74 answers

Bringing a Sick Child to a Family Thanksgiving Dinner - Is It Okay? or Not?

My sister's oldest son was sick with a fever, body aches and vomiting a couple days ago. Now her youngest has it. He was sick today with vomiting and laying on couch all day (he is 3). I spoke with her and she said she is still attending the family Thanksgiving tomorrow at our Mom's home. She said Mom doesn't mind that her son is sick. I didn't say that much. I had time to process it all day. I have three kids ages 8, 5, and 3. We've only had 2 stomach viruses EVER and we caught them both from her family because they attended family get-together's while ill. After thinking about it, I sent her an email saying to be sure we have lots of alcohol handy, etc because I really don't want myself, or my kids, to catch a stomach bug this time. She just emailed me - hours later - and said she's not coming to Thanksgiving Dinner because she doesn't want to hear me complain all day about her son being sick. She added that our mom is now very upset and crying etc etc...basically it's all my fault. At this point, I don't even know who is right - if anyone! I never said DON'T COME TO THANKSGIVING. I just said let's be sure we have lots of alcohol gel and have kids wash their hands a lot. The truth is - IF she does go and bring her sick son, I'm not sure I want to go. My husband is off work and the kids are off school - we rarely have this kind of vacation. I don't want to spend the rest of it vomiting and/or cleaning up vomit!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Yeah it sucks to stay home but it is the right thing to do. Last year at Thanksgiving my husbands niece brought her son with pink eye. Mentally I flipped a nut. Sorry folks did you forget I am the mom that works, who doesn't have time for pink eye.

I think sometimes people are only looking at their disappointment and not what their actions do to others.

6 moms found this helpful

I agree with postponing until everyone is well. Getting together is what is important, not the day itself.

3 moms found this helpful

yuck, my 3 kids all got it and it was ugly! And my husband was gone on a business trip for a week.......My friends kids just had it & said it was terrible too........don't go!

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5 years ago, my husband's sister hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her house, but failed to mention that both of her sons had been sick with a stomach virus for the previous 2 days. We were informed of this when we got there, and she lived 2 hours away. So it was too late for us to make any other plans. End result was that everyone who came over that day got sick with it too within 48 hours - me, hubby, his kids, his other sister, their mother, everyone. SIL's reasoning was that she "didn't want to ruin Thanksgiving for everyone" but it ended up being ruined anyway by the weekend of vomiting and diarrhea that resulted. I would have rather eaten in a restaurant or gotten dinner from Boston Market than been as sick as I was the rest of the weekend.

If she brings her sick child, I wouldn't go either. I would talk to your mom yourself and clarify what you actually said, just to clear the air. I would also have another talk with your sister and just tell her it's nothing personal, but really, you don't need your kids and the rest of the family getting sick too. If she gets her feelings bent out of shape, too bad. Sounds like she doesn't have a whole lot of courtesy or common sense.

ETA: I find it hard to believe that some people on here are actually suggesting that you all go and if the kids get sick it's no big deal. Who wants to deal with themselves, AND their kids, puking everywhere and having diarrhea? Who wants to have to potentially bring their kids to the ER because they are dehydrated and need IV fluids? This is not just some little case of the sniffles! Who would want to expose their child to a stomach virus if they knew they could avoid it altogether? Really? There will be plenty more Thanksgiving dinners and other family get-togethers to be a part of! Sometimes all the hand sanitizer, soap, and Lysol in the world is not enough to keep you from catching something!

13 moms found this helpful

Your sister sucks if she thinks its ok to get everyone sick like that.

12 moms found this helpful

Okay, if that were my kid, I WOULD NOT, bring them to Thanksgiving gathering. NOT at all.
Why?
1) The child is sick. They will be uncomfortable, you or the child will not be 'enjoying' yourselves.
2) there will be a lot of people around, and they can get sick, too.
3) IF there are elderly there... or others who may have a weak or compromised immune system... it is VERY rude AND selfish, to bring a sick child, around to a gathering like that... where there are many people.
4) And the child, may very well be vomiting AT the gathering, too.
Why on earth, drag the child to a family gathering, when the child is so sick???

Now, that is me.
I think, your Sister is being very.... selfish.
If that were ME... I would stay home with my sick child.
My family would... understand. Of course.
Stomach bugs or the stomach Flu... is NOTHING to take lightly.

To blame "you" for "complaining" and using that excuse not to attend... is very.... wrong, of your Sister.
You are just concerned about your health and not wanting to catch the illness.
Geez.
I would NOT want to be around, ANYONE with a stomach bug.... at a family gathering.
How.... yucky, to say the least.
I would NOT want to be around a vomiting sick, person. Either.
And I would NOT expect anyone.... to put up with it.

Your sister... is off base.

11 moms found this helpful

At this rate, your sister might be the one vomiting and lying on the couch during tomorrow's dinner. A cold is one thing, vomiting and fever is something else. She should keep her kid(s) home. I don't blame you for wanting to bow out.

Any possibility of postponing the family dinner until this weekend when (hopefully) everyone is in the clear?

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A friend of mine ended up sick with Norovirus a few weeks ago..... she had gone to a football game, and sat next to a friend (who is pregnant), but past the nausea point....

about halfway through the game, she commented that she didn't know why she had been so sick that morning..... thought she was through the morning sickness at that point...

Sunday night, my friend came down with it... vomiting, diarrhea, everything... she caught it from her friend, just sitting next to her!

Your sister should have volunteered at the outset to stay home, or mom should have suggested postponing the dinner..... sorry you are taking the brunt of it, but you are right to protect your family.

8 moms found this helpful

When it comes to things that involve puking you should stay home - period! It's highly contagious and ruins everyone's holiday. Your sister is being incredibly selfish. I think she is disappointed that thanksgiving is not going to turn out like she planned because the kids got sick and somehow she has transferred that anger onto you.
If I were in your shoes, I would have said ok, we'll be taking a pass on thanksgiving dinner. End of story.

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In 2009, we were ALL sick with a stomach bug and though DD and I were on the mend, we felt it was too soon to bring our illness to Christmas and we stayed home. First time in about 10 years I missed being with my extended family. But did we want to travel? No. Did they want our flu? NO. Do I feel we did the right thing? YES!! When my sister was 6, we stayed home because she had chicken pox. It happens.

Talk to your mom. Maybe try to get her to see it from the kids' POV. Nobody else wants to be sick. And, good grief, why take a sick child anywhere? Poor kid should be home with his chicken soup, wearing pjs on the couch, not being dragged to a social activity. It is just not worth it to bring a sick child to a party for both the other guests or the child. You did not say you wouldn't come, but you did make a request for the health of everyone involved. What were they going to do with him? If he's too sick to participate why bring him?

What is it with people not putting the needs of their kids ahead of themselves? Your sister is making HER problem YOUR fault and if your mom is crying, I bet it's how she handled it.

Your mom can be sad that something came up, but she needs to get over it. I would not be comfortable with a vomiting child at Thanksgiving dinner.

7 moms found this helpful

You of course are correct.

Sister should have graciously backed out and explained her son is too ill and she did not want anyone else to catch this.

This is just part of parenthood. We sometimes just have to miss out, it is not all about us.

Imagine if your mother became ill? That would be horrible too...

You could be gracious and call sister back and say, "If you want to go instead of us, we will be happy to stay home and you all go to moms."

And the if your mom becomes ill, it will be on sister, that mom became ill.
You can call your mom and calm her down and let her know you are willing to do this for the family.

Or you all can have lunch with mom and let sisters family go for dinner.

Your sister needs to grow up.

6 moms found this helpful

Yeah it sucks to stay home but it is the right thing to do. Last year at Thanksgiving my husbands niece brought her son with pink eye. Mentally I flipped a nut. Sorry folks did you forget I am the mom that works, who doesn't have time for pink eye.

I think sometimes people are only looking at their disappointment and not what their actions do to others.

6 moms found this helpful

Stomach viruses are so contagious, what is wrong with her. The only compromise I would do is for your family not to go. If your mom is so upset, then she can have them. I would never, under any circumstance attend a family function with someone that had a stomach flu!!! I'm almost pissed off for you :) LOL!

Happy Thanksgiving Hun, maybe you need to go get a turkey and have an intimate day at your own home.

6 moms found this helpful

You are right, your sister is wrong!!!!! Viruses (especially stomach viruses) can be contagious for at least 5 days (and sometimes two weeks) .

It is absolutely inexcusable to expose other children (and other adults) to illness, especially when it's a stomach flu (which can land you in the hospital with dehydration) and is clearly already going around her family and not contained. Let her sulk but make sure she stays home.

You were already compromising beyond what you should have -- I would have straight out said : Please don't come. She is simply out of line and completely selfish in this instance. Say no and stick with it.

And I would print out these posts for your mom to give her some perspective. Stomach flu's can be traumatic, a friend's child is suffering through one right now -- she's been at urgent care, all night emergency, they suggested she be hospitalized with IV to hydrate her. Absolutely no reason to put anyone in your family through that if it can be prevented.

You are being a caring daughter, wife , sister, and mom -- don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

PS And hold your ground -- if your sister and her kids are coming, I would absolutely stay home and not go.

6 moms found this helpful

to be assured of a family holiday together, ask if the dinner can be postponed until Saturday! Everything will keep until then....

& don't you hate being the bad guy? :) Welcome to my world!

6 moms found this helpful

You're not wrong. It is inconsiderate of her to take her sick child to anyones house. We are not talking about pink eye here, or the sniffles. Who the heck wants to get the stomach bug!!! I always hated when my kids got the stomach bug because they could easily dehydrate and I always hated to see them so sick. Never mind cleaning up vomit!!! Ugg!! Her child is sick she should stay home and you should be going to your mom's house.

6 moms found this helpful

I still remember the Christmas vacation of the stomach flu that my Uncle brought us....OMG was it awful! We all got it, one at a time, through our whole vacation. I'm sure my mom was ready to strangle him for showing up and THEN admitting that he'd been throwing up just that morning...

You may have said "have lots of alcohol handy" but you were wishing she wouldn't come, and she got the message you were sending. The rest of her and your mother's reaction (or alleged reaction) is more about family dynamics than logic. Logically, a sick kid should not be brought to a family gathering. Emotionally, no one wants to miss a family gathering and wants to blame missing it on somebody else, and not their young child.

Good luck with this!!

I missed one family Christmas because my daughter was throwing up multiple times the night before. AND she had drunk lots of red fruit juice the previous day, and all my bedding and towels were covered in RED!! Aaahhh! I would never have thought of bundling her up and taking her to be with everyone.

5 moms found this helpful

I would never bring my sick kids around any other kids, holiday or not. We have in the past had to cancel holiday plans because of this. Just stay home with your family and enjoy your time off. Sometimes it's really nice to just be home and not have to do anything

5 moms found this helpful

If one of my kids has a stomach virus we stay home! Yes, it sucks for Thanksgiving, but she's being very inconsiderate of the entire family! I'm also sure her son doesn't feel like hopping in a car. Does she not care about getting your parents sick either? I don't know that this pertains to you, but we have some family members undergoing chemo with compromised immune systems and two grandmas who are literally knocking on the door of 100. If any of them got sick, it could be deadly. I have missed family occassions simply due to very bad colds with a kid because of this. She should suck it up.

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I HATE it when people do this just because it is family. Yeah someone said that the worst would be one week out of your life. Yeah...have you ever had to care for two puking kids when you have been puking too? Running to the store for medicines...maybe even doctor visits. Missing work because you or kids are sick. Getting kids caught back up from missing school... Yeah...seriously more than a little disruptive to your family...and could have largely been prevented with a little courtesy...

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If she shows up go home. If your Mom raises a fuss tell her it's either her family or mine this year. Her child is sick and I don't want us to get sick so we are going home. I know when I was a kid we missed a few Holiday dinner with the family because someone in our house was sick.

Oh and tell your Mom to GROW UP. Your Mom needs to think about EVERYBODY. If someone is sick she can take them a care package but they need to stay home.

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Anyone seen the Bernie Mac episode where a not-so-ill kid got his little niece, her entire class, and Bernie's family ill at the niece's birthday party?

It's hilarious because the viewer gets to see the germs' wild "roller-coaster" ride as they travel from kid to kid, the cake, and finally Bernie who winds up missing a long awaited trip to Vegas. Yup. This is so very on target and the real reason NO ONE should bring a child who is sick or has recently been sick to a group party that involves food.

Those currently nursing a sick kid or family, and others who aren't sure what to do about tommorrow, laugh and see Bernie's cautionary tale below. M., send this to your sis-in-law. She's mad already, but she won't be able to resist laughing knowing you're right. Ironically, Bernie Mac died freakishly young from a respitory illness gone wrong. He had an unknown heart condition and died of complications due to flu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZBxvk-4Qlk

4 moms found this helpful

Well, I know that most schools will say that you need to be 24 hours free of fever and vomiting. It doesn't look your sister's kid will meet that requirement. Is there any way that you guys could do Thanksgiving a day or two later? My family has done that A LOT to go around work schedules, soccer, sickness...
Laura

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You sister is inconsiderate about bringing her sick kids to a family function. She should keep them home for at least 24 hours after the last incidence of fever or vomiting. What kids recovering from a flu like that wants to spend all day at Grandma's surrounded by a bunch of rich food anyway?

You are right she is wrong.

This sounds insensitive, but if she were going there's no way that I would go or take my kids. And if your Mom is crying about it, let her go to your sisters house and catch that nasty flu. I treasure the time off we get around the holidays and there's no way I'd knowingly chance my kids getting a bug like that. A cold...? Probably... not a stomach flu.

Good grief. What is wrong with people???!

4 moms found this helpful

This basically happened to me last Easter after having driven 10 hours to visit relatives. We ended up staying in the hotel while others went for brunch at my aunt's. Our doc over the phone said not to take my daughter to the gathering (even with just a fever) because it is a grave risk to the elderly.

4 moms found this helpful

People with sick kids should make their appropriate apologies and bow out and parents should understand. I never liked going to people's homes for t-day, if I had a sick kid it was an even more perfect excuse not to go...... why would you take your child if they didnt feel well? If her kids is frisky and fine but just snotty and coughy.... that's acceptable and can be maintained with proper hand sanitation.
Your mom should not be pressuring someone with a sick child to attend Thanksgiving.
**your sis is blaming you for why she isnt attending when in all reality she knows that bringing sick kids is just wrong. Dont let her emotionally blackmail you.

4 moms found this helpful

I would follow the rules they use at school - don't remember exact words - a person/child needs to be vomit/fever free for at least 24 hours. So I agree, they need to stay home due to being contagious. I wouldn't be surprised if she or the other family members also get sick from him.

4 moms found this helpful

You are your childrens advocate, dont let anyone make you feel bad for being concerned for their best interest! My friend had a family member who was sick last week and had some of the same concerns about Thanksgiving dinner. She called the pediatrician to see how long these types of germs are contagious, and the pediatrician told her up to two weeks. So she asked the person not to attend because she has kids and another older family member who could easily be hospitalized if they get something like this. Anyway, if she wasnt having it, she just wouldve stayed home, as would I.
In your situation, I would call your mom and talk to her and see if she was really crying. If she would prefer you and your family not attend to stay well then so be it. Present it in a nice and concerned manner and remember, you have EVERY right to be concerned. And it is not fair to your kids and family to bring them around these germs! All the disinfectant in the world is not going to prevent a three year old from coughing/sneezing in any of your faces! Sorry, but its true. And your sister should be a bit more understanding seeing as she just cleaned up after and took care of two sick kids!

4 moms found this helpful

Mom may not mind, but it is not appropriate to expose the other guests. Your mom cannot make that decision for you or anyone else who is attending. It is very inconsiderate of your sister to bring her sick child and expose him to everyone else, and now leave you with no plans or preparations for a Thanksgiving dinner of your own.

4 moms found this helpful

Well, not for nothing but if her child was having diarrhea and/or vomiting TODAY then she SHOULD be keeping her sick child HOME for the holiday. Period, full stop, end of story. I stand by this and will put my money where my mouth is since I've been the mom who stayed home with the sick child to avoid getting everyone else sick AND to make sure that my child wasn't forced to go and have a relapse. What child wants to be anywhere but home when they're sick as a dog???

Let them be upset. It's not worth getting a whole house full of people sick for one person. She can send along the rest of her family and just keep one parent and the child home and know that they'll be missed but honestly this isn't a matter of being forced to be left out. It's about being caring and courteous enough not only to her family but her own child to keep that child home. She has no business being offended.

If you know ahead of time that your sister is going to bring her sick child, don't go. I've been THAT mom too. Declining to go someplace that I knew a family member or friend was bringing a really sick child to the event.

4 moms found this helpful

The person who is sick stays home..this is a no brainer. I am sorry you are stuck in the middle of two people you love that don't get this fact. Ugh..family drama that stems from you sticking up for your family's health!!

The host has the responsibility to keep her guests healthy...especially if there is knowledge that someone is bringing a VIRUS to the dinner table.

When we have hosted we have sent plates of food home to the parent that stayed home with the sick kiddo. THey missed out on the fun but not the yummy goodness.

If I were you I would talk to mom and sister...no email. Talk it out. Mom needs to understand that this is about keeping everyone well...not excluding people. Yes, it is a bummer that the holiday will not be as she envisioned...but it is better than a whole lot of puking after the fact. That is one holiday memory you do not want to create!!

I would make sure that we are not in attendance if sis brings sick kids.

Good luck and best wishes at having a terrific turkey day..and a little peace in the family!!

4 moms found this helpful

It would be a really tough call for me to go to a gathering where one or more guests will show up possibly contagious. The last two years I caught a serious cold or flu and had thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses to deal with severe bronchitis that lingered for months. Threw my entire budget off for two years.

Your sis might be mad at you because she knows she should keep her sick child home, and you're the one who made her face the truth. That doesn't make it easier for any of you, unfortunately.

But do what you think is right. Setting that common-sense example for a few years can sometimes break down unhealthy family emotional entanglements, a prime cause of holiday stress. There is usually an opportunity later on to help other disappointed participants, like your mom, understand and accept the wisdom of your decision. If she's not too dysfunctional, anyway.

3 moms found this helpful

I probably would not have approached it the way you did. I myself would have come right out and respectfully said, "I'm happy you all are feeling much better, but, with the stomach virus being in your house so recently, I just don't feel comfortable being exposed and taking a chance of getting it or having my kids get it.. Have a great time and we'll definitely get together and celebrate THANKS once we know for sure all is germ-free". This way, you can avoid any rudeness or miscommunication. And I don't care what anyone says...just because the vomiting is over, doesn't mean you're germ-free. The stomach virus is still contagious up to 48hrs AFTER recovery.

3 moms found this helpful

Your sister is a brat. It is not okay to bring kids who are sick, especially with something that is normally so freaking contagious, to a holiday gathering.

Me, I would call my Mom, explain the confusion, then bow out and stay home with my healthy family. Fire up the grill and have a family fun.Go buy a turkey and cook it this weekend if you still want the traditional meal.

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What happened? I'm on the edge of my seat!

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How selfish of her. I'm sure her children wouldn't feel good tomorrow anyhow, so how extremely selfish of her to consider dragging them puking to a family to-do. Yes, it sucks that her children and are sick and she CAN'T COME...that's how I'd look at it. Who brings a child with a flu to anything?

3 moms found this helpful

Please please please don't go and expose your family to a stomach bug. I can't imagine why your sister would think it's a good idea to drag a sick child into a situation that will be miserable for him and dangerous for the rest of you. Call your mom, apologize profusely for not coming, explain that rotovirus is not a side dish that you want with your turkey, and then stay home and have an intimate family celebration, or if there are restaurants in your area serving Thanksgiving dinner, go out.

I am not sure what your sister is thinking. But call her and let her know that she is welcome to go join your mom today, and that you would love to see her some time when her family is well and her son would feel like playing. Then get off the phone, take a deep breath, and get on with your day.

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You are right, your sister is wrong! About a year and a half ago my son had a stomach virus and then I got it like a week later. I looked into it and kids are contagious much longer than adults for some reason with stomach virus, even after they are feeling better! Ugh...dont risk it! I hate the stomach virus, I swear I catch it if someone tells me over the phone they have it!

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I do not think it is ok for your sister to go sick. If my kid were sick like that I would call Mom and say we are not coming with everyone but is it okay if I come by and get some leftovers after dinner with out the kids? It sucks but it is what it is the whole family does not need to get sick because of a few kid's being sick.

3 moms found this helpful

I agree with postponing until everyone is well. Getting together is what is important, not the day itself.

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The only way they should go is if he stopped vomiting this morning and has no other problems but being worn out. I really don't get why people think it's ok to inflict sick family on others during the holidays. And why would this kiddo be happy while he's there? He's sick and probably just wants to lie on the couch and watch tv. If mom is crying, that's just rediculous drama. Sis should have more common sense. They should all just stay home. They've all been sick and are still miserable. Ugh!

3 moms found this helpful

You're in the right and she's being a big baby! Her kids could have the dang flu, and you DON'T want to catch that! She's obviously being very selfish, kinda sad being that it's thanksgiving.

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You are in the right, imo. Blecch to germ-spreading! I agree with Sue H that it can be postponed until Saturday! That's what families with multiple divorces, in-law gatherings have to do anyway. 24-hour rule, as Laura U states.

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Wow...I just came on here to post my own question about stomach virus in a 3 year old. Our situation is...he is coming to Thanksgiving for sure...but the other 3 year old that is there is having surgery on Friday....and can't be sick...or the doctors won't do the procedure. The mother is out buying hand sanitizer now...and is scared to death...but won't go as far as asking them to not to come...even though they want to. They don't wanna 'rock the boat'...like has happened to your family...and I'm so sorry for it...darn it...I hate when families are in the 'drama mood".

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She should have just planned to stay home anyways. Your right, she's wrong.

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yuck, my 3 kids all got it and it was ugly! And my husband was gone on a business trip for a week.......My friends kids just had it & said it was terrible too........don't go!

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Your sister is being rude. She should have known that it wasn't ok to bring sick kids around others, especially other kids, when they are sick and vomitting. If they had an ear infection or something else non-contagious or something that could be treated and had been on medication long enough (like strep and being on medication for 48 hours or more) that is different. A child sick enough to be excluded from daycare or school, should be nursed at home. Of course grandmom doesn't care if he's sick, he's her grandson and she wants her family at dinner and want to baby him...completely understandable but it is not resonable to expect that it is ok to expose everyone else (esp. kids). You don't say who else is coming...if others are coming to, you mom really should check w/ other attendees or at least notify them to "come at your own risk". If it's just those you mentioned, if I were you, I would have dinner at home and tell your mom that you can't make it. I agree with you but it's not about being right (although I think you are), it's about protecting your children and they can't really argue w/ that.

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So What Happened????????

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No it's not ok to bring a sick kid to a holiday gathering. It's irresponsible to risk other people getting sick. She needs to do the right thing and put her son first before herself.

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Are you concerned about your children's health? Absolutely, and from the history in this regard, you have every reason to be.

I think for myself, I would have just quietly declined coming, spoken to the host family about it and left it at that. I personally feel that if other people are fine with sick kids coming, that's their (dumb, to me) choice. But I don't think I would have mentioned anything to Sis.

We have had this problem at our family gatherings at Thanksgiving, too. In my mom's group, we have a couple people who are fine with their kids being exposed to all sorts of germs... people have a variety of attitudes. Anything beyond a common cold and we politely decline. I think it's kind of selfish for people to bring their pukey, diarrhea-suffering or feverish kids, personally.

2 moms found this helpful

You know, I had to deal with this exact thing at Thanksgiving, but the opposite. I was the one with the sick kid and called and said I would not be coming because of our sick child and I was accused of ruining everyone's day. I was so upset to make the decision, but even more upset of how I was treated by my own family for choosing to keep them healthy. Seriously.....

My brother is similar to your sister in that they really don't care about how the sickness could possibly affect others. It drives me nuts. And yet I become that bad one for trying to do the right thing.

I hope your holiday was good and things worked out. And that you aren't all sick.

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Your sister needs to be an adult / mother and stay home with her sick kid so she doesn't get everyone else sick! Her son has a stomach virus - not just a common cold! Have you talked with your mom since your sisters' e-mail? I know in my family (especially with us women) we tend to over-react rather quickly but once everyone calms down we can talk it through. I hope you update your What Happened because this situation is something that I can totally see happening with my family someday when my sister had kids.

Good luck to you and I hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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That absolutely pisses me off when someone brings a sick kid to my house! I don't take my sick kids anywhere because for one I don't want to get anyone else sick if I can at all help it and two, that's awful for the kid! I sure wouldn't want to be drug around somewhere feeling like that and I wouldn't do it to my kids. If she wants to go and make a risk of getting everybody sick then let her inconsiderate behind go. But my kids wouldn't be there. You are not wrong for thinking that way. About 4 yrs ago my mil and my neice had a stomach virus at thanksgiving and I asked them not to come to the dinner on Thursday because I didn't want to risk it. We had a separate dinner the next weekend when everyone was better. Maybe an idea? Good luck mama!

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Flu virus aside…yes they should stay home until symptom free for 24 hours. But, you first said you spoke with her…then later you emailed her about the alcohol gel. Maybe the fact that you emailed instead of calling is the bigger issue. Why not pick up the phone and discuss your concerns rather than hiding behind a computer?

1 mom found this helpful

I think its just mean to drag a sick child out of the house for the parents own well being - As a parent sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your kids and this is one of those times. If I were you I would tell your sister to stop making this about HER and to look at the bigger picture. I would also call your Mom yourself to explain to her the situation and what was actually said - I am with you on this one 100%

1 mom found this helpful

If it is flue season there are a lot of sick people out there and the germs don't necessarily come from the relatives. We are standing in the store, someone coughs, child gets sick. We send children to school, someone sneezes, child gets sick. Why is it that everyone blames their family members and why is it that they are all horrible people if they do come or they don't come? They do come and they are bad-they don't come and everyone thinks they are snobs, not really sick, have an issue, etc. etc. Life is life. We make it what we can. If we are lucky enough to have families we can go see, but still get sick, then are we absolutely sure those are the germs from that particular family or did they surface on a shopping cart the day before. Let's all try to love eachother this holiday. We have all gotten sick, our kids have gotten sick and sometimes the day means more than that. It is Thanksgiving. And let's remember that.

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You were more civil about it than I would have been! It infuriates me when people (family or not) bring their sick children out in public. The decent thing to do is to keep your germs to yourself and STAY HOME! It sounds like your sister is just being selfish. Stomach bugs are the worst. The poor kid probably doesn't feel like going out anyway.

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If her kids are school age or go to child care she has to know the rules for attending activities. If they have a fever of 100.1 degrees or more, vomiting, or diarrhea they are contagious for the next 24 hours.

Unless there is a valid reason for the puke or diarrhea that counts in all cases.

I have IBS with chronic diarrhea so mine doesn't count....My grand daughter puked at school a couple of times due to not getting to go in and eat breakfast. She was hungry and threw up. When we picked her up we went straight to McDonalds and she ate like a little oinker and once she had food in her stomach she was fine, but since she had done it at school they wouldn't even let her come back the next day. So she missed 2 days of school due to a bossy lady telling her to sit in time out for hurrying to get to breakfast and she was too late to eat due to the time out.

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Your sister is inconsiderate & knows she shouldn't be taking her kid. She is selfish, so she'd rather not miss the holiday & is okay with making other people sick. Not to mention, why would a kid who'd been throwing up want to be at a holiday celebration full of food? Why would you be so selfish as to force your clearly sick child into going to something you don't have to go to? I don't get it.

Your mom is being too nice - as if she's really going to tell her daughter to keep her kid home, when she asks if it's okay to come. Of course it's not, and we all know that. I don't know any sane person that would want a kid that had been throwing up all day at their house, possible infecting the whole family.

Some people just don't care, and your sister is one of them. You shouldn't feel bad for speaking up, nor should you be the scapegoat. I am so sorry that you have a selfish brat for a sister. She sounds like she's 5 years old. I don't know how you can stand it.

Honestly, I think at this point I'd say "I refuse to be the bad guy, when you won't do the common sense thing & keep your kid home. I am a mom & my rersponsibility is to my family & keeping them healthy. Therefore, my family will be staying home, and you can go, so we can avoid getting the flu from your kids like we have every other time you insisted on going to a celebration knowing they are sick."

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If she were going to set him up in a room all to himself so he could sleep/watch TV and SHE could spend time w/ him then yes I think it would be OK... but your sister sounds a little to selfish to do that.... so I would call her bluff, don't respond and just show up at your mother's house and have a great time (hopefully she doesn't show!!!)

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YOU ARE RIGHT!!! Do NOT take any of this blame on yourself... Actually you would have even been right even if you had told her she should not come! Do not go and make excuses by saying "we do not want to get sick because my husband and kids are off of work and school". You have the RIGHT not to get sick even if your plans were to sit in front of the TV and scratch your freakin' head! With the typ of bug that it sounds like is going on in your sister's house, you would get it via being around the person, not all of the alcohol gel in the world would stop it. That is CRAZY!!! Why would she want to put other people at risk. She is selfish and a little WACK I must say. It is people like your sister that sends kids to school sick and gives it to the entire class. I tell you what, her kind of gifts keep on giving!! That mentality does keep me employeed; but I think it is TOTALLY mean and selfish. Now if it was me, I would just call my mother and explain to her that your nephew "Matt" first had the virus and now "Nate" has it; so it is now proven to be contagious. I would then ask my mom if that gift which could send young children to the hospital and elderly adults to the hospital was her idea of a "Thanksgiving Gift". Tell her if your sister wants to be selfish; you are choosing to "decline her gift". Tell her you and your family will catch them on Friday. I also think your sister is "OVER DRAMATIZING" your mom's reaction. I am sure your mom would not want to put others at risk.

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Hello! I didn't read the other answers, but this is my opinion: Nobody should bring a sick child to a family gathering when there are other (healthy) children that are going to be there. It's SO rude! Just my opinion.

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I say don't go!!! Run out tonight real fast and buy whatever you want for tomorrow to cook at home. Tell her that you love her, but you don't want your vacation ruined by getting sick.

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I would not go, personally.

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Are there lots of other people coming? If not, can your mom postpone the dinner for a couple more days? Just a thought...

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I think it depends on how the kid and rest of the family is tomorrow morning. I'm not clear how long this bug lasts. I would not bring a kid that threw up or has a fever the same day to anything. If it was the day before and they are feeling okay the next day then maybe it is okay. I am lucky not be get that kind of thing often but my best friend when I was a kid got the 24 hour "stomach virus" all the time and was always back in school and fine the next day.

Wow, I would never bring a sick child to anyones house. How inconsiderate
can someone be! Your Mom should not be crying that she is not coming
she should be grateful. I am sure she would not like to get the bug that the
kid has. If I knew someone was bringing a sick kid (especially a stomach
bug) cold, running nose is different, I would not go. Hate stomach bugs
more than you can imagine. None of this is your fault, so please do not
feel that way.

I take kids with regular colds rverywhere. Kuds with vomiting fevers and siahrrea do not leave the house. We mussed thanksgiving one year for feverish kids to bed just a fever but we didnt want to get the 80house year olds si k.

Hello,
I agree with bits & pieces of other answers. If there is only family from in town, then see if your mom is willing to have Thanksgiving on another day, that way your sisters son can get better & not be contagious.

If there is family from out of state, I would bet that your sister could put her son into one of your moms spare bedrooms where he would have to stay so not to get anyone else sick. Definitely use some Lysol to disinfect the area that he has been in. Don't let your kids go in the area that he is in.

Your sister should be more worried about getting her son well, then what she is going to miss out on. But I can understand IF there is family from out of town in just for the occasion.

Best of luck to you & have a Happy Thanksgiving in spite of your sister.
C.

I looked this question up because I've been having the same problem. My sister's 3 children attend, what is, in my humble opinion, a nasty daycare "farm" of 40+ children. My nephews and niece have been sick EVERY TIME I've seen them in the past 2 years (about 4 times a year). My sister lives 8 hours a way and although I miss her terribly, I usually end up regretting our family get-togethers because they result in my 3 children getting sick. My baby, now 15 months old, was only 2 months old when he contracted RSV, presumably from my niece. He has had lung problems ever since, and the doctors suspect that it has developed into athsma. Anytime he gets sick from any respiratory illnesses, even something as benign as the common cold, he has difficulty breathing. It is scary! My husband and I have tried suggesting we postpone our family gatherings until all children all well, but not only does my sister get very upset, but my father is also very unsupportive if we try to opt out until everyone is well. It makes me resentful and angry that my sister is not respectful of my childens' health. And it is wrong that my dad gets so upset when I try to protect my kids.

You can't get rid of your sister or her kids, and you can't miss out on a family get together because of that, but I understand your concerns as well..and I too would be hesitant. The best thing you can do is arm yourself and your children. Give them their vitamins, watch what they eat, let them wash their hands regularly, etc. You can only control you and your kids, but to tell your sister she should bring a lot of alcohol, that was a bit rude..that just ruined it for her and wanting to spend a happy thanksgiving.

You can only send another email to your sister apologizing about the alcohol issue and if you feel that badly about your kids being there, you bring the Lysol...

You are not out of line. You didn't ban her and proposed a solution to the problem she is creating. In reality, she should not take a child that sick anywhere that he or she could expose others.

Honesty is almost NEVER the solution either. You were straightforward, she didn't accept it, got your mom involved and who really knows what was said in that conversation to escalate the matter to the point tears dropped.

Hmmmm. Next time you should consider staying away and see if you get the same reaction.

People are too sensitive when their expectations of others are unreasonable.

Who can afford to get sick, much less an entire family?!!!

Well your mom may not mind but I'm sure other guests, including yourself will. I mean no offense what I'm about to say but what is it w/people thinking it's okay to expose other people to something that's catchy? I caught the stomach flu from a friend's kid & was violently ill...to the point I was about to goto the hospital...for 3 days! She never apologized & NEVER told me he was sick, he didn't look or act sick when she invited me over for a visit & when I mentioned it, thinking it was food poisoning, she said "Oh, yes, my son has been very ill w/a stomach virus, so has my mom, guess she caught it from him..." Gee, thanks friend for making me violently ill w/o telling me....some friend! If you have to avoid thanksgiving dinner to keep from getting sick, I'd do it & just explain that you don't want to expose yourself & much less, your kids, to her kids' illness. Good luck!

Haven't read all the other answers, but here is my opinion. Technically you are in the right. For me, it would be different if it were just a cold. But anything having to do with fever and vomiting definitely dictates that you stay at home if other children will be exposed.

HOWEVER, I will say this is not a fight I would choose. I TOTALLY understand wanting to keep our kids healthy, but even if your kids get sick, it is at most ONE WEEK out of your lives that you have to live through the vomit. I know it will be a really crappy week, but believe me, the consequences of either you or your sister not attending this dinner will reverberate for years. I know of which I speak, and it is not worth it.

As a compromise, perhaps you and your family can attend for only a couple of hours to limit your exposure? Personally, I would tell my sister that I still want her to come. Tell her that it was a misunderstanding and that you are NOT going to complain about her son being sick. Tell this to your mother also. So if your sister chooses to still not attend that it is crystal clear that you personally asked her to come and that it was HER decision not to.

Seriously, the worst case scenario of her coming is so much better than the worst case scenario of her NOT coming.

ETA: Just finished reading all the other and subsequent replies. Don't get me wrong, I totally think your sister is being a brat. She should stay home. But again, it wouldn't be worth it to me to force the issue. If your mother isn't inherently on your side, you will come out looking like the bad guy no matter what you do. Maybe it's worth it to you - and I'm not saying your children's health isn't important and I wouldn't judge you for saying it is worth it to you to take this stand. But for ME, having gone through similar agita during Thanksgiving where it was a case of me being right versus being accommodating, it wasn't worth it being right.

With all these answers I don't know if you'll see this one, but -- Please update us. I'm curious if your sister, after trying to guilt you like crazy with her "I'm not coming after all" act, did turn up with her sick kid and if so, what happened. If she did not come, I'd be frankly curious to know what your mom did and if she really indeed was as "upset and crying" as your sister said -- Could it be that sis was exaggerating that to make you feel worse, eh? I hope you and your family had a good and virus-free day. One other thing to think about now that it's over: Your sister seems to have a habit of putting her wants above everyone else's health, though I bet she sees it as "putting my family ahead of my kid's temporary indisposition." If this is a habit in other ways -- not just dragging her poor sick kids around and getting other people sick -- I'd really rethink how you interact with her. She also seems to love giving you the guilt trip too. I'm sorry she is this self-centered but unfortunately folks like that always manage to make it about how they are the LEAST self-centered person around and you, the person with real concerns, were in the wrong.

I wonder how your mom would have felt about it if she herself, your mom, had been the one to get sick from having the vomiting grandson there? Your sister gave no thought to the fact that a virus like that is much, much tougher on older people.

You were right to say what you said. And you would be right to keep your kids away from any gathering where she has her sick kids. Unfortunately she likely will just stop mentioning her kids are sick until you're all there together and it's too late....

If my sister and law brought her kids to Thanksgiving dinner (or my brother brought his) I would be FURIOUS!

We do not have health insurance, company doesn't provide it and we can't afford it on our own.

I would, personally, tell my mother in law (or my mom) that I was not going to be able to attend.
When she asked why I would tell her that I didn't want to deal with a sick kid in a weeks time whom I could not take to the doctor for proper medicine.

My sister in law DID do this once, but not on Thanksgiving.
She sent her kids to my in laws for a sleep over that my daughter attended.

Sure enough, my daughter got a fever and was throwing up.
But at first I didn't know what had caused it.
I finally figured it out when I saw my SIL post about how she was so relieved that the fever and tummy trouble her kids had last week was finally gone...

I let her know exactly how I felt and I vowed to never let my daughter have a sleep over with her kids again if she couldn't be a good mom and keep them home...

We don't talk anymore and we are not friends on Facebook, and that is fine with me.
We had other... issues... before this too though.

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