Preschool Primer: Keeping Sick Children at Home

“She has a little fever that went away with Tylenol, so she’s fine.”
“He threw up last night, but he’s better now.”
“We’re not sure what the rash is, but it must be allergies.”
“He’s not really that contagious. Do I really need to keep my child at home?”


This article is not a guilt trip. Sometimes we don’t believe or don’t want to believe that our children are sick, so we send them to school anyway. We have a busy day, and a sick child is the last thing that we need. My goal is to create more awareness both here and in my own home. Here are some things to keep in mind about why it is important to keep sick children at home:

  • Children recover more quickly at home in comfortable, familiar surroundings. I am approximately 35 years old, and I still want my mom when I don’t feel well.  At home children can get the rest they need for a speedy recovery.
  • You have a meeting that you can’t miss, so you send your child to school. Not only is your child feeling worse, which will cost you more sick days, but other children are exposed to illness as well. Sharing is caring, except when it comes to germs. Then it’s just gross.
  • Not all of the children in our program are fully vaccinated. Many of our children are too young to receive certain vaccines which makes them more vulnerable, which in turns causes their parents to use sick days.
  • Children are not the only ones getting sick. Common childhood illnesses if contracted by adults can be life-changing. An ill-timed sneeze can lead to lost time at work, a weakened immune system and re-occurrence of “one and done” childhood illnesses in adults.
  • Snuggle time. There is a certain amount of ickiness involved when children are involuntarily leaking various fluids, but take those snuggles any way you can. The time is rapidly approaching when the only way you’ll get snuggle time is by begging for it.
  • You are performing a mitzvah. Caring for the sick… protecting others by isolating a sick child…You pick. They are both noble, and both take priority over Fill-in-the-Blank meeting with Mr. Whatshisname.

Throughout the year, stuff is going to happen. Our children will get sick. Sometimes we will be the unlucky recipient of some unsavory germs and sometimes we will be Patient Zero. It’s the way of the world. However, we can all be good menschen by keeping our sick children and our sick selves at home. Don’t worry. Work will always be there.  I promise.

–Alexis Joyce

Preschool Director


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