A sick day or 100% attendance

Yesterday I received that phone call in work that all parents dread. The moment you hear the words “This is ******** school calling, we have ******** in the school office feeling unwell”!

As a working parent, that doesn’t have family at hand to help out when my children are sick, it means that I have to call in work for the day off to look after my child. And as an employer of a school, I always feel guilty having to have time off and not being there for the children in school. But my main priority is my own children at home. It doesn’t happen that often, maybe once or twice a year and I don’t normally have time off due to sickness. But i still feel like I should be there for my work colleagues and children.

Also, the first thing that comes to mind when your child is sick is that of attendance. Yes, it is drummed into our heads so much by schools that our children need to attend in order to receive those precious certificates that they give out for 100% attendance. I can understand on both parties, the school why it is important for children to attend school every day of the school year and why as a parent we keep them at home. I think that maybe if we, as parents could show a doctor’s note to the school then the child should still get a certificate. It really isn’t a child’s fault that they are ill. In fact they have probably caught a bug from one of those children in school that get 100% attendance.

After receiving the call I rushed over to my son’s school to pick him up. I was told over the phone that he was very sleepy and just not himself. As he walked out of the office, I looked at his face and saw that he did look at little peaky. I carried him home and he fell asleep in my arms. A clear sign of him not being very well. My son is normally a very loud, active child who doesn’t really sit still long enough to get comfortable. When we got home I placed him on the sofa and gave him some medicine, within minutes he was asleep.

I thought that maybe once he had a little rest and when he woke up he would be ok. But I was wrong. He woke with a temperature of 39c and crying in pain. It’s horrible when our little ones are ill. I just want to take his pain for him and hold him tight. His skin was burning up and his heart was beating fast, a clear sign of a fever. I stripped him down to his underwear and put a cold damp cloth onto his forehead. His temperature dropped a little and he was saying he was hungry. After eating only a few grapes, he was sick. I was so glad that i had thought that maybe he could vomit as i has got the bowl out ready. You know as a parent, as soon as our children say they are not well, you grab the bucket just incase.

We had quite an unsettled night as we both slept downstairs on the sofa, we’re lucky our sofa is as big as a single bed and just as comfy. Little one kept crying in the night and was really hot to touch. It was sitting next to a radiator. I kept giving him sips of water and calpol and lots of hugs and reassurance that Mummy was there with him.

He woke feeling hungry. Careful not to fill up his little empty belly too quickly, I gave him half a weetabix. He would normally eat 2. Clever Mummy. As he brought that straight up too.

Since this morning we have had no sickness, but he is drifting in and out sleep and his temperature seems to have dropped with the intake of the medicine.

It’s a sofa day for us 2, watching Netflix and snuggling under his duvet. We still have the sick bucket close by, just in case!

There is no possible way that he would have managed a day at school today. He can hardly move without falling over. He has no energy and just keeps sleeping. And if I had sent him in he would have just been sent home straight away with the school thinking that I am not a very caring Mummy. Also with the school rules of ‘Once your child is sick they need 24 hours away from school after the last vomiting session’ it means that he can not be in any way.

So now he faces the assembly where he has to watch other children being given certificates because they haven’t been sick and vomited and applaud them as he receives nothing.

Unfair. Silly. Discriminating.

Is it an achievement for not falling sick?

I do think that it is important to reward children who are determined in school, contribute to class activities and are making attainments in subjects. Surely there is another way?

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “A sick day or 100% attendance

  1. This is such a great post, Ang. I also have a bit of an issue with this, too. My eldest had to stay off school for a week because he was poorly but also contagious. My worry is that kids will (or their parents) will be pushed to going to school and spread even more germs around when it’s better for everyone if they stay at home and get better. I can’t get my head around it.

    • Totally agree! Also schools send children home with the advice in keeping them off because they have a temperature, AND then they moan at you about their attendence. Can’t win.

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