up and ready to stretch. We all grab a mat to sit upon.
That's when I notice it, the little girl sitting behind us begins coughing, a down deep in the lungs kind of cough. The mother grabs a tissue and has her daughter blow her nose. I think to myself maybe, hopefully, it's just a cold, no big deal. Wrong. As class progresses and we start running, her cough gets worse and even sounds a bit like a bark. Her mother occasionally takes her aside to blow her nose, but then gets her running again.
Of course Ian and I used sanitizer after the class, but other kids that use the equipment that little girl handled may get infected. I remember a music class Ian and I took when he was about 14 months old, where a mother used sanitizing wipes on anything her little guy played with or chewed on. She used them before he got his eager paws on them, and after, very considerate in my opinion. Maybe I need to start doing that too, using wipes on the equipment before and after Ian uses them. But in the exercise class, there are times where balls, hoops, etc are being tossed back and forth between children. Then, it's out of my hands and Ian will be exposed to whatever.
I know we parents can't keep kids home for every little cold, but when a child is continually coughing that hard, they need to stay home. They need to stay home to get better, and to not spread germs to others. This is just some little, inexpensive class, not a mandatory thing. When Ian is sick, we skip class so that others aren't infected. I also refuse to take him into stores while he may be contagious.
As a teacher, I couldn't believe that a few parents would send their children to school with a note or having called me saying to the effect:
Please keep an eye on __________. She threw up last night. She has a slight fever. If she gets worse, please send her to the nurse.
The poor student usually ended up going to the nurse, and then sent home ill. Then whatever the ailment was would spread through the classroom. Smart. So respectful of others.
I'm not saying that for every little cold a child needs to stay home, but when it's more serious, like a respiratory infection, pink eye, the flu, or worse, yes, he/she needs to stay home. A little common courtesy can go a long way to help keep our children healthy.