What to Do When He's Sick & I Have to Work?

Updated on October 31, 2006
K.L. asks from Columbia, MO
37 answers

What do you do when he's had a fever in the night, better in the morning, but still can't go to the sitter for 24 hours and your stuck and can't get off work?

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R.

answers from Detroit on

Do you have any relatives or a neighbor you could call upon? My in-laws are always willing to pitch in when they are sick.

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W.

answers from Cincinnati on

K....
I would love to chat with you more. I am also an SMC, and have had a really hard time meeting local women who understand my situation. I have faced the issue of what to do when he's sick...my son is 3...and year 2 was the hardest.

Call my cell: ###-###-####
or Email: [email protected]____.com
if you want to talk more.

W.

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J.T.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't work but when I have some place to be and I can't take my son I usually call a family member or find a sitter that will take care of a sick child

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K.

answers from Cleveland on

K.--if you live near Akron, Children's hospital has a sick child day care center--hours are something like 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. You can bring a sick child--even with communicable diseases--they will administer medicine and everything--staffed by nurses. I don't know the cost--probably higher than traditional day care--but used on a day to day basis obviously.
K. K

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L.T.

answers from Topeka on

Saint Francis Hospital has a sick child day care in their pediatric unit. It's called Color Me Well. It's only $3 or $4 per hour, they will give your child any medicines and provide quiet activities. You'll have to fill out some paperwork the first time but they will keep that info on file for next time. I'm sorry I don't have the number with me but you can call the hospitals main number and get transfered. I think Color Me Well is a great asset to this community and I encourage you to try it out.

2 moms found this helpful
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P.P.

answers from Des Moines on

Check with your County Dept of Human Services and see if they have a list of child care providers that will take a sick child. Some In-Home day care providers have this service avaiable. Good Luck !

1 mom found this helpful
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S.B.

answers from Detroit on

I wish I had some advice. I just read everyone elses and they said everything I had to offer. I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts. It is heartwrenching when your child is sick and you want the best for them, always.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I know this is a tough one....but remember that if you bring him to daycare thinking he is probably fine and he isn't and passes those germs to other kids then they are probably going to get sick and then pass the germs on to their families. I am a stay at home mom and have watched lots of kids. I have many times been told, "Oh he/she had a slight fever during the night, but I gave him meds and he has been fine ever since so I don't think it is anything" only to have him really really sick around noon. By then all of my kids have been exposed and within a couple of days they are all sick. Then I have to pay to take my kids to the doctor and possibly miss out on plans that I had made all because another mother brought her child to me when he was sick. Sorry if I sound bad....but as a daycare provider this is where I am coming from. I know you have to work to make the money to raise your child, and if you miss work then you aren't making money. Best of luck with this. I also think I have seen daycares that care for sick children...not sure on policies or rates but really something to look into. C.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi K.,
Most Nanny placement services have on call sitter services for just this sort of thing. It is very expensive but definetly works if you have to be at work. Typical rates in the Cincinnati area $15-20 per hour. Child Care Professionals, Inc. is an excellent agency.

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M.V.

answers from Cleveland on

I've been in your position....I found a new job that was more family-friendly. How can you stay in a position where the employer cannot understand that your child is ill and you have to stay home? I am now the VP of my company and it was the best move I ever made.

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R.R.

answers from Springfield on

I have read the other responses but nobody has suggested this on yet: try taking him to a provider who has less children to care for. My son has asthma, so every time he gets a cold it turns into bronchitus, I feel your pain. I talked to his specialist and he says " GET HIM OUT OF DAYCARE!" in those exact words. Pretty much as soon as I did this he stopped getting sick so much which meant I missed work a lot less. Also you can give your child vitamin c drops so it doesn't take so long to get better. Halls makes them, they are called Hall's Defense. Work wonders. about work, I ended up having to switch jobs.

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M.B.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

Hi K.. I am currently a stay at home but have previously been a working mom. This is such a hard situation. I am new to Cedar Rapids but I thought I had seen a daycare for minorly sick children. I think it is affiliated with St luke's hospital and is called something like "Bearly Sick"--I can't remember where I saw it--maybe in the phone book with pediatricians. I have been doing quite a lot of research on dr's etc since moving here in Feb. Hope this helps!
M.

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M.O.

answers from Cleveland on

hello i recently moved I have the same problem but Im not a single mom my dillema is my husband a nd me work first shift and I dont have any relatives to help me if my 2 year old daughter get sick I have afriend in my block that I have talk about just incase my child get sick or the other choice will be call off from work .because where I used to lived I used to have a friend that will take care of her is she is sick and cannot attend day care. I suggest call relatives thatyou trust or closed fiends or call fisrt call for help they can give you 24 hour day care where they take sick children. but is he gets very ill you stay with your child you have the right to do that. other wise find people who can help you. God bless mara

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C.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Where are you located I am a mom of 5 beautiful children I am always home and would be willing to watch your little one I can give some of the best ref,.. C.

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M.

answers from Kalamazoo on

besides having a family member help out there probably wont be much you can do. we moved to the area about 7 months ago and i was in the situation with just wanting to find someone to watch the kids on a saturday. I dont think any daycare would take a sick child. one thing I know that is bad would be to take him.. as long as the child is not vomiting. I did daycare before we moved and i guess it would be up to your provider. sorry .. good luck

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L.

answers from Cleveland on

That is so hard! I simply call in sick myself, but I know another mom who has a "sick sitter": someone who is willing to have the child (probably doesn't have any other young ones) and just let him rest.
Wish I could be more help.
Aunt Sugar

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K.J.

answers from Enid on

Girl hang in there. I work from home so I can't really help but I can help you with staying home and making an income. Check my website out at kbarnes.themomteam.com
K.
The Mom Team

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R.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Your work needs to let you off. If you don't have anyone else to watch him.

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S.

answers from Columbus on

K., Having been there, I know in a pinch if it's just a minor fever, I've given children's motrin to keep it in check for several hours then if he felt really bad the daycare would call me. I didn't miss as much work this way. Yes your child should come first and sometimes switching jobs to someone who "understands" isn't that easy.

S.

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B.

answers from Sioux City on

Well, if you have family or friends around, ask for a favor. Im sure there is someone who can watch the little guy for a few hours, even if its in shifts. Where one person has him for 3 hours and then the next one comes.

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J.W.

answers from Detroit on

What about a back up sitter, non-daycare.

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M.M.

answers from Detroit on

This might give some ideas. My husband and I both work and were confronted with this when our little guy got the stomach flu. No fever, but he had to stay home from day care for three days.

http://detroit.babyzone.com/parentresources.asp?prid=407

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A.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi K.,
This is a huge problem for many parents. If your child is in a daycare center, maybe look for a back up home provider. I have done childcare for almost 14 years. Almost all daycares say child must be fever free for 24 hours. I think it is a bunch of hogwash! I allow my children to still come to daycare because most likely the other children have already been exposed anyway. Try calling around in your area to home providers and ask them what thier sick policy is. You will most likely make lots of calls before you find someone, but you will find someone. Or use the excuse that it is just his molars coming in! Good luck

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D.K.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I would talk to you daycare provider. Although this is in their policies they may be able to make exceptions. Kids get fevers for all kinds of reasons. If he has fever at night and is fine in the morning it could a number of things. I know that my kids would run a fever for a few hours and then it would be gone and they played, ate, slept acted normal the whole time. So, I would check with your caregiver. I also was a childcare provider for a short time and in my policies it states fever stay home 24 hrs, but there are always exceptions. However, if your provider says no and you don't have a family member or friend to help you then what choice do you have but stay home with him.

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L.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi read your responses and most of them told you to either find a family member or backup sitter or call in sick your self. Well, I am just guessing that you have probably already thought about those options and that is why you are looking for something else. I read there is a couple of sick daycare that I did not know about. I am an EMT and Live in Overland I am right in the middle between Page and 270 and Page and 170. If you are ever in a pinch please call me. I would be more than happy to watch you little boy. I have to admit there are only two things I can't watch him for is the vomiting virus and Chicken Pox. Whenever I am around someone who is throwing up I always get it and I have never had the Chicken Pox. I have a one year old. I am stay at home Mom and unless he had something really contagious I would give him love, movies and snacks on the couch. I know you have to work to pay the bills being a single Mom that is what you depend on. We live paycheck to paycheck some months and I know my husband could not stay home two days because my daughter was sick with an ear infection. My email address is [email protected]____.com So please write back to me and let know if your are interested. I will not be offend in any way with me being a stranger. Of course we could meet one evening you and your son could come over to my house and meet my daughter and my self and that way he would also be familiar where he would go if he was sick. talk to you later L.

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P.W.

answers from Lansing on

I've had children come who are better in the morning and by 3 or 4 they will be running a fever again, thus the 24 hour period.
When I interview parents, we dicuss the illness +/or fever situation and the importance of having someone you can call first thing in the morning. We talk about Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Friends and getting that list together ahead of time. Some cities have centers where you can take a child that is not too ill. It's never easy when they are ill, but having a backup plan in case of emergencies, would make it go a little easier the next time.
I just read about the one that gives medicine and sends her child to day care. People should never give their children medicine without informing the day care provider what and when the last dose was, even over the counter meds.
In closing no one can give comfort to your sick child better than YOU.

S.L.

answers from Kansas City on

As a childcare provider I can understand both sides of this issue. It's such a hard one. My policies are very flexible on some things. As someone else stated, I will accept a child on an antibiotic if they have been to the doctor and have an ear infection. However, people should understand that ear infections are caused by viruses so they are contagious for 24 hours until the antibiotic kicks in. If a parent takes a sick child to daycare, they are subjecting the other children and the other families to this virus.

What parents should try and understand is that if the childcare provider get sick, she will usually call the parents and close up. That means everyone misses work. I don't do this. I work always because I'm not able to afford to give refunds. But this isn't necessarily the best answer. My parents like the fact that I've never missed a day. But I'm the one person that is central to everyone. It's possible for a child to be isolated in daycare and I do that as much as possible. But I can NOT isolate myself.

Sometimes one person gets a virus and sail right through it. But there's always the one child, or even one of the parents that ends up getting hospitalized during a time a virus is going through.

Then there's the issue of sanitizing. I've spent days and even weeks with a bottle of bleach water in my hand. But when little kids are coughing and sneezing and we can't get them to cover their mouth in time and wash their hands immediately, and with teething babies putting their mouths on everything, we can not prevent illnesses from spreading as much as we'd like.

Then, parents should consider the providers finances. We don't get insurance as part of our job. So we hopefully have it through a spouses work, but still have deductibles and possibly very high premiums because we don't have our own insurance from our jobs. If a parent gives that dose of motrin to their child and brings them anyway, they can spread strep throat to my whole family. 5 people times 20 dollar co-pays for each and then 10 dollar co-pays times 5 antibiotics is more than I make for a week for one child! So if a parent brings an illness in they are literally robbing my family of at least some or even all of a weeks pay. And, how do you think we get our own selves and our kids to the doctors when we are always open for business? We either pack up a lot of kids and drag them with us, or we have to pay an assistant so that we can take care of our families. Or, our spouses have to take sick leave, unpaid leave or vacation days in order to take the kids to the doctors.

I don't mean to lay a big guilt trip on parents. This is just reality. None of know if one of the kids is sick and undiagnosed with an immune disorder. If just one parent brings a sick child to care and hides that fact, another child could be compromised in a huge way.

All parents should arrange for a backup with family, friends, or a service that is open to provide this type of service. They are out there and it's the responsible thing to do. I'm probably more flexible with parents than I should be. And I feel guilty every time I let some frustrated parent bend the rules on this. But I can tell you I am mad as a hornet when I find out they dosed their kids with motrin and waited to see if the fever came back. That's unfair, irresponsible and unkind towards others in care.

Suzi

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R.

answers from St. Louis on

I am a single mom and a nurse. I utilize TLC for kids. A private babysitting agency that is wonderful and safe. They are my life-line for child care and my children love the sitters. They are screened by the agency and many are nannies, college students majoring in education, and many are moms like you and me who love children and treat them like they are their own.R.

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L.C.

answers from Dayton on

I raised my baby sister and I was the town babysitter in my teen, young adult life. I had no problems caring for a child that had been sick as long as they were not still carrying a fever. No child ever got sick from another child who carried a fever the night before. The doc told me it was the fever that caused the illness to spread. Is this your babysitters worry? Is there another that you trust that can sit with your child?
If not then work will have to wait.

L.

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

K.,

I have a 2 year old son as well. I'm an attorney and my husband works for a bank. We are both extreamly busy and Brendan always seems to get sick when neither of us can miss work. I'm lucky that my office is flexible and I have brought him in with me for a few hours if I had to get something done. I will go into work super early or work at night if I need to be home with. Do you have that type of flexibility? My parents are pretty helpful when we need them too. However, I have also used my occassional babysitters-which are college students-- sometimes they don't have classes or they can come for a half day.

I know how stressful and frustrating it is-- and its even worse b/c I always feel guilty. I stay home with him if absolutely possible-- but it isn't always. Check your daycare guidlines too-- mine is also 24 hours, but not for certain problems-- like earaches, once on an antibodic, he can go back with a low fever (which I hate to do...but sometimes its necessary).

Hang in there...

-N

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J.

answers from Grand Rapids on

K. --

What you need to remember is that your son is your number one priority! Having been a daycare provider for 12 years and now a teacher of special needs students, I have seen many moms in your position. Sick children NEED their moms, even though it may mean that you don't get paid for that day. I don't know if you have outside support such as a grandma or other close relative that is in a position to help you out once in a while, if so seek their help, if not - stay home and 'love' your son healthy. Remember - that 24 hours is for the health and well being of your son as well as the other children and the adult caregivers (if the caregiver gets sick, your stuck again). Hopefully your employer will be understanding in these types of situations, your son won't be little forever!

Good Luck!
J.

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K.G.

answers from St. Louis on

That is a tough situation, but parenthood is filled with plenty of those...as we all know too well! We have to make sacrifices sometimes, and your job is just going to have to understand when you can't make it in. I can understand your employer getting upset if this is a common occurence, but if it's not, then they should cut you a little slack. I would be shocked if they fired you for such a thing. If they do, I would contact a lawyer.

If for some reason there is absolutely no way to get around going into work, try asking a friend or family member to watch your child. If that's not possible, I would stay home with him, because you don't want to get other children sick. Kids passing on colds and viruses is a vicious cycle. One of my children recently had a viral infection with a high fever, so I kept him out of a summer school program for two weeks. (That's how long it lasted). I wouldn't appreciate another parent letting their child pass on a cold or viral infection to my child if I were in there situation.

When trying to decide if I feel my child is well enough to attend daycare or school with other children, I always try to place myself in other parent's shoes. If someone brought their sick child to school or daycare wherein they will be near and touch the same items that my child will touch, then I wouldn't be too happy. Because when our children get sick, we have a lot of schedule re-arranging to deal with, as you are dealing with now.

Good luck to you! I hope something works out!

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M.

answers from Des Moines on

Did he get the fever after youwere home with him?, or at daycare then you picked him up? If the first one happened and his temp is normal then I'd give motrin- which works for the better part of of a day and take him to the sitter- you can just say you want them to keep a eye on him because he's not his usual self. Don't say fever.
Usually when our's would get a fever at daycare and we'd be called then it's almost an absolute she was home the next day.
When grade school starts then it's the same thing except if her temp is noprmal and she's in a good mood & usually doesn't want to miss school I send her.

If he's 2 yrs- could be teething molars, or even allergies, if you can take him in to clinic that way you have a valid excuse for your employer and the daycare. Good Luck

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J.

answers from Springfield on

I know it is a very difficult position to be in. I have have been there as well. It is important to talk to your supervisor about how it makes you feel. Let them know you want to be at work, but cannot due to child being ill. It is out of your control. If they are still not understanding you should find an employer who is. Anyone who is dedicated to their child makes a wonderful employee. You might also want to check for childcare providers in your area who might watch a sick child. There are very few around, but there are some people who charge a higher amount and just watch the child for the time they are ill.

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S.

answers from Columbus on

Hi K. -
I'm a single mom, too, of a 3-yr old boy - I barter sitting with neighbors and friends, Moms Club, etc.

also, there are drop-in day care centers for 1/2 days if you work close-by

are you in Columbus? I'm in Lewis Center/polaris
S.
[email protected]____.com

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T.K.

answers from Dayton on

I would plan for this in advance...have someone lined up who is willing to come to your home to watch him on those occasions, or else you're going to find yourself just having to bite the bullet and stay home with him. His health and wellbeing have to be the priority.

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T.

answers from Grand Rapids on

K.,
I applaud you for your hard work. Being a mother is not easy and its especially tough being single. I am a mother of an 8 month old. I have been particularly blessed as I planned for someone to come to my home part time as well as arranged for day care part time. So, when my daughter is too ill to go to day care, my in home provider can usually fill in and visa/versa.

The reason that a day care asks for a 24-hour wait is so that the child is hopefully no longer contagious. I applaud you for being honest. My daughter has been sick from other children because parents are not as considerate as you and aren't honest with the childcare facility.

My advice is to seek out older grandparent types from church or from community centers who might be able to care for an ailing child. This way you have the support you need. This is how I found my in-home provider and she is wonderful. Of course with any person you must do background checks etc. I would run an add in a church newsletter or senior support center, requesting a grandma to help part time with child.

Another option is the local hospital. Some of the hospital run daycares for sick children. You might want to check this out as well.

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