Daycare or Doctor

It can be hard to know when to send your sick child to daycare and when to keep them home (just ask PLS). It’s even harder when your child seems to feel alright, and both parents have their plates full at work. Our daycare’s rule of thumb is no kids with fever, diarrhea, or rash. If none of those are present, we can (technically) continue to bring Monkey in. It gets complicated, however, when none of these symptoms are present, but an illness has lasted a week, seems to be getting worse, or if Monkey is actually *acting* sick.

Monkey’s had a stuffy, runny nose for a week now. It had started to get better over the weekend, and we were preparing to move him out of his infant seat and back into the crib this week. Then Hubby was informed last night that another infant in the infant room at daycare had been diagnosed with RSV. Since Monkey appeared to be getting better, I thought no biggie. Then Monkey woke me up at 5am to nurse, with a much deeper cough than I’ve heard from him before. Hmmm, is that what croup sounds like?

Monkey seemed fine otherwise, and didn’t fuss at all when I put him back down after nursing. But I woke Hubby up, informed him we might need to keep Monkey home, then begin working on my coffee and next week’s poster. Monkey was still coughing every few minutes or so when he woke a little later this morning, but he seemed content and had no fever, rash, or diarrhea. I have a hellish week at work, and Hubby is preparing an invited talk for a conference he’s attending next week. After a long discussion, we decided to take Monkey to daycare, but Hubby stayed home to work.

I put in a call to the doctor when the office opened (after I got to work). The nurse called back an hour later, and asked us to bring Monkey in after I used the phrase “coughing spells”. I have a hair appointment this afternoon for the first time since last August, and it will take at least another month to get one scheduled if I cancel. Hubby said it was fine; he’d pick Monkey up from daycare this afternoon and take him to the doctor. I’ll be racing between work (and a symposium) and daycare while Hubby’s out of town next week, so I’m trying to relieve myself from the guilt of Hubby doing this one on his own.

What I’m most worried about is whether we were completely awful parents taking Monkey to daycare in the first place. Were we being selfish? We can’t keep Monkey home every time he has a runny nose or mild cough – we don’t have that much sick leave combined. But croup? Am I an awful parent?

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