So Mad I Could SCREAM

Dear other parents at daycare,

I received some very upsetting news today. I would like to address some issues that have come up.

First, the daycare’s policy has been explicitly stated as it’s alright to bring in a child with a fever. Coughs are okay. I was told that the only problem was if the child was vomiting.

A few weeks ago Cameron had an awful cold and fever. I took Cameron to the doctor. He took a swab, and recommended I keep Cameron home as long as the fever persisted. I did. When the fever had gone away I took him back to daycare. The first day back the daycare provider told me that Cameron was very, very ill. She had my email and I had given her my work phone number but she did not contact me there. I immediately returned to the walk-in clinic, where we saw another doctor. This doctor checked the swab results – negative. She examined him. He had a cold, she said. No reason to keep him home.

Now, I would like to point out that I’m on probation at work as it is a new position. I would like to point out that I get FOUR sick days to look after ill family. At that point I would have required a note from the doctor to stay home with Cameron … but she said there was no reason to keep him home.

He had a few more difficult days, where he developed a fever in the middle of the day. I can’t always drop everything and run simply because my child has a fever. I’m sorry, but I do not consider that to be an emergency. I felt awful that he was suffering. I felt badly that the daycare provider had a difficult time dealing with him. Under ideal circumstances I agree, I should have kept him home.

I would also like to point out that the daycare provider’s son was ill before Cameron was. Very ill. I didn’t see any of you threatening to keep your children home because Ethan was sick. I don’t see any of you blaming the daycare provider for your children’s illnesses.

And yet I find out that I am being blamed for your children catching milder versions of Cameron’s cold. I know that one girl’s parents kept her out of daycare for three days, but that was before I returned with Cameron, after I had appropriately kept him home.

So now I kept Cameron home today. You might not have heard the complete story, so let me explain what happened.

On Wednesday night Cameron had a huge scare. He woke while I was doing laundry and had roughly three minutes of believing his Mommy had left him. He had a very rough night after that. In the morning he was fine, cheerful, energetic. We got off the bus to transfer, and he vomited. I took him home. He didn’t throw up again. He had no diarrhea. He had no fever. He ate and drank with good appetite. He was energetic and in a wonderful mood – better than most weekends! A child with a contagious stomach flu does not do this.

I could have been irresponsible, as it seems some are accusing me of being, and simply cleaned him up, dropped him off, and nobody would have known. But I did not, of course. I have also called the province’s new 811 service. They confirmed – a single episode of vomiting with no other symptoms is no reason to keep a child out of daycare.  You’re welcome to call them as well to set your own mind at ease.

The upsetting news was that, essentially, some of you think I am not honest. Some of you apparently think that I am a poor parent. Some of you are demanding that the daycare not allow Cameron to return tomorrow. I am told that Cameron may, but that he will be kept in isolation, only the daycare provider’s son will be allowed to play with him. I know Cameron. He’s going to scream his little heart out.

I understand that you are concerned, that you do not wish your children to get sick. I understand that this week especially, with Christmas trips coming up, you wish to avoid illness. However, you cannot expect me to miss a day of work and keep a perfectly healthy child home.

In the future, if you have a problem with me, please speak with me directly. You all see me when we pick up our children. To smile and say Cameron’s doing great, how are you doing, let’s walk to the bus together while you’re complaining to the daycare behind my back is a negative pattern to get into. Let’s be direct and honest.

No – I haven’t sent and will not send this to the other parents. Much as I want to. If I have a chance I will ask them to speak with me directly if they have any questions about Cameron’s health, and I will do the same for them. I’m looking for another daycare for him.

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4 responses to “So Mad I Could SCREAM

  1. As long as you’re good with the teachers and the director, that’s fine. You don’t owe anyone else an explanation. You are doing way more than you’re average parent to make sure he’s not contagious. Poor lil’ thing. I hope he feels better soon.

  2. Holy Lipton. I would be so pissed. I take it this is a home-based daycare? I had similar situations at Q’s old daycare, but never where anybody became mad at me. It just frustrated the snot out of me when her own children would be sick, then Q would catch it, and he’d be forced to stay home. Now, she always called to say “enter at your own risk”, but I think that is irresponsible on her part. She should find other care for her kids, or close the daycare, at her cost. Q rarely picked anything up, and yes I work at home, so these times were rarely a problem. I can NOT imagine why other parents would be mad at you, or think poorly of you for your choices. Kids get sick. They SHOULD get sick to build up their immunities for later on in life. In fact, I heard a pediatrician on TV say kids *should* get sick about 12 times a year: common cold etc., in order to build the best resistances. This was part of the suggestion against immunizing our kids against the flu.

    I would certainly consider writing a letter for the parents, explaining the situation, and yes – invite them to speak to you directly about it, as you would do with them should the problem be theirs.

    Damn grown-ups. They can be so childish.
    Chin up, Mel. This too shall pass.

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