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It is 2 in the morning and a voice sounds in the silence of the night: 'Dad, Mom!' The little one has become ill and the next day neither can nor should go to school or nursery school. Faced with this situation we find ourselves with labor difficulties to be able to reconcile his illness with the rest he needs. And here the conflict begins. There are different reasons not to take a child to school when he gets sick and then I talk about them as a teacher, but also as a mother.
1. Your child is not feeling well
First and foremost: The child is NOT feeling well. If you are in the middle of a viral or bacterial process, it is very likely that you will feel sore and feverish and the least you want is to have to keep up with 25 other children during the day. It is very likely that you have not rested well and this discomfort is compounded by great physical fatigue. Can you imagine yourself like this in your workplace? Little nice, right?
2. Think of the other children
One sneeze in a classroom is four constipation next week. It is always said that nursery schools and nursery classrooms in schools they are breeding grounds for viruses… And it's very true!
If we add to this an immature immune system, we have a very high probability that the course will turn into a chain of virus after virus. This can be stopped by leaving the children at home when we realize that they have become ill and nipping the general contagion process in the bud.
3. Be careful with the message we transmit
When we ignore their disease processes and take them to school despite the fact that they have verbalized to us that they are not feeling well, we are leaving an imprint on them that can interfere with their self-esteem and the development of self-care habits.
This collides with the formation of a positive image of themselves, since if as a child my disease states are not validated by the adult,I must validate when I feel bad?, or should I just ignore it and continue as if nothing is wrong? When this situation is repeated frequently, we can find children who refuse to express their pain (physical or emotional), as well as children who put the needs of the other before their own.
To try to stop this type of situation, schools usually have regulations that inform parents when children should not attend, among which we can find infectious-contagious processes of all kinds, fever, etc .; as well as the protocols to follow when the child falls ill in the center and they must come to get him.
Still, you need to remember that it is not necessary for a child to have a fever to feel unwell. That they only have mucus and cough but no fever, is not exclusive for the child to feel the body 'made a rag' as it happens to us adults, and these are the processes that we usually find that it is more difficult to respect. Sometimes these regulations and protocols become a double-edged sword since there are families who often argue that if there is no fever and the child is already in treatment ... he is not breaking the rules and they take him to the center regardless of how he is .
I know that today is complex reconcile work obligations with family ones, that sometimes this can become a headache for families and more during the first years of schooling where viruses are the order of the day.
I remember my daughter's first year of nursery school as if it were yesterday, with her monthly otitis, the emergency visits to the pediatrician and all the calls that my partner and I had to make to our jobs to be able to deal with these situations. But we must not forget that children are not to blame for our schedules and pressures, that they carry another type of internal clock and that their needs and processes must be respected as they deserve.
In order to combat these complex situations, I advise you several things:
1. Talk to your boss to expose the situation and to reach agreements
In many companies flexibility is allowed when it comes to taking days off subtracting them from vacations, teleworking, changing shifts with a colleague to be able to reconcile schedules, return absent hours, etc.
2. Always have a 'Plan B'
Find someone you trust who can be available in case none of the above is possible. A brother, neighbor, grandmother, uncle, who we know has availability for a future emergency.
3. Identify the disease early
Be attentive to the first symptoms of the child's illness to catch it in time and that it does not become a major condition. For example, if we see that our child begins to have a lot of mucus, it will be advisable for us to perform frequent nasal washes and offer him water often to prevent that mucus from settling in the ears, throat or chest.
4. Teach children to take care of themselves
Help them to acquire self-care habits that contribute to adequate training for health. Teach them to blow their noses whenever they need it, not to share glasses or cutlery with other colleagues, to cover their mouths when coughing, not to take cover if they are sweating, as well as to know how to identify and express their ailments when they begin to feel ill.
Is a question of responsibility, towards our children and towards the community health of the school that we all must value and take care of. Do not hesitate, if he is sick or just sick, do not take him to school. Teach him to take care of himself, taking care of him.
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