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Sick Baby Etiquette

Mommy Dearest: Sick Baby Etiquette

Mommy Dearest,

Isn't the number one rule of play dates not to bring your sick child to another family's house? I recently hosted a play group and invited six other mothers and their babies over to play and have lunch. I was happy to have them all accept the invitation, except one. A 6-month-old little girl came over coughing, sneezing, and crying her little red eyes out. Everyone could tell how miserable she was, including her mother. She told us, "I'm sorry she's sick. I just had to get out of the house!" We tried to keep our children as far from her daughter as possible, but it didn't make any of us at ease with the situation. I wanted to ask her to leave, but was afraid she would be offended and not return to future gatherings. What should I have done, if anything?

— Sick About Sickness

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Sick About Sickness,

It sounds like your friend should have gotten out of the house and gone to the pediatrician. The child doesn't benefit at such a soiree since she was unofficially quarantined from the healthy children. She would have been better served at her own home with some rest and recovery time. However, if someone arrives with an ill child in tow, you might try a little honesty with a soft edge: "Maybe today isn't such a great day to play. It's pretty obvious that she's not feeling well. We'd be happy to have you over for another play group when she's up to par." If that doesn't work, you could ask her to keep her child in another area so that the other children are less exposed.

— Mommy Dearest

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Join The Conversation
sickofbeingsick sickofbeingsick 5 years
Ok...VanillaV... the US - our children see...Pediatricians. They don't see "GP" (at least most children don't). Pediatricians specialize in the care of CHILDREN. think Americans worry way too much about sickness...Um... in parts of Asia it is considered RUDE to leave your home without a mask on when you have a common cold. I personally think Americans should do the same! is RUDE to spread your illness without regard to whomever you are infecting. There are people with compromised immunity that getting a cold is something that becomes dangerous for them. I for one get severe upper respiratory infections when I get nasty colds while I'm pregnant. These URI can lead to pnemonia and other LIFE THREATENING illnesses...not just for me...but for babies and elderly. All because some selfish mom wanted to get out of the house. The risks of what she is doing is far greater than the benefit of her getting out of the house for a couple hours. Can we control our kids getting sick and protect them from all of the viruses and bugs out there??? NO...but can we control our kids spreading their sickness... YES. Be courteous and keep your petri dishes at home!!! This is coming from a MOTHER. My rule of thumb...if your kid is contagious...they shouldn't be around other kids. That isn't a choice that you get to make - ask the people first if they mind... OR - if your kid is sick and you want to be selfish...then fork over the dough for the doctor visits and clean, cook and take care of the family you infected when they all get sick from you. I'M SICK OF IT TOO!!!
skigurl skigurl 8 years
that mother is very selfish, using her child as a way to socialize and not caring that her daughter needed rest and possibly medical attention...i understand you didn't know what to do, and i guess all you could have done was drop hints about taking the poor kid home
sofi sofi 8 years
Ugh! I hate that. When she admitted the child was sick I would have suggested they could both use a nap more than a play date or just badger her a bit about going to the pediatrician soon!! She was very rude and honestly I wouldn't care if I offended. Who wants someone who gives no regard to other's health in their house anyway. Bye, bye.....
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