Sick already? The giant germ swap at school

So one week and two days into school and my kindergartner is already home sick! She fell asleep on the floor on Tuesday afternoon, and I thought she was just tired from the long days. (Seven and a half hours is a lot for a 5-year-old.)

When she woke she was complaining that her neck hurt. I asked is it  your neck or your throat? We finally got it was the throat. Her eyes were drippy and droopy too. By the next morning she sounded like a hound dog barking. So home she stayed.

I think Walsh brought home a little something too. Last Friday night I felt something coming on – nose stuffy, eyes burning, throat sore, and I still don’t feel right. He felt bad for one day and then was better!

You know they get back together at school and are exposed to all kinds of new germs, especially the kindergartners who haven’t been around big groups before.

Other friends reported illness the first week as well.

Are kids already sick at your house? Do you keep them out this early or make them go?

24 comments Add your comment


August 16th, 2012
12:53 pm

Yes, I remember this well. My two used to see an allergist and rarely had any issues over the summer. As soon as school started…here we go. I used to joke with Dr. Zora…”well they are immune to all the germs we have in our house ( over the summer) but when they get to school, there are new germs!” He would laugh at me.

I will say, knocking on wood, that I rarely get sick. I think this is because I am in and out of schools all over the country. I did get something weird in Texas, last month, and felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I thought it might be food poisoning. It lasted for about 24 hours.
No visits to the bathroom just PAIN. Anyone know about this?

I have had kids sneeze right on me with liquid dripping down my cheeks…yuck!

If you send kids to school with a fever, that means things can run through the class. Strep throat and play do ( sp?) are very dangerous. Anyone who plays with it can pass it along. This is why schools are urged to replace it frequently. Not sure many Kinders even get to play with it anymore which is sad but another story for sure.

I sent my two to college with a sick box: Gatorade, Ginger Ale, Pretzels, Crackers, Chicken Noodle Soup. My son called me, when I was on the west coast and told me he was very sick.
I asked about the sick box. He said there was nothing left in there. OH WELL. I told him to call his boss and maybe he would deliver a new sick box, so he could get back to work at some point. Life lesson.


August 16th, 2012
1:05 pm

I cannot remember the last time I took a sick kid to the doctor. My kids very rarely get sick.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 16th, 2012
1:09 pm

WE are headed to the doctor now. She was up from 3 to 7 this morning. Fever and chills. I have never seen anyone shake like that from chills. I coldn’t warm her up. I put her in a warm bath. I heated towels in the dryer and then wrapped her in them under blankets and she couldnt’ stop shaking. It was very scary. She is finally asleep and now we have to leave for the docs. Ugg!! I need some of Honey Boo Boo’s Go-Go Juice after last night!! holy cow!


August 16th, 2012
1:13 pm

My father had a rule of thumb: If you felt well enough to eat breakfast, you were well enough to go to school.


August 16th, 2012
1:21 pm

Don’t be too quick to send them on, nor too quick to keep at home. I have been sick too many times due to sick kids being sent to school vomiting or with fever!


August 16th, 2012
1:29 pm

When I got home from work yesterday, I found out my boys had missed school. Because of that, they also missed an evening activity they like. They usually tell me they’re feeling better, and I reply that I don’t want them having a relapse. My wife told me that she didn’t want to risk them infecting other kids at school. When I replied that they also didn’t need to risk infecting anybody at the evening activity, she didn’t say any more. I got the idea from my mom, who watched the same thing happen to her. She missed part of a day of school with some kind of stomach trouble. Late in the morning, she started feeling better and thought about a party scheduled for that evening. She asked my grandmother if she could still go to it, and was told, “If you’re too sick to go to school, you’re too sick to go to the party.” Before long, she got to school for the rest of the day. BTW, she did get to go to the party.


August 16th, 2012
1:48 pm

And so goes the fitful and sometimes uneasy dance humans share with the microbial world that sometimes results in minor illness but also serves to keep us alive. Exposure to microorganisms might make us sick occasionally but it is this continual skirmish that increases herd immunity and keeps our individual immune systems exercised and up to date so that we rarely face a life threatening infectious disease. Just ask any of the numerous isolated tribes and civilizations throughout history that were decimated by a normally trivial malady due to the naivety of their immunity.


August 16th, 2012
1:49 pm

Do you keep them out this early or make them go?

general rule of thumb….vomit, fever…stay home. possibly doctor

anything else off to school…..throat is trickier though. Mine have had strep with no fever.


August 16th, 2012
1:50 pm

btw…this is one advantage to having kids in activities over the summer…mine were exposed to other kids at the camps and thus we don’t see to have the issue.


August 16th, 2012
1:57 pm

@FCM…mine were out and about most every summer. We took trips all over the place. They went to VBS and summer camps. Seems whenever they entered the classroom, the germs were magnetized to them I have no idea what was up with that. Still do not. They both have seasonal allergies but nothing like it used to be. I tell my daughter to check in with my son…he knows much more about it than I ever will.

@kimmer….good point. This is when I wonder about those who are never sick. Does it mean their immune system is amazing or will they be knocked off their rocker when something does hit them?
I am NOT in the medical field and thus I have no idea! I used to get EVERYTHING but now I get sick once or twice a year. This is my 30th year with children. I was with kids in Minnesota this week, so my germ pool is pretty broad. Not just in GA. We had fun and they were cute!


August 16th, 2012
2:23 pm

We went ahead and beat them to the punch. My daughter caught a terrible cold the week before school started, and she has subsequently passed it on to my son.


August 16th, 2012
2:38 pm

If we want to keep our kids from getting sick, or at least cut down on the frequency and severity of illness, we need to feed them better food. If I let my kids live on pop tarts, soda, fast food, faux-healthy cereals, and snack cakes, their little bodies will not be prepared to battle all those germs they pick up from their friends.
I think most parents are aware of this, but we don’t always do it because ‘real’ food is less convenient. We know that too much sugar/processed food and lack of nutritious food can compromise our kids’ immune systems, but the kids like the junk food better and it requires much less time and effort to prepare.


August 16th, 2012
2:39 pm


That was always my inclination, as well, but then I would get calls from the school telling me to pick up my kid and don’t send him if he’s sick. Their goal was to limit spread.

K's Mom

August 16th, 2012
2:47 pm

My 2yo has been going to Mother’s Morning Out since we moved fairly regularly. He got a minor runny nose for about 3 days and I got a double ear infection and sinus infection. The doc said I got it from him going to school. I think it was a combination of that, moving into a house that the previous owners left filthy and being exhausted from a new baby and the move.


August 16th, 2012
3:24 pm

My kids are in day care year-round, but you can always count on one of the kids who is new once the school year starts back up bringing something unknown into the classroom. We’re a week in and so far, so good, but October is usually dicey in our house.


August 16th, 2012
4:16 pm

i don’t have kids but i picked up laryngitis and have been wiped out all week long. i haven’t spoken since tuesday afternoon. afraid to talk. all i know is i’m tired of hacking. i’m sure it’s my fall allergies starting already, but still not fun. i knew when i touched that debit card machine at publix last weekend that looked nasty i’d end up sick.

The Dixie Diarist

August 16th, 2012
4:45 pm

Of the millions of curriculum nights there’s one that I’ll remember forever and they were all pretty dang memorable. In the 3rd period session for a class where I had six kids, six parents came in, and without prompting, sat in exactly the seat where their child sits. There were twelve desks in The Cozy Room of Learning. I stood there, dumfounded. I finally told them what just happened. I had to. They were as amazed at me.

A couple of the parents, however, were visibly unnerved by it. They looked at the desk they were sitting in, and then lifted their hands up off of the desktop, as if it was covered with germs.


August 16th, 2012
4:47 pm

@Dixie, huh?

Sandy Springs Parent

August 16th, 2012
4:57 pm

My High School Senior got Swine Flu two weeks into her senior year. She was out two weeks with a fever, went back for 4 days, then the fever came back. She then had a fever for another 30 days and missed 5 more weeks. If we had not been so insistant on sending kids in Georgia back to school the 1st of School which they hate, I hate, right at the height of the swine flu out break, my child would have never got this disease. She now has Fibromalgia due to the destruction of her immune system from this flu. My Siblings kids and cousins kids go to school up North and all start school after Labor day, none of them got the swine flu. None of their schools even had outbreaks like we did hear. Maybe there is a big problem with the heat not killing off bacteria, or even making an environment for bacteria and food poisioning in the extreme August Heat, that causes our kids to get sick so early in the year. I don’t ever recall getting sick in school that started off after Labor Day, within the first couple of weeks. We didn’t get sick until after Thanksgiving or Christmas, regular cold and flu time.


August 16th, 2012
6:27 pm

Every school may be different. Our school has a policy that if a child vomits or has a fever they must go home. We had a child today vomit and when the nurse called the mom she told the nurse it was just a nervous stomach the child will be fine. The nurse told her it was the policy to send the child home and the mother said she wouldn’t come get her. The nurse told her she would call DFACS and the mother told her to call DFACS. I call that neglect!!!!!


August 17th, 2012
8:27 am

@Jessica, yes. That’s why no one ever got sick when everything was organically grown prior to 1940, and the average lifespan was about 65.


August 17th, 2012
9:03 am

I complained to my pediatrician that my little one always seems to have a runny nose from some gern going around in day care. Her words, “It’s either now or later.” Still sucks, but she’s right.


August 17th, 2012
10:02 am

It’s the parents who give their kids Tylenol at 7 a.m. and then act surprised when the school calls them at noon saying the child has a fever that “came on suddenly” that drive me nuts! “Suddenly” because the child had a fever in the morning, parent didn’t want to miss work, so gave him/her meds and sent him/her on his way to infect everyone else.

If the child is or has vomiting or feverish, don’t send them to school. And, is it right to keep them out of school this early? It’s not about what’s “right”; it’s about not being a bad parent and taking responsibility. If you just posted, what do I do now that my kids are back in school, here’s the lesson: plan for them to come home sick soon after.


August 17th, 2012
11:56 am

I homeschooled my kids for 3 years and now they are back at public school. My son came home from school on Wednesday with a 102.7 temp. At the minute clinic, temp was 103.4. We didn’t have time for pediatrician as it was 4:45. Minute clinic had to do. Anyhow, since his throat was hurting they did a strep test and it was negative. He stayed home yesterday and today. Virus was fact and furious (very furious) – his throat hurt so bad yesterday, but today it’s much better. But since he still had a fever at 5:00 yesterday,he had to stay home today. I think it’s for the best as he had lots of energy when he woke up, but now he’s getting a little worn out. He’ll be going back on Monday!