Friday I held my 4 year old at home from pre-school. Thursday as I picked him up, he complained of not feeling well. Nothing specific, just a general complaint. Friday morning, however, he presented with an elevated temperature and just didn’t look right. That, and he was coughing. Saturday he was pretty lethargic, and Sunday he was falling asleep at dinner. This was highly unusual as I had prepared one of his favorite dishes, yet he didn’t have one bite. His head just kept flopping from one side to another until finally I asked him if he wanted to go to bed, and he replied that indeed he did. Monday he was still coughing a little, and has an elevated temperature, but seemed better. We gave him the choice of going to school or staying home, and he chose staying home, assuming that I would place him in front of the television for an all day Nick Jr. marathon. I figured since he was actually sick, no, if he stayed home he would be staying in bed. He stayed home, protested, but was in his bed.
August and Déla are fine. At least, so far. Xavier, might be coming down with something, maybe even the same thing that Ciárán has. It might be too early to tell, it might be completely different, it might be nothing at all. That’s the thing about having multiple kids, you have to juggle illnesses and quarantines.
Two winters ago, when the Swine Flu was kicking into high gear, August Déla and Ciárán got it. Mom and dad did too. The kicker was everybody got it at different times. There was a period of about two weeks when we were in the full swing of it when I had one kid in front of the television, another in their room with a laptop, and another kid in mom and dad’s room with another laptop, each watching different films. It was two weeks of literally running around starting one movie, going into another room, switching out another, going into another room to switch out another video, etc. There was one night, despite keeping everybody as quarantined as possible when everybody in the house was sick. Sick as in throwing up. That was one of the scariest nights I’ve ever experienced as a parent because we were unable to care for ourselves, let alone our children, in the way everybody needed to be.
While we aren’t necessarily faced with a similar situation, we are still very aware of that time and are working to minimize the chances of that happening again. Of course we know that it will, it’s just a matter of how much everybody gets sick, for how long, and how many people at the same time.
It is with that in mind I kept Ciárán home Friday and Monday, might be doing so again today (I’m writing this the night before and setting it up to automatically publish in the morning while I’m busy getting people ready for school.
Is a small cough and slightly elevated temp (less than 100) reason enough to hold a kid from school? Am I being overly cautious? Maybe. I’m okay with that.
EDIT: As I was putting him to bed on Monday, I took his temperature and it was 100.9 – steadily moving up over the day. By the time you’re reading this I will have called the pediatrician’s office to make an appointment.