Infants and toddlers seems as if they are constantly sick for the first years of their life, especially, if they attend daycare. When my son was younger and we put him in daycare, it seemed as if he was sick with something every few weeks. We have to alternate days off and one of us would have to end up staying at home with him because he wasn’t able to go to daycare. Of course, if your like any working mom or dad you usually have a very limited supply of sick days, in some cases you don’t have any time off, and some bosses aren’t understanding or sympathetic if you have to call in because your child is sick. But as a mom or dad sometimes you have to do what is best for you and your family. If your boss gives you a hard time, provide them with a doctor’s note so that they know that you were being honest when you called in.
Disclosure: The opinions reflected in this post are my own and may differ from your own.
Don’t Send Your Child to Daycare Sick
As tempting as this sounds, don’t send your child to daycare if you know that they are sick or still contagious. This spreads germs to the other children at the daycare center. If you send your child to daycare sick, often times they are miserable and they end up infecting healthy kid. This is how viruses and illness are spread. Once your child is well, then you can send them back to daycare. You don’t have to keep them home for every little sniffle but keep them at home when they are clearly sick, ie fever, vomiting, diarrhea, pink eye, have head lice, or are clearly contagious.
Find Alternative Care
If you find yourself in trouble at work, you may need to find someone who can help you out when your child gets sick. I realize that this is probably not an easy task and if you are like me, it’s not someone else’s responsibility to care for your sick child. However, if you have a close family member or friend who is willing to help you occasionally then I would take up their offer to avoid being terminated from your job if you have already had too many absences.
Search for Drop In Sick Care
Next time you are at your pediatrician’s office, ask them if there are any daycare’s available in your area that allow you to take your child to when they are sick. Drop in care is usually more expensive but if you don’t have any paid time off then this might be a better option for you and your family. Finding a part time nanny might also be a great alternative because a nanny can be more flexible when it comes to caring for a sick child.
The Number of Sick Days Gradually Decreases Over Time
If you just put your child in daycare, you can expect them to be sick possibly every other week for the first six months to a year of them starting daycare. As a parent this can be frustrating, but I promise you that it does get better. During those first few months of being at daycare, your child’s immune system is working hard to build up immunity to all of the germs that lurk around at a daycare center. Once they build up a good immune system, then you will notice a decrease in the number of times that your child gets sick.
How many times on average do you have to miss work in order to take care of a sick child?