Thursday, 7 March 2013

This week: moral dilemma

My daughter came down with chicken pox this week. My older son has not yet had it so we're expecting (and now hoping for) an imminent outbreak, although the doctor told me it's not guaranteed and anyway there can be a two-week incubation period. Right now he's not showing any signs and so I wondered what I was supposed to do about sending him to nursery.

Generally I like to think I am of the view that you should treat others as you would like to be treated. If I'm honest, I wouldn't really like to know someone at school had sent their child in who had a sibling with chicken pox and was therefore likely to pass it on to fellow classmates. On the other hand, I know plenty of parents who wouldn't think twice about sending said child into nursery. Does that mean I should adopt the same attitude?

I decided to call the school and see what their policy or advice was on the matter. After being put on hold for a couple of minutes, I was told that I should continue to send my son to nursery until he has definite signs of chicken pox, when obviously I should then keep him at home and inform the school. The lady I spoke to continued to tell me that it's better they get it now while they are young and they are all going to get it at some point. True, of course.

As it happens, my son is unwell with a funny tummy so he's not going to nursery for that reason. I will take him when he's better (providing still no sign of chicken pox) and will aim to keep my daughter under disguise and at a good distance from the other children when dropping him off! At least one other mother knows about my daughter having chicken pox and I'm pretty sure she'll have mentioned it to at least one other mother. For that reason, I will feel like I'm getting some dirty looks from other mothers who see me drop off my son, knowing that he has a high likelihood of getting chicken pox soon and spreading it to others. Yet, at the same time I checked with the school and have been honest and open about it. It does seem a bit unfair to keep a healthy, happy child at home just as a precaution, especially as when he does get chicken pox, he'll end up missing out on a good few days of nursery.

What would you do? How would you feel about someone in your child's class having a sibling with chicken pox and therefore a higher chance of your own child catching it soon?
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