My daughter is 4 and like many children her age she attends daycare (she calls it preschool but whatever…). Also like many children she has allergies. They pop up every year in the spring and fall and every year we deal with the nasal drip and coughing fits that tag along. This is especially vicious in the fall because typically she will suffer from her allergies and then a nasty cold will piggy back. So, just when I think she’s getting better, BAM! cold season hits. Ugh. Her old daycare was familiar with the routine but this year, out of necessity, we started at a new daycare. They are not familiar with this cycle and seem to have a lot of advice and opinion to offer on the subject.
It was Friday afternoon and I knew it was coming, the phone call. I left work about 20 minutes after they called telling me I had to come get her and she couldn’t come back to school without a doctor’s note. First of all, she had no other symptoms besides a nasty cough. Yes, that’s right – no fever, no explosive diarrhea, no puking, nothing. The state I live in does not consider a cough alone to be worthy of sending a child home. The economy would collapse if that happened! Entire schools would shut down during cold season! But I digress. Secondly, it was a Friday and there is only a 24 hour waiting period to return to school, so we would have well surpassed that by Monday. But since it was Friday, I took 45 minutes of personal time and picked her up. When I arrived I was barraged with medical advice from her teachers – she might have pneumonia or asthma, the doctor should prescribe her some cough medicine, and by the way use some vaporub at home. I smiled and bit my tongue as I packed up her things and picked up a peacefully sleeping child to drag off to the doctor. I made sure I asked about these things because even though I knew the response I wanted to be sure I had the appropriate wording for these medical professionals masquerading as daycare teachers. Here it is: most prescription cough medicine includes codeine – this is not typically prescribed to an otherwise healthy 4 year old, according to my pediatrician. Also, vaporub is not recommended by my pediatrician because it can actually be toxic and can cause the body to produce MORE mucous, kind of the opposite of what I’m looking for here. After bringing her to the doctor and getting the “required” note, I brought her to daycare Monday morning. Her teachers weren’t terribly pleased with the doctor’s recommendations but they were unable to produce a copy of their medical degree so until then I think I’ll stick with my pediatrician.
Or my grandmother who put her own child in the oven when he had pneumonia. Yep, that was doctor’s orders. Hmmm….