One of my friends called me this morning, and she had a story to tell.
“You won’t believe what happened to me this weekend!” she started.
She went on to tell me that after offering to watch her friend’s kids so she and her husband could go out on a much-needed date, her friend dropped off a child who had a cough, a cold, and a fever, when my friend has two young children of her own! The woman proceeded to leave for her date and left my friend with a child who really should’ve been at home.
My friend didn’t say anything about the illness and neither did her friend. And when the sick child left, she super cleaned her house. But even still, a few days later, her kids are sick.
We started talking about “sick kid” etiquette. What should you do, or what do you do, when your kid is sick and you have plans? Especially in the winter months?
Here’s what I think:
1. If your kid has a fever, all plans are a no-go. Are you kidding me? Who brings their kid somewhere when they know they have a fever? (Sometimes you find out later…so obviously I’m not talking about those situations.)
2. Same rule applies for any stomach illness that involves lots of bathroom trips.
3. If your child has an extremely runny nose and a cough that’s uncontrollable, stay home. Seriously. Toddlers have no idea how to stay clean when they’re sick.
4. And, if there is a newborn or pregnant woman in the house you are visiting, take extra precaution. If you’re not sure, ask, and let your friend decide.
5. However, many toddlers have runny noses all the time. One little runny nose or a tiny cold doesn’t mean you have to stay home. However, think about who you’re visiting. Is it a friend you see all the time? Maybe the kids pass germs back and forth constantly anyway? And think about how bad it really is. If it’s a little sneezing and sniffles, you’re probably okay. But if there are any accessories that go along with it (think fever, super cough, or crazy runny nose) cancel your plans.
I have to say, I haven’t experienced what my friend has. My friends are really polite about child sickness. If someone is sick, they let everyone know and either cancel the plans for their child, or leave it up to those attending once they explain the situation.
I think this is much easier when you have toddlers. Once kids are old enough to go to school, there’s a plethora of germs everywhere, and maybe being as careful just isn’t feasible.
I’m wondering, What is your “sick kid” etiquette with your friends? Have you had an experience like my friend did?