Mom's plea for parents to stop bringing sick kids to school sparks heated online debate

<i>Photo via Instagram/mommytor_az</i>
Photo via Instagram/mommytor_az

‘Tis the season for delicious food, good cheer and holiday germs.

When the first winter cold strikes, it’s quick to spread through daycares, offices and classrooms. One mom took to Instagram with a plea for parents to reconsider sending their stuffy-nosed and feverish children to school – especially if they know they are sick.


A post shared by (@mommytor_az) on Nov 9, 2017 at 7:41am PST

Maria Jordan MacKeigan shared a photo of her daughter Jordan Grace to show other parents would could happen if she catches, what most would call, “the common cold.”

“I took Jordan Grace home. When my child gets the simple cold she may end up like this! I can’t for the life of me understand why people would put others at risk ‘because they have so many things to do’,” she wrote.

MacKeigan’s daughter has Down syndrome, and one side effect of this disorder is a compromised immune system, meaning even a simple winter cold can result in serious illness.

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“For your information, school is not the babysitting club. Not only are others at risk but your own child needs you to cuddle them, to love them, to care for them back to health. When Jordan Grace is sick, I think of her first, and how miserable she would be at school,” she said. “But I also think of others, I don’t want my child to go get others sick, especially those who may end up in the hospital because their little bodies can’t fight the sickness off on their own.”

The Edmonton, Alta. mom-of-two received plenty of praise from her followers, with many parents agreeing that the classroom is not a place for sick children.

“We definitely know this frustration. We want to do everything in our power to keep them from getting sick. We have had to turn down many visits from friends and family for this reason. Common colds present much more serious to the little ones with underlying conditions and can result in devastating consequences. Unfortunately many people will not understand and it becomes a mission for us to educate the importance of managing sickness,” commented one follower.

“I totally agree. I am currently sleeping in my living room with Emelina because my 5-year-old is coughing a lot at night. I am so afraid Emelina will start coughing too. Especially now that her defense is particularly low. I get very tired from always having to explain to other’s that she will get more sick, more fast even though she is healthy,” added another.

But not everyone agrees with MacKeigan, claiming it’s hard to know just how serious a cold is. Some readers felt personal circumstances, such as working full time or being a single parent, also come into play when the decision is made whether to keep your child home or send them to school.

“If I kept Emmy home for every runny nose we would literally not leave the house for nine months out of the year… I’ve just decided that we can’t protect our kids from everything so I’m not going keep my kids in a bubble, if we end up hospitalized then we do, it’s just a part of our life. I also try really hard not to judge other parents’ choices because we don’t know their family situation or their child,” commented one follower.

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“I see your point but you also have to look at it from the other side. Being a single mom that had to work a full time job, I didn’t have the convenience of keeping Joshua home at the start of every cold. That didn’t mean I was a bad mom, didn’t care for others or that I didn’t want to keep him home and cuddle him. It meant I had to use my judgement on when to keep him home… I’m sure there were days when he didn’t feel good and would have rather stayed home but I had to save every sick day for the fevers and hospital stays, an that didn’t mean I was less of a mom or didn’t care and selfishly went to work,” added another reader.

The online debate saw many parents discussing whether it’s realistic to keep children home at the first sight of illness. Regardless of how other parents feel, MacKeigan concluded her post with a simple message addressing society as a whole.

“If we cared more about the world around us, and not just ourselves, this world would be a much better place!”

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