What would you do…

What would you do if you were a single mother with a couple of school aged kids, and one of them got sick, or had something contagious like head lice or impetigo? Why, you’d stay home from work to take care of them, of course! Right? Right! What if your job paid hourly, let’s say your supported your family waiting tables, and used your tips to pay the bills. What then? What if a week home from work meant losing $300 that you needed to pay your bills? How about at $300 a week, you simply didn’t have enough to build up a bit of a money buffer to cover things like that? What if you had that buffer but you spent a week in the hospital and your medical insurance (if you had any) sucked? Howabout if you found out your boss found someone else to work your job because you were “unreliable”?

I recently a blog where the individual writing was complaining because someone sent their kid to school with impetigo and her kid caught it. She was fortunate enough to have medical care for her child and could get him treated before it got nasty. She was also able to stay home and take care of him until it cleared up.

The commenters there broke my heart. It was all about how the mother was horrible and why chouldn’t she stay home blah blah. Maybe she just didn’t have the option. I’m not saying “Ok everyone send your kids to school whether they’re sick or not!” I’m just saying try to get all the story before you go smacking down someone who’s circumstances may not be as fortunate as yours, ok?

Sure, there are people who are irresponsible with their kids, who send them to school because they just don’t want to deal with them. But that’s not everyone. There are people who the decision to keep their child home simply isn’t an option. Stay home with the kid today, don’t eat tomorrow. Call in to work with a sick kid, lose your job. It happens.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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3 Responses to What would you do…

  1. Rhu says:

    Not sure what it’s like there, but here, there is no option. Any child with a communicable disease or condition must be excluded by law. Return unavailable without a doctor’s clearance.

    • rootietoot says:

      Theoretically that’s here as well. However here’s what happens: You take a sick kid in, doped up on medicine. It takes an hour or two for the teacher to notice. Then the kid goes to the nurse, who observes for an hour before calling the parent, who then says “I can be there in an hour”. By then the parent has time to explain it to her employer and make arrangements (hopefully). Most employers allow sick days, 7 or 10 per year, generally, to cover these things, but they are unpaid usually. Understanding employers will make allowances but not all of them are like that. The doctor’s clearance isn’t always necessary, I’ve only used it maybe twice but then I’m friends with the school nurse and she checks #4 out when I send him back.

      My issue isn’t whether or not a sick child should be at school, obviously he shouldn’t, but rather with the deeply unsympathetic attitudes of the commentors on that blog who were unable to see the difficulties someone could have when it comes to balancing work and family.

  2. Dawn says:

    All parents must face the same decition when a child is sick. Head Lice themselves are not considered a health risk but they can be very contegious and annoying. Personally I would keep my child home and make sure I treated and got all the lice eggs out before sending them back to school. Only because I want to spare other kids and thier parents from having to do the same. It would really piss me off to do all the work of ridding my child of lice only to send them back into the dragons den to get it back from kids whos parents did not take the time. Fortunatly for me I could have a member of my organization do the lice removal for me but that again is another expence. At the end of the day kids cost money. Lets of it. L0L

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