Too Ill or Not Too Ill…that’s the bloody question

As autumn gathers in and crunchy leaves carpet the ground, the question on every parent’s mind is – what virus will they bring home next? Closely followed by, should sick children be sent to school?

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Presumably deadly tropical rashes are a no no. And I suspect a child with an infectious disease requiring quarantine may pose an inconvenience.

But what about a head cold? A sore throat?

We must remember how days off here and there absolutely add up and result in a giant snowball of missed educational opportunities. This then leads to the child dropping out of school at the age of 13 to pursue a life of crime and ultimately becoming a drugs mule for a Cuban gang.

I note that the NHS website has a link to rather impressive sounding, ‘government guidelines,’ which list a variety of illnesses and confirm whether sufferers should be kept off school.

You will be reassured to note that the guidelines helpfully advise that a child with TB should stay off school.

The guidelines also suggest that a sufferer of a minor cough or cold is fine to go to school.

But what is considered ‘minor?’

Is there a sneeze threshold?

4 sph (sneezes per hour) or less = minor – send to school.

Over 4sph = deadly, possibly radioactive – keep off school?

The astute reader will have guessed that I am rather hopeless at making the school absence decision when my children are under the weather.

Waving goodbye to a little pale snuffling face, tissues bunched in fists and eyes heavy is a dagger through my heart, especially when I’m rushing off to work commitments and have little time for snotty goodbyes.

When I do decide to keep them off, I’ll invariably find them trampolining on the sofa to the Go Jetters theme tune.

At that point, I realise that I possess the decision-making skills of an ingrown toenail.

On the subject, would we say they need to stay off with an ingrown toenail? What if there was whole leg involvement?

I fear only time will tell if my decisions have been the right ones – namely, if my children reach 13 without abandoning their education to pedal drugs then I’ll know I’ve done ok.


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