February 27, 2009,
H.T. asks from Rolling Meadows, IL on February 25, 2009
Cleanliness in Schools (More Added)
Why is it that schools say they disinfect their classrooms nightly but children always bring home virus's and other disease's such as Chicken Pox?
My daughter has been going to the same school for 2 years now and she has spent more time at home from being sick then she has at school learning. My home is clean. As clean as one person can keep it with an active child.
We wash our hands after touching things or going to the restroom. We have good hygiene. We even had our home checked for mold at one point. And got a clean report! But yet for some reason or another my child comes home with fevers from school.
I finally broke down today and sent a letter to the Superintendent of her school because she has been sick for 21 days just since the NEW YEAR.
Did I do the right thing?
I forgot to mention HAND SANITIZERS. - My Daughter is highly allergic to them. Plus, as researched I found out and it has been in the webMD Mag. that the Hand Sanitizers are meant for adults and can burn a child's hands. Unfortunately, My daughter found out first hand what sanitizers can do to the skin. her hands broke out into blisters and rashed up and cracked to the point of hurting severely!
There is NO Warning Labels on the sanitizers about THAT! So Parent's be careful if your child or/ Children have sensitive skin!
So What Happened?™
I have talked to parents that took their children out of this school and their children have not been missing much school since they have moved into another district. So by telling me that disinfecting my daughter or building up her immune system is going to effect her in some way. I have done a lot for my community & to think that my Community can just check this out wouldn't be too hard to investigate an in school clean up job. Besides, from what I can tell I think every school should have an inspection at least once a year where it needed it or not!
A.M. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2009
The schools can disinfect the furniture but they can't disinfect the children. Most of the transmission is in the air. children breathe and cough and touch stuff again - so whoever is around them gets exposed to whatever they have. Often a person is contagious before they have symptoms. So there is no way around this. Also there was a very interesting article in the NY Times that suggests that exposure to bugs is actually good for our immune system and that hand sanitizers are really a waste of time. I know that it is hard when it is your little sweetie who is constantly sick but there likely isn't much you can do except feed her nutritiously etc. Good Luck.
2 moms found this helpful
A.S. answers from Peoria on February 26, 2009
Chicken pox is spread through the air. There is no way to sanitize it out of a classroom other than to keep infected students home. Unfortunately, the contagious period is many times before the first sign of it appears.
Secondly, as a teacher who DOES sanitize her classroom every day, we have all been extra sick this year for some reason. It sounds like your child is going through an immunity-building year. Keep her as clean and healthy as you can, but know that when 25 bodies get together every day, things are always going to get spread around.
I wish you peace. It sounds like you're having a difficult time in your life right now.
1 mom found this helpful
L.B. answers from Chicago on February 25, 2009
Save for each kid being trailed after by someone with bleach water, wipes and disinfectant spray or each kid being in their own bubble, germs are a fact of life in school and has nothing to do with whether or not things are disinfected at night. There is a ton of interaction that happens between kids and objects during the day and germs are going to be transmitted one way or another. Sneezing, runny noses, coughing, even breathing! Touching objects after coughing behind one's hand as we teach our kids to do. And so on. It is even possible that being "too" clean at one's home and not getting as much exposure to germs is making your daughter more susceptible to the germs she comes in contact with in school (since her system may not be not as used to fighting them off if she hasn't been exposed to them much).
By all means check that things are clean at school and being disinfected properly each night, and that kids are being encouraged to follow proper hygiene during the day (so much as can be enforced without having a teacher hovering over every student's shoulders at all times). But I think it's just a fact of life and as your daughter is exposed to more, her immune system will mature and be able to handle and fight off some of the illnesses more easily.
Believe me, I hear your frustration as it seems my own daughter is fighting something off every other week she brings home from school, but in time hopefully her system will become more adept at fighting things off!
1 mom found this helpful
T.M. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2009
Sounds like you are going through a rough time, sorry about that. You are a strong woman-never forget it! Since you can't do anything about the school being clean, I would suggest boosting your childs immunity to disease. Give her "Emerger-c"- everyday-with MSM/Lite. You can get this anywhere. It has 1,000mg of Vitamin C. I put it in my kids smoothies, but you can put it in some juice. In the winter months, you can add Echinsea (sp) to her juice. It will boost her immune system. Good Luck and keep praying. Maria
K.G. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2009
it is common for kids to get sick. i would take her to the doctor to see why her immune system is so weak. over cleaning is also not the best thing. some bacteria are good ones, if you wipe out all bateria, your child could get sick from that too. ask your doc for more help
M.W. answers from Chicago on February 27, 2009
I agree with many of the other moms here. There is not much you can do about germs/viruses being shared in a school environment, but you can give your daughter's immune system a boost by giving her vitamins, plenty of sleep, H20 etc. I wish sometimes I could put my kids in little bubbles to keep them from getting sick, but I realize it only helps them build immunity being exposed to all the yucky stuff. I would think that most preschoolers/kindergarteners are sick at least 20% of the school year on average. I know my son, who is in kindergarten, has already missed at least 10 days so far. I do think what some parents are guilty of is sending their sick child to school. I realize not wanting to miss work is probably typically the reason. Our elementary school does not want a child to return to school until they have been fever free for 24 hours. Even though I follow this rule, I am sure there are many who do not. I am probably more on the cautious side with my son. I will not send him back until I know he is better...no yucky nasal stuff, cough, etc. I really don't think kids who are still getting over a virus are in a condition to learn anyway.
I feel for you because of the stress you must feel being a single parent and taking care of your aging father. Hang in there...!! Hopefully now that Spring is coming...illness will be few and far between.
L.C. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2009
Is it an older school? I know that at my kids school, alot of kids were getting sick in the 1st grade section of the school.( the oldest part of the school). Maybe it is the ventilation system? Just a thought.
A. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2009
Maybe it's you and your daughter...have you ever thought that your daughter may have a low immune system? Seriously...how clean do you think a school can get? Kids are sneezing all over, wiping their noses on their hands and then touching door knobs, etc. Think about it...you may be the cleanest mom in the whole world, but others aren't. Kids may get sent to school sick because they can't afford to miss any more work. I guess, if it made you feel better to send a note to the super...but really, what more do you you think the school can do? Maybe research some vitamins or soemthing. Some kids just get sick more than others. My kids have missed 1 day from school due to illness...I also run a daycare...as well as my neighbor. I'm sure that the school my children attend is just as clean/dirty as yours...germs are everywhere. I'm sure you aren't only one this has happened to.
R.V. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2009
H., I'm a new mom so I'm learning how hard it is to see our kids sick. I feel for you. My son just got over rotavirus and I was desperate to blame myself, or anybody I could... but its not like it would have helped him... it's just so hard to see them uncomfortable.
I also work for a school district though, and I have to agree with the other mom's... especially the one that said that the only way you could blame the school is if she got MRSA or Ecoli or something of that nature. I think the people that transferred their kids and said they got sick less are comparing apples and oranges (i.o.w. it was just a coincidence)... but if you actually think that's possible, maybe you should try to get your daughter transferred? Going along with what everyone else said about germs being airborn, I want to throw a different perspective your way.
When I was young I ALWAYS seemed to have Strep Throat. After I got over it, everyone in my class got it (oops.... sorry). It was a never ending cycle. Then, one day, my little sister's throat swelled up and she had to have her tonsils out. It turned out that she was the host of the strep throat all along... she never really had it or any symptoms... but she kept passing it to me and me to my classmates. After she got her tonsils out me and my classmates were pretty much strep free for the rest of the year and I only seemed to get it once a year as opposed to monthly or bi-monthly like before.
So to wrap up my long story... maybe there is someone in that school acting as a host, like my sister was. They probably don't even know they're doing it because they aren't getting sick themselves.
L.Z. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2009
Hi H. - I happen to be the nurse at my son's daycare/Montessori school. It's really a conundrum - yes, parents bring in kids that are sick. The only way they can be excluded is if they have a temp over 101 or vomit/diarrhea more than one time. However, most kids (and adults) are most contagious right before they start to show signs of being sick - before anyone even knows they are. So, illness in the schools is inevitable, even if every sick child was kept home. The good news is, your child is building up their immunity big time and this will get better. It's extremely hard on working parents (especially in this economy). Unfortunately, it's just one of those things that comes with having children and having a child in school.
J.P. answers from Chicago on February 25, 2009
Viruses spread from more than touching things. Some are airborne as well. Plus I am sure your daughter touches other children and other children touch their mouths, nose, etc. Unless you keep her in a bubble there is nothing you can do. Just teach her to use a kleenex and to wash hands before eating and after using the restroom. Also have her wash her hands as soon as she gets home from school. I don't think you can blame the school for this...it is a fact of life. Your daughter just may be more inclined to get illnesses or doesn't have as great of an immune system. Maybe this is something to speak to the pediatrician about.
D.G. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2009
I responded to your other posting, but after reading this one I had one more thing to add. As a teacher I also see young kids handle change in many different ways. Your daughter may be stressed out from all the changes in her family life, and it is showing itself in her illnesses. Has she been given any counseling, or most importantly how are you doing? I know divorce is tough even though it has been a while since it happened, and when you are very upset and stressed children can sense that and take it on themselves. Talk to your daughter, she may be hiding some of her feelings about all the changes from you. I wish you luck and know how tough divorce can be, it sounds like you are a good mother and you just want to help your daughter get better.
B.K. answers from Chicago on February 25, 2009
I would only be upset with the school if my child were coming home with lice or mrsa or skin infections or e-coli or things of that nature. But viruses?? All the things you're talking about are spread through the AIR, so just washing your hands and disinfecting things at school isn't going to help. Kids get sick a lot. They are in an enclosed environment with a lot of little germy kids breathing the same air and people just get sick this time of year. I would focus on building up her immune system with vitamins and perhaps a probiotic supplement. I have two kids and one seems to get sick more than the other. She is just more susceptible to things I guess. I don't think writing the superintendent was the right thing to do, only because it would have been more helpful to start lower on the ladder. But I don't think there is anything anybody can do about viruses in the wintertime.
ADDED: An inspection isn't going to do much really. You can't see viruses because they are spread through the air. I would think if something awful like e-coli was happening, you could find unsanitary conditions that would foster that sort of thing. But viruses don't live long on "things" like e-coli bacteria does. So you really can't clean up a school and have it be virus-free because the virus carriers are going to come back the next day and spread their germs in the air. Honestly, cleanliness is good, but you're fighting a losing battle here because even if you find it's a dirty school, that doesn't mean kids are getting sick from it. (unless it's something like e-coli)