Can We Please Stop Blaming Other Parents When Our Kids Get Sick?

The worst part of winter is the coughing.

Does he have strep throat? Is it allergies? Maybe it’s just a cold. What if it’s the flu?

From the first cough, my worries begin.

Andrew with mask

Should I take him to the doctor now? It is probably too early to test for anything. I should wait. But what if he spreads it? What if it is more serious? 

I almost always err on the side of caution, dragging my coughing child to the pediatrician, who looks at me like I’m a crazy person because I brought my kid in with no fever.

But he hardly ever gets a fever.

They run the requestant tests, checking his vitals. Everything looks good. Usually.

“It’s probably just a virus,” the doctor says. “If he gets worse over the next few days, come back in.”

And we leave.

But my worries continue.

Andrew sick

Because I don’t want to be *THAT* mom. You know, the one who sends her kid to school with a cold, who exposes the whole class to his illness.

The one whose kid had strep throat but we didn’t know, so we gave it to all the cousins when we got together that one weekend.

The one whose kid got all the kids on the football team sick.

Because I’ve been that mom.

I once was accused of knowingly exposing an acquaintance’s child to RSV.

Andrew getting breathing treatment

Does it look like I would wish this upon anyone else?

You guys, I would *NEVER* do that. In fact, I had taken my son to the doctor to be checked out before this even happened because he was coughing. They told me he was fine and sent me on my way.

I should have known better.

Yes, you should *always* keep your sick kids at home.

Sick Andrew

But why are we so quick to blame other parents when our kids get sick?

Germs are everywhere. Kids are gross. Kids get sick. The end.

At least, it should be.


  1. I was a preschool TEACHER for 35 yrs. I have seen a lot! We have a sick policy at our school and also do a health check, we look at the child and ask the parent certain ?s. In which some are not truthful!! Later during the day the child says, My mom gave me medicine, by then the Tylenol has worn off, and the fever spikes, so we are on the phone to call the parent to pick the child up, so now all children in the class are exposed, plus the staff! Parents put you child(ren first, not your self!! I am also a parent, I put my Children first and stayed home with them. Plan alternative care for your child. Instead of exposing others, it is called RESPECT!

    • Yeah I’ve been a preschool teacher for 10 yrs. Most parents are proactive about keeping sick kids home but too many bring them in sick and get other kids sick. So yes, I absolutely do blame you. Keep your sick kids home!!

  2. I remember when I was young, I was exposed pink eye and chicken pox in school, but I have never seen my parents or my friends blamed on my classmates.

  3. Thank you for this post. I am a mother and my child was hospitalized for pneumonia last week. Some of our relatives kept on saying I was a bit neglectful, that I should have done this and that, blah blah blah and all. At first, I thought it wouldn’t affect me. On our 3rd day at the hospital, my baby has still no progress. I felt really guilty and ashamed of my self because my family kept calling on the phone and says the same blame. I was so down and I cried. This post lifted me up. Thank you very much.

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