Mums furious over sick kids sharing their germs at school/child care

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum

It’s well known that despite the best hygiene and cleaning standards, child care centres, schools, play centres and even shopping trolleys, can be breeding grounds for illnesses.

With a “very significant influenza epidemic” striking the Gold Coast this cold and flu season (with more than 1200 flu notifications this year and 113 hospitalisations), angry mums have taken to social media to point the finger at other parents for not quarantining their own sick children.

“Parents should keep their kids home from child care/school if they’re unwell with coughs and colds, instead of being selfish and letting them go there and spread their illnesses around,” one frustrated mum said.

“It’s because of you, my kids are all sick, I’m now sick and I’ve lost wages due to having to take time off work, and we’ve also lost out as we still have to pay for child care even when the kids are off sick”.

Gold Coast Medical Association president Dr Stephen Withers told the Gold Coast Bulletin it was a bad year for flu, particularly the B strain.
“People have been extraordinarily sick and in both the adult and paediatric population it’s really taken a big toll on them,” he said.

This season of fevers has also kept hubby and I on our toes as we’ve been keeping a close eye on one of our 1-year-old twin daughters who had a terrifying  febrile convulsion a few months ago when her fever spiked which I wrote about here .

It’s bad enough when one of your little ones is unwell with a cold or flu. But luckily ;-) for us, we have had the joy of dealing with all four of our little ones (aged 5, 3 and twins aged 1) unwell at the same time.

I, like many other parents, have always found the first 12 months of each of my children attending child care, to be full of all sorts of illnesses and ailments ranging from colds, flu, viruses, hand foot and mouth, conjunctivitis, tonsillitis and more.

This year we’ve missed numerous play dates with friends and birthday parties due to one lurgy or another.
My twincesses also get runny noses each time they’re cutting teeth, so it can sometimes be hard to distinguish when they’re actually unwell versus when it’s just new teeth.

My four cherubs have had to miss out on various birthday parties and events this year due to one illness or another but still manage to have fun wherever we go :-)

As much as it’s hard to have to cancel on friends due to a member/s of our family being unwell (most fellow parents understand when we exclude ourselves), I’d much prefer that than to drag my kids along to possibly spread their germs and cause other families to then become unwell.
(And I would also hope that the same consideration/courtesy would be afforded to my family and I).

While social networking has been the battleground for some parents about when it’s suitable to send an unwell child to childcare, parents who are concerned with the health of their children are increasingly reaching out to other parents, via social networking, to source advice and tips when it comes to illnesses and ailments before they seek medical treatment.

What is a headache?’, ‘What is this rash?’, ‘Could my child have concussion’? and 'Is my child dehydrated?' are just some of the examples posted to parenting forums and private online groups. 

As always, parents should seek professional medical advice if they have any concerns.

So just how unwell is unwell? Where do YOU draw the line? When is it OK to send kids to childcare/keep children home? Clear nose, green snotty nose?

Let’s connect:

This post is sponsored by Nurofen, but all opinions are my own. Check out Nurofen’s informative Health and Wellness website here:

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