Watching Sick Kids, Would You Do It?

United States
December 29, 2006 12:23pm CST
I agreed to help out one of my friends with watching her children. I wanted to help out and it would allow my daughter to interact with other children too. Everything has been going great so far, even though it really hasn't been that long, until today. She brought her kids to my house sick. I was kind of upset about this.\ I talked to my mom, who kind of even made me feel bad for feeing this way. She said that I agreed to help out and I should follow through with it. My boyfriend also didn't agree with me. I don't have insurance, so I really can't afford to get sick. My daughter does, but I still don't want her to get sick. I ended up calling my friend and she came home to get her kids. I don't necessairly think she was mad that she had to do so, but I don't think she was happy either. I feel that I made the right decesion, but I feel abosuetly awful. If you were in the same situation, what would you have done.
9 people like this
49 responses
• Canada
29 Dec 06
Hi jfeets :) This is a touchy situation but one that I, and pretty much everyone I know with kids, have had to deal with on plenty of occasions. I tend to be the person who keeps my kids home when they are sick because I don't want to burden everyone else's households with illness. But, I have had friends who will show up to a birthday party with kids who have fevers and runny noses and the whole nine yards. That really makes me mad because I feel it's insensitive and disrespectful. The folks that I know who babysit from home have all set out a "policy" about illness. Even between friends, so that there are no uncertainties or hurt feelings. They say no one shows up at the door in the morning with a kid that's already sick (if they were sick all night or are feverish, they stay home). If a child shows signs of becoming ill during the day, the parent gets a call at work or the babysitter gets the number of another person or family member who is willing to take the child (usually because there are no other children in that home at the time). Yes, you agreed to help out but you also have the right to set some parameters. You are providing a service, even if it's to a friend, and it's ok to outline a few "rules" that will have to be followed. Your friend would certainly have rules to follow if she had to place her children in a daycare center, so she really shouldn't be offended. The same people I was referring to also have agreements about what time the kids MUST be picked up at the end of the day because there are folks that abuse that too. One of my neighbors was a sitter and she had a family where the parents used to go out for a leisurely dinner after work and then they'd pick up their kids (while my neighbor had her family home and waiting for their own dinner). Treat your babysitting like a business and you'll have no reason at all to feel awful about any of your decisions :)
3 people like this
@lissaj (532)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I think your friend is the one who should feel guilty, not you. She brought her children to your house sick, knowing you have a child. Children pick up germs very easily. If your friend was taking her children to a regular day care, she would not have been allowed to leave her kids there. Just to smooth things over with your friend, I would sit down and talk to her, let her know that you don't mind helping out by watching her kids, but when they are sick, you can't afford to get sick yourself. Kids get sick, that is a fact of life. And when your daughter goes to school, she will get sick too. Nothing can be done about that, but if your children are sick, you should have the decency not to expose them to other people when they are contagious.
• United States
29 Dec 06
Thanks guys, you made me feel a little bit better. In the end, I know that I did the right thing, but I still feel a little bit guilty I guess. I don't watch her kids very often, but we do have a set schedule that we go by each week. The thing is that I offerred to do it for free. I think that was one of my biggest mistakes. To me it really wasn't and isn't about the money though. I enjoy her kids and my daughter loves playing with them, otherwise she doesn't get much social interaction. It is the getting taking advantage of that I'm not too found of.
• United States
30 Dec 06
she may not have been trying to take advantage of you, she may have just felt like she had no choice, and figured she would at least try to take them. I am not saying it was right, I am just trying to explain to you from a different perspective how she may have been feeling. I know at my job, my employer is less upset when I get a call saying my kid is sick, than if I call in the morning saying she is sick and I can't come in. What I usually do is have my neighbor come sit with my kids (she has no kids) and wait until 10 or so to call my office and say my kid isnt feeling well and I have to come pick them up.
1 person likes this
@scorpius (1793)
• India
30 Dec 06
well for one i would have told her the minute that she bought the kids over that if they were sick then you cannot watch them as you did not have medical insurance.you should nothave waited until later to tell her that.but anyway since all is said and dione i think that u should make up to her somehow.t is not her fault that her kids wound up sick and whats more would you not like to help you if you were in need??
2 people like this
• United States
30 Dec 06
she has nothing to "make it up to her" for. Every parent should know that it is not right to bring a sick child around other children. I understand that the woman had to work, but her kids should be her first priority, if a child is sick, they usually want mommy. I, myself am a single mom of two, and missing work can really set me behind on my bills, but kids come first, if they are sick you just have to find a way to be home with them.
1 person likes this
@scorpius (1793)
• India
31 Dec 06
actually i have to rspectfully disagree with you.i know for a fact that children maintenance is quite costly.a diaper itself costs a lot.so she has to go to work to provide the necessary money that is required for children maintenance.lets imagine that she cannot take the day off then what is she supposed to do? whats more she never had a chance to find out an alternative did eshe,shen she bought over the sick kids this friend should have told her right away that tshe she cannot watch over her sick kids.that would have given her some time to lok around for al alternative.well that did not happen,did it? i happen to work as well and for me kids do come first.and kids get sick a lot of times and i canot take the day off everytime they get sick.so i do have to look around for alternatives like my mother,my friends etc or i wil be laid off.not everyone has the money to support their kids and not work.in that case well you cna concentrate on your kids adn tell your hard boss to go **** himself but your kids come first. not all of us have that luxury,do we? and yeah she should make up!
• Ireland
31 Dec 06
I think that, realistically, its a bit unfair to say that she should have said immediately that he could not have looked after the sick kids. I know that I am quite a 'soft' person, and if I had been in that situation I would have been so surprised when she arrived with the sick kids that I would have been unsure of how to handle the situation. I would probably have only got up the courage a bit later to say I couldn't look after them. Its not something that would really occur to me beforehand (unless I were a professional childminder), because it would never occur to me that another mom would hand over their sick kids to be looked after by someone with kids of their own.
@vipul20044 (5797)
• India
29 Dec 06
Hey come on its not your fault. communicable disease transfer easily in kids she was the one who brought them to ur house Talk to her over it Its too common for kids to get sick and there is no need to make an issue over it
2 people like this
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your response. I see now that it really isn't a big deal, at least as much as a deal as I was making out of it. I still feel that I did the right thing, but I guess I was worried that this would impact our freindship.
• India
30 Dec 06
Just take precaution by not allowing those people inside your home!!
@GardenGerty (116782)
• United States
30 Dec 06
I think your friend should have called and given you the option of watching her sick kids, or not. They may have already exposed all of you if they have been at your house in the last 72 hours. It would have been better for HER kids to have been allowed to stay in their own beds at their own house to get to feeling better. You did what you feel is right for yourself and your child. Do not let mom and boyfriend second guess you. It is too easy to let friends take advantage. I watched sick kids, even as a daycare provider, but some of my people were in a bind and would put their job at jeoparty if they missed work. That is the pits for them , tto. I still say she should have called and given you the option.
• United States
31 Dec 06
Thank you for your response.
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
30 Dec 06
You can not be responsible by law for someone kids when they sick. Your agreement was for healty kids, not sick. She should know better. At lest she should ask you before she show up and ask what you think. I think you made smart decision.
2 people like this
• United States
31 Dec 06
Thank you for your response!
@april444 (1341)
• United States
30 Dec 06
I would tell her up front that if your kids are sick you will be picking them up. Did she even have the courtesy to notify you that her kids were indeed sick?
2 people like this
• United States
31 Dec 06
Thank you for your response. To answer your question, I didn't even know that they were sick until they should up at my door, even though I did talk to her the night before. Once again, thank you for your response.
@limosonia1 (1559)
• United States
30 Dec 06
As a parent I have made precautions as to having a regular babysitter but also having my mom close so that she could watch my children while they are sick. Although I am very lucky that my mother is there for me. I don't feel you were wrong. Sick kids are not ment to be sent to a day care or a friends house unless you guys had discussed this and you agreed to it. She should have asked you before bringing them over knowing that you have your own child that might get sick. This is a situation that everybody is going to view differently but you must do what you feel it right towards your child and go from there. What your views and your friends are different. You should sit down and talk to her about any other possible scenerios and lay down ground rules.
• United States
31 Dec 06
Thank you for your response. I agree that it is a good idea to sit down and establish some ground rules. I just wished that I had done so sooner. Once again, thank you for your response.
• Indonesia
30 Dec 06
Um sorry to know that. You were in a very difficult situation to decide. Anyway, you have done the best choice. A mother or parent should take care of her sons and daughters. Children also needs attention. Have anyone wonder why a kid get sick? NO. The answer is because this kid lack of parent's attention. Maybe we can deny or doubt after the assumption but rationally let's think why? you will get the same answer. Unless, the kid has hereditary disease
• United States
31 Dec 06
Thank you for your response.
@LovingIt (5398)
• United States
30 Dec 06
I think your friend was taking advantage of you by expecting you to take care of her kids when they were sick. Daycare centers and schools will not allow kids when they are sick, so why would she expect you to keep them? If you didn't have a child of your own, it might be different, but it's not right for her to expose your child to illness like that. You did the right thing.
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your response. That is exactly what I was thinking. If I didn't have my old child, who is a toddler and not in school, I would have kept her children without even thinking twice about it. I was just concerned for my child and didn't want her to get sick. Thank you for your response.
1 person likes this
@Kackie3 (345)
• United States
30 Dec 06
When I had my daycare, I would watch sick kids, only if they weren't feverish or had diahrea. These were also in agreement with the Dept. of Jobs and Family Services. Some kids, if they are too bad off need a mothers care not someone else. Friendship is great, but not when it comes to your own kids getting sick from others. It isn't easy when kids are placed with other kids in any close contact, be it a daycare or school even. They are bound to catch some bug off of other kids. You need to be your own judge, and if you think they are too sick to be around your kids, by all means don't watch them. If you choose to watch them, keep them separated, if they are sick they should be isolated away from other kids anyway.
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your response, I really appreciate hearing your view! Thanks!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Dec 06
alot of people would of done the same thing especially where you have a daughter to worry about if a child is sick i do not believe that she should of brought them to your house because their is no sence in getting other people sick.I would of done the same thing you did.I know when my kids are sick i do not bring them around other people because that is how they get sick.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your response!
1 person likes this
@jaaraf (14)
• Philippines
30 Dec 06
I have been watching sick kids while working on my degree in medicine. It has not been that of a problem with me since I try not to get to emotionally involved as it is a work-related situation. They happen to be more resilient than most adults so it's not that bad.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your response. That is nice that you are getting a degree in medicine. Unfortunetly, I don't have stomach for something like that. I get weasy at the sight of snot (lol sorry) and when someone she is throwing up I end up too. I wish I had a better tolerance for that type of stuff.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
30 Dec 06
I had a problem not unlike yours with people bringing sick children to my house. I was giving piano lessons and the lessons were paid for in advance. Rather than keep a sick child at home, the parents were so mean that they took their child for their music lesson regardless of the weather or the childs health. I had two very small grandchildren with special needs in my home and I didn't want them to catch an infection, so I tore strips off the parents for bringing their children to me while they were ill. I didn't feel bad about it. I felt they should have been charged for child neglect.
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your response.
1 person likes this
@bluej20 (113)
• United States
30 Dec 06
A childs immune system is not strong as you know they get sick so fast. If you can let them play outside it may not be so bad. But inside the germs surround them. Even if you have insurance who wants their child to get sick. Why should they be put in a position of feeling horrible.Do we feel good when we have a fever?Then you are left with having to deal with a whinny child.And a co-payment, and meds.That was rude of her. I would of done the same thing. I hope you are being paid for babysitting. That is hard work. I did it in my home for a few years.Even my friends paid me.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your response. It probably also doesn't help that I live in an apartment either, so confined space is an issue. I thought about going outside, but the weather wasn't the greatest and I honestly didn't want to take the chance with it getting worse for them. Once again, thank you for your response.
1 person likes this
@mbs730 (2151)
• Canada
29 Dec 06
Don't feel bad about this!! You did the right thing and if it was me I would have in a heartbeat did the same thing! I am emetophobic, therefore if any vomiting bugs were brought in, I would be livid! I would probably never want to be friends with her again! If it was a cold or something like that, I would still be upset but not like that... but colds don't trigger my phobia, puking does! You did the right thing, who needs these illnesses??? She should have not let you watch the kids anyway being sick!
2 people like this
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your reponse. I am sorry to hear that you have a phobia associated with vomititng bugs. Take care. Once again, thank you for your response.
@xXmeganxX (4422)
29 Dec 06
it's good and caring of you that your actually helping your friend with her kids but when kids are sick they need to be at home to get better, also it's not very nice for parents to bring there sick kids to other people's houses as they can catch it and could be far worser off than themselves. i think you did the right thing by calling your friend and her collecting her kids. i wouldn't be too happy if somebody brought there sick children to my home id just explain in a nice way that they can come back when there better and i don't want us catching it and im not being nasty about it etc! she should realise tho and don't you fel bad about it!
2 people like this
• United States
29 Dec 06
Thanks for your comment. That is just how I handled the situation. I camly and nicely asked her to come and pick up her kids, although I was fuming inside. I explained to her that I would be more than happy to take them again, but I didn't want to get sick or have my daughter get sick because if we were sick we couldn't watch them next week. I also think that it will serve as a lesson that I am not going to watch her kids when they have a cold again. Once again, thank you for your response, I really appreciate it. It is nice to know taht I am not the only one who though it was wrong. As a parent, I need to watch out for my own daughter and that includes her health. Thank you!
• United States
29 Dec 06
I keep my kids home sick. I think she took advantage of you. I mean she wouldnt want your daughter over there sick. Why should you subject your daughter to getting sick. Its not fair and she should have thought about that.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Dec 06
Thanks for your comment. I was feeling bad because she is my friend. But, as my friend, she should also respect me, my household, and my child; at least that I was I think. I was totally shocked that she brought her kids sick. A part of me thinks it is because of my personality. I do put my foot down on occasion, but not too often. I think she was hoping I wouldn't say anything. She did seem a little bit surprised when I called her. But, I know for a fact that she also wouldn't want sick kids at her house. Once again, thanks for your response.
@MzLefty (311)
• United States
30 Dec 06
well first of all if you were trying to help out,you could handled this ina much better way.you could have tried giving the children so cold medicines,that I am sure you have in your medicine cabinet,we as parenta always have medicines for our children in our medicine cabinets.and if you were a true friend and was really trying to help her out ,you would have also looked out for the children's help.your child was not sick this time.either way you look at it you were very wrong.those are innocent children,and you turned your back on them,as well as your friend.I hope that you are never in that situation and know one does the same thing to you.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Dec 06
cold medicine would not have prevented her child from catching what ever the other kids had. Over the counter cold medicines just relieve the symptoms of an illness, they do not get rid of it. To lessen the chances of getting sick (if you are going to be around someone who is sick) it helps to take Airborne or echinacea (these boost the immune system). It is not right to purposely bring a sick child around other children, this just spreads a virus or bacterial illness. If she had asked you first it would have been a different story, but I still think you were right to have the mother come pick up her kids. Schools and Daycares have the same rules, if your child is sick, they are sent home.
• United States
31 Dec 06
I do agree with the poster that said that medicines only mask the symptoms; they don't actually cure them. In fact, I did give cold medicine to both children because, as a parent like you said, I do have cold medecine on hand. It helped one child, but not the other. I am wondering if you have children? I am now a stay at home mom, but before I was I worked in retail. I have had to come home from work before because my childcare provider, who I actually paid for their services, refused to watch my sick child. So, yes I have actually been in that situation before. Thank you for your response. It might not have sounded like it, sorry!, but I did enjoy hearing your response.
• United States
31 Dec 06
Catlyn087 - Thank you for your response. You had some great ideas and suggestions. I guess that I can check the next time that I am at the store, but I was wondering if the make Airborne for children, or at least young children. My daughter is only a toddler. Once again, thank you for your response.
@Celanith (2334)
• United States
29 Dec 06
She should not have brought her sick children to your home, she should have told you they were sick and given you the option to have them come or not. She was wrong and your bf and mom are wrong.
• United States
30 Dec 06
Thank you for your response. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who felt that way. Once again, that you for your response.
• United States
30 Dec 06
Sorry, I meant once again thank you. I should try and proofread a little before I hit that post comment button!
• Philippines
29 Dec 06
I would have taken care of the kid until her mom gets her and I would ask my kid to stay away from her for a while. but thats me, I dont think your friend would have dropped her kids of to you if it wasnt important or she didnt have a choice...but if she is not doing anythingelse thats taking advantage, I would not even allow my kids to go out of a room when he is sick much more get out of the house... I know you feel guilty and im sure your friend feels bad too... she understands im sure, she is a mother too.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Dec 06
That is what I did do. I took care of them until their mother was able to pick them up. Keyword them. There were two kids. She was working, which is why I felt bad asking her to leave work. I do still feel a little bit bad for making her miss work, but I need to keep my own daughter's need and health in mind too.
• United States
30 Dec 06
I also wanted to add thank you for your response. I am sorry that I forgot to include that in my last post.