A germ theory: If the oldest gets sick, then the family beware

I have spent two of the last four weekends sick as heck all thanks to my middle school child.

We have noticed a pattern this month. The middle schooler gets sick on a Friday, is sick all weekend and out on Monday. By Wednesday, the little girl has it. I guess because they play and cuddle. Then by Friday I have it. Then I spend the next weekend sick.

My pediatrician has a theory on this. She says that if the oldest child gets something then it’s more likely that the rest of the family will catch it because it’s less likely you’re family has already had it. If the youngest catches something then you probably won’t all come down it because your family could have already had it before they were born.

I think it’s a pretty good theory. What do you guys think? What have you guys experienced? (I’m so tired of being sick! I have too much to do!)

22 comments Add your comment

Mayhem

April 30th, 2013
6:49 am

I don’t understand the logic. That has to be the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.

First off, you didn’t say what was making you sick. Could it be allergies, if so, that obviously is NOT contagious. And what could a younger child possibly bring into the home that isn’t already there? What if you only have one kid? Where’s the theory behind THAT????

A

April 30th, 2013
7:16 am

Agree this makes no sense. If it’s a cold/flu type bug, I don’t think it matters who has it first; chances are anyone in close proximity will get it.

catmom

April 30th, 2013
7:20 am

No mystery here. Kids=germ factories.

Here’s a thought. If one of your kids is sick, don’t allow him or her to “play and cuddle” with you or a sibling. That’s how germs spread.

I think your pediatrician has spent too much time baking in the sun. Her “theory” makes no sense.

K's Mom

April 30th, 2013
7:24 am

I agree with the others, it does not make sense. Is she saying that if the younger child gets a virus, everyone else may have built immunity before the younger child was born? If your younger child is 5 or 6 years old, is she saying the same viruses are still circulating, even though you moved across the country? I do not mean to sound snarky, but I don’t get it.

My older child is never sick. Our little guy had tubes put in his ears last week due to constant ear infections, but those are not contagious. I have started giving everyone a probiotic and we eat Activia yogurt and I am seeing some results with that.

bgb

April 30th, 2013
7:58 am

re:”..catch it because it’s less likely you’re family has already had it.”

Lord, please give TWG the strength to have her elementary school children review her scrawls each day before she hits enter. Apparently the AJC doesn’t assign editors to blogs. Apparently UGA’s journalism school prepares graduates to write at 1st grade level.

“Then I got my degree and then I thought I would write a blog then the words came to my head and then I hit enter.”

FCM

April 30th, 2013
8:15 am

I agree with catmom “If one of your kids is sick, don’t allow him or her to “play and cuddle” with you or a sibling. That’s how germs spread.”

My older child has a quick recovery time. So did he Dad. My guess is their immune systems are better than mine.

Sad fact in my house, the kids are carriers, and probably b/c I burn the candle at both ends (always have) but am older now I get every dang thing that comes down the pike.

I have spent the last 6 weekends with various forms of illness. From mild headache or sinus on to the full blown flu.

FCM

April 30th, 2013
8:15 am

Both kids had the flu….both recovered much faster than I did.

A

April 30th, 2013
9:03 am

Plus, how do you build up an immunity to the cold or flu? Sorry but no matter how many times you’ve had either of those, you can always get it again!

FCM

April 30th, 2013
9:09 am

Anyone have suggestions on keeping the kids focused on school/activities as the school year comes to a close. My two have said “CRCTs were last week school should be over.” I know they are not alone in this thinking.

A

April 30th, 2013
9:13 am

CRCT should be given 2 weeks before school ends, otherwise you end up with the attitude that FCM just described. Our child’s homeroom teacher had to send an email to all of her parents asking us to remind the kids they still have a few weeks of school left and it’s not party time yet!

jmb

April 30th, 2013
9:28 am

My mom did just the opposite. If one of us got sick she put us all together so it could run it’s course at one time rather than one of us each week.

Mayhem

April 30th, 2013
9:29 am

FCM – set some sort of a FUN goal for them for the end of the year. Give them a party. Tell them if they can make it just a few more SHORT weeks, then the party’s on!!!!

We always partied the last day of school with the kids. Most of the parents would take the afternoon off, and we would greet the kids as they came off the bus. We would spray them with silly string, and bubbles….they LOVED it. Then, everyone gathered at our house, the adults pitched in some $$ and we ordered pizza and sodas, etc. (we had alcohol for the parents).

So let them have something to look foward to. Have them help you plan the festivities. We only did this with the neighborhood kids. However, maybe your kids could invite a friend or two, depending on if they remain focused….

Good luck!

catlady

April 30th, 2013
9:34 am

I wonder if this is more related to spacing of children?

Janice

April 30th, 2013
9:35 am

hummm……unless child has fever or throwing up or having the “trots” i don’t see how the child could spread it to an adult. i think it’s a coincidence. only thing i know that my mother did all those centuries ago was is one of us came home with measles, other two were put in same room to take care of all 3 getting it over with at the same time.

sounds like little one isn’t washing hands enough or putting things from other kids, like pencils and whatnot, in their mouth.

homeschooler

April 30th, 2013
9:39 am

Well, I might be the only one but this makes perfect sense to me. Little kids get sick all the time. Especially if they are in daycare. They tend to be more prone to getting every little thing. They don’t always pass it on. On the other hand, older kids and parents usually have built up resistance to certain germs. I think that if my older child came down with something it would be likely that it is either a newer or stronger virus so chances are we might get it and pretty likely the youngest would.
I don’t know, my kids hardly ever get anything and I haven’t had so much as a cold in 10 years so, maybe there is nothing to the theory but it makes sense to me.

Techmom

April 30th, 2013
10:57 am

It actually does make some sense to me but it’s still just a wild guess unless you know for sure it’s the same sickness being passed from older to younger to mom. Take heed from the article yesterday about sleep TWG. Are you guys getting enough sleep and eating right?

We’ve all had some kind of funk the past few weeks which is pretty unusual for us. Nothing bad enough to keep up in bed except for my son one day, ON his birthday last week nonetheless. I’m battling horrendous allergies right now so there’s nothing to pass along other than my frustration after sneezing for about the 120th time in the past 3 hours. Dang grass.

FCM

April 30th, 2013
10:58 am

@ A, I am not planning to let my kids get away with that attitude :)

@ Mayhem….Good idea. I actually took the last day of school off so we could do something fun. I usually take the first day to if I am not in the middle of month end close :)

Mayhem

April 30th, 2013
11:33 am

We very rarely get sick either. However, my youngest and I were hit with something back in February. We both missed several days of work. I was down for a total of 5 days, she was down for 3. It’s wasn’t the flu, I know that for sure, but it tore us up. No one else in the house got what we had. Mine was a horrible head cold that ended up in my chest, and the cough didn’t go away for 2 months. She never got the cough. Hmmmm……and we were holed up in the same room together for 3 days.

atlmom

April 30th, 2013
11:57 am

by the time a child has symptoms, everyone has already been exposed, so keeping them away from the other kids probably doesn’t work so well. If someone in the family is sick, however, probably everyone should be doing everything they can so they don’t actually come down with said cold – just because you’re exposed doesn’t mean you get something (we’re exposed all the time).

i have heard that you can’t get the same cold more than once – after you get it, you’re immune. so there is some validity there (but there are obviously a zillion different types of colds, and if it mutates, you’re probably not immune).

Saying that – it’s the kids who bring it home, and mom and dad who get sick. Thankfully my kids don’t get sick much at all…

FCM

April 30th, 2013
1:28 pm

@ TechMom a good bit of my weekends were taken up with sinus/allergy. I was scheduled off during Spring Break, having a hard time breathing. Pollen was like 8000+ I think. Wouldn’t you know it the darn dog got out of the yard and here I am trying to get him back (with the kids) and gagging on the Pollen. I ended up needing my inhaler, my allergy meds, and something else. It was a total mess.

@ Mayhem, I assume what we had was the flu. Youngest came home Friday with small temp…gone by Sunday. I was running 101 – 103 that same weekend starting mid-day Saturday. Got it down to 99.2 by Monday. Eldest woke up Wed that week (she was with grandma from Friday – Sat) with a temp of 100 broke it with a 2 hour nap. Her dad was like that…

catlady

April 30th, 2013
1:49 pm

As a teacher, I live in a viral swamp. So many bugs here at school. Parents send their feverish kids to share the pestilence with other. Today, one got off the bus vomiting on me. There were two of those last week. Then there is the pinkeye. Not to mention those who sneeze or cough, mouths wide open, all over me. It is amazing that I am not sick more often.

Now, that does not count the lice….

Young Lady

April 30th, 2013
2:16 pm

Catlady- That’s why what the pediatrician is saying makes no sense to me. Age has nothing to do with how infectious the disease is. Adults can catch them too when exposed. Arguably you are not supposed to catch them as /easily/ as children. Kids don’t have fully developed immune systems yet. They’re going to catch everything at the drop of a hat. It’s kind of their thing.