Stop Sending Sick Kids to School
Let’s have a show of hands: How many of you have sent a child to school when you have suspected (I’m being polite here) that he/she was not well and might be contagious?
Maybe it will help if I tell you that my hand is up.
I know that you had your excuses: Your son didn’t have fever when you dropped him off at school at 8 a.m.--even if the nurse says he has 102 degrees Fahrenheit an hour later... You thought your daughter was sneezing and coughing because of her allergies... It is sometimes hard to tell when your kid’s physical complaint is an excuse to get out of a test.
I believe all of that. And I also believe that some people will keep sending their kids to school sick even if the secretary of Health and Human Services personally comes to their door and begs them not to.
But for those of us who are capable of changing our behavior, this is the time. Here’s why:
--The government predicts that perhaps as much as half of the U.S. population could come down with the H1N1 virus strain, better known as the swine flu. That’s roughly twice as many people who usually get the flu during a regular season.
--The population most expected to be affected is between the ages of 5 and 24. That means, quite possibly, your kids.
--There is not yet a vaccine to combat this flu.
It is time—now—to plan for a situation in which your child stays home—either because of sickness or because his/her school has closed:
*If you work outside the home, find out what accommodations your employer is making; the government has asked businesses to be flexible.
*Figure out who can stay with your child if you can’t. Figure out who can take care of your kids if you get very sick.
*Ask your child’s teachers what plans are being made to allow students who are at home but not sick to do work.
*Ask teachers how they will accommodate kids who are sick and not well enough to do work.
I have never understood why some teachers require kids who are actually sick to return to school with all of their work completed. Will sick children be expected to make up every single bit of work they missed? If so, why? Teachers should be able to devise a way for kids to catch up on important material in an expedited way.
*Find out what school administrators are planning to do if parents do send their kids to school sick.
*Follow government health guidelines.
For example, even though your kids will tell you to stop treating them like babies, teach them to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soapy water a number of times a day. Keep your kid home for at least 24 hours after they are free of fever. When there is a vaccine available--probably in October--get it.
Parents: E-mail The Sheet about any aspect of your planning that would be worth sharing with others.
How are schools and employers addressing the issue?
And teachers: Tell us how you are planning to stay on track with the possibility of more health disruptions than you are accustomed to handling.
| September 1, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories: Parents, Teachers | Tags: school work, sick kids, swine flu, teachers
Save & Share: Previous: Getting it Right: Is Online Learning REALLY Better?
Next: SPOTLIGHT: The Philosopher Who Wants to Bring Back Shop Class
Posted by: supersonic2 | September 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Va_Lady2008 | September 1, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: exkidspost | September 1, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1voraciousreader | September 1, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FionnaB | September 2, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: staticvars | September 2, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FionnaB | September 2, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.