+
sick kids, kids stay home, parenting advice

Samantha Moriá Reynolds's advice on sick children.

This article originally appeared on 01.30.20


It's cold and flu seasons, folks. During this time of year, we're all on a mission to avoid the demon viruses that threaten to invade our bodies and wage Armageddon on our immune systems.


But no matter how much vitamin C we consume or how diligently we wash our hands, we still have to rely on others to be smart about exposing people to their sick germs. And that goes doubly for kids, who inexplicably do things like lick their own palms and rub communal crayons under their noses

That's why a mom's recent Facebook post about keeping kids home when they have a fever has been shared more than 170,000 times. Samantha Moriá Reynolds shared a photo of a thermometer with a temperature of 101.4 with the following message:

This morning, Sam woke up and noticed her son wasn't feeling well.
Sam took her son's temperature, and wow! A fever.
Sam gave her son Tylenol and then...
Sam did NOT send her son to school.
Even after the fever went down a couple hours later, Sam did NOT send her son to school.
Sam missed work knowing that the well-being of her son and the kids who attend his school is more important than work missed.

Sam's son was invited to THREE birthday parties over the weekend. Sam's son has been so excited to go, but he will unfortunately also have to miss them because Sam's son is SICK. Sam knows passing along a sickness would not be a great birthday gift regardless of how bummed her son may be.

Sam knows her son is still contagious until he is fever-free, WITHOUT medication, for 24 hours. If Sam's son is running a fever at 7am on Sunday, Sam's son will also not be attending school on Monday.

Be. Like. Sam.

Some parents will give their kids fever-reducing medication, the fever will go down, the kid will feel a bit better, and off they go to school. But fever meds like Tylenol don't do anything to kill the virus that's infecting the kid's body. They just mask the symptoms of the illness and provide some relief to a miserable kiddo. If a fever goes down with medication, the child is still sick and still contagious.

The same goes for adults who try to tough it out by popping a Dayquil before heading off to work. If you want to infect your coworkers and make them hate you, keep doing that.

Granted, some parents may have a hard time finding childcare or taking time off work, and there's a lot to be said for employers being understanding and granting leave to care for sick children. Our whole society needs to work together on this front to make sure people don't feel like they have no choice but to send a sick kid to school. But that starts with parents insisting that their feverish kids stay home from school until they are no longer a threat to other people's health and well-being.

The coronavirus outbreak keeps making headlines and the mounting death numbers from it are making people nervous, but the truth is that the plain old flu already kills thousands of Americans every single year. This season, more than 8,000 people have already died from flu and flu complications, and we're still in the thick of the season.

The best way to keep illness from spreading is to stay away from other people when you are sick and to keep sick kids home until they are fever-free for 24 hours.

Be like Sam. Keep sick kids home. It takes a village to keep us all healthy.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Keep ReadingShow less

Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.22.19


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep ReadingShow less